The Irradiated sailors of Fukushima — Counterpunch

” The roll call of US sailors irradiated while delivering humanitarian help near the stricken Fukushima nuke who say their health has been devastated continues to grow.

So many have come forward that the progress of their federal class action lawsuit has been delayed.

Bay area lawyer Charles Bonner says a re-filing will wait until early February to accommodate a constant influx of sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other American ships.

Petitions in the sailors’ support are circulating worldwide at nukefree.org,MoveOn, Avaaz, Roots Action and elsewhere.

Within a day of Fukushima One’s 3/11/2011 melt-down, American “first responders” were drenched in radioactive fallout. In the midst of a driving snow storm, sailors reported a cloud of warm air with a metallic taste that poured over the Reagan.

Then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, at the time a nuclear supporter, says “the first meltdown occurred 5 hours after the earthquake.” The lawsuit charges that Tokyo Electric Power thus knew large quantities of radiation were pouring into the air and water, but said nothing to the Navy or the public.

Had the Navy known, says Bonner, it could have moved its ships out of harm’s way. But some sailors actually jumped into the ocean just offshore to pull victims to safety. Others worked 18-hour shifts in the open air through a four-day mission, re-fueling and repairing helicopters, loading them with vital supplies, and much more. All were drinking and bathing in desalinated water that had been severely contaminated by radioactive fallout and runoff.

Then Reagan crew members were enveloped in a warm cloud. “Hey,” joked sailor Lindsay Cooper at the time. “It’s radioactive snow.”

The metallic taste that came with it parallels the ones reported by the airmen who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by Pennsylvania residents downwind from the 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island.

When it did leave the Fukushima area, the Reagan was so radioactive it was refused port entry in Japan, South Korea and Guam. It’s currently docked in San Diego.

The Navy is not systematically monitoring the crew members’ health problemsBut Cooper now reports a damaged thyroid, disrupted menstrual cycle, wildly fluctuating body weight, and more. “It’s ruined me,” she says. … ”

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One thought on “The Irradiated sailors of Fukushima — Counterpunch

  1. Pingback: Over 70 US navy sailors suing for Fukushima radiation poisoning | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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