” The tsunami that hit the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. In the days following the tsunami, reactors within the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant exploded and leaked radiation into the environment. The United States announced a relief effort led by the Navy – Operation Tomodachi – in which 70,000 Department of Defense-affiliated personnel contributed to providing humanitarian aid to those affected.
Now, three years later, some Navy personnel say they’re experiencing mysterious symptoms, including hemorrhaging and cancer. In some cases, their doctors can’t provide diagnoses and therefore cannot determine if the illnesses are radiation-related. Convinced their illnesses were caused by radiation exposure, 71 of these sailors are banding together in a lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company – or TEPCO – which operates the Fukushima power plant.
The U.S. government released a statement denying that radiation has caused these illnesses:
“After extensive environmental monitoring and analysis, it has been determined that none of the nearly 70,000 members of the [Department of Defense]-affiliated population … are known to have been exposed to radiation at levels associated with adverse medical conditions.”
Two sailors who are a part of the lawsuit shared their stories with Al Jazeera. ”
Read the stories of Former U.S. Navy Officer Michael Sebourn and Former U.S. Navy Officer Steven Simmons