Excerpted From eNews: Representing US Navy sailors exposed to Fukushima radioactive releases, Sept. 25, 2014: “These kinds of illnesses… are characteristic of people who’ve been exposed to radiation… We’ve seen them at Chernobyl, they are not difficult to prove… We know Tepco… misrepresented the levels of radiation these sailors were exposed to… The number is more than 110… we now have 225 injured sailors — 21, 22, 23, 25-year-olds. A population that you don’t usually find cancers such as leukemia, testicular cancers, uterine cancers, thyroid cancers. We also have cancers so rare only 0.001% of people have experienced it. Yet we know that radiation causes these kinds of cancers… Information that initially came out was totally incorrect… We’re now beginning to see the real data that’s revealing the exact kind of exposures — the kind of toxic soup — that these sailors were literally sailing through for days.”
An interesting story from the New York Post about sailors on an US aircraft carrier getting cancer after being involved a humanitarian mission off tsunami-stricken Japan.
Now, nearly three years after their deployment on a humanitarian mission to Japan’s ravaged coast, Cooper and scores of her fellow crew members on the aircraft carrier and a half-dozen other support ships are battling cancers, thyroid disease, uterine bleeding and other ailments.
“We joked about it: ‘Hey, it’s radioactive snow!’ ” Cooper recalled. “I took pictures and video.”
But now “my thyroid is so out of whack that I can lose 60 to 70 pounds in one month and then gain it back the next,” said Cooper, fighting tears. “My menstrual cycle lasts for six months at a time, and I cannot get pregnant. It’s ruined me.”
The fallout of those four days spent off the Fukushima coast has been tragic to many of the 5,000 sailors who were there.
At least 70 have been stricken with some form of radiation sickness, and of those, “at least half . . . are suffering from some form of cancer,” their lawyer, Paul Garner, told The Post Saturday.
“We’re seeing leukemia, testicular cancer and unremitting gynecological bleeding requiring transfusions and other intervention,” said Garner, who is representing 51 crew members suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant.“Then you have thyroid polyps, other thyroid diseases,” added Garner, who plans to file an amended lawsuit in federal court in San Diego next month that will bring the number of plaintiffs past 70.
Even as the Reagan was steaming toward the disaster, power-company officials knew the cloud of steam they were releasing — in order to relieve pressure in the crippled plant — was toxic, the lawsuit argues, a claim that has also been made by the Japanese government.Tokyo Electric Power also knew that radioactivity was leaking at a rate of 400 tons a day into the North Pacific, according to the lawsuit and Japanese officials.
“We were probably floating in contaminated water without knowing it for a day and a half before we got hit by that plume,” said Cooper, whose career as a third-class petty officer ended five months after the disaster for health reasons.
The toxic seawater was sucked into the ship’s desalinization system, flowing out of its faucets and showers — still radioactive — and into the crew member’s bodies.
“And then we couldn’t go anywhere. Japan didn’t want us in port, Korea didn’t want us, Guam turned us away. We floated in the water for two and a half months,” until Thailand took them in, she said.
All the while crew members had been suffering from excruciating diarrhea.
The maps on the left indicate the location of the USS Ronald Reagan (‘R’) provided by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (pdf) for an 8-hour period on March 13, 2011. Images of the radioactive plume’s position were produced by the U.S. Navy Research Lab. The chart on the right is adapted from a report by the IRSN, France’s radiation safety agency (pdf),