Is America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet Again?

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“You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all”

If there’s any truth to that pop standard’s message, then America must surely love its heroes. Because, much as we lionize those who stare death in the face so that the rest of us may live peacefully, once the spotlight shifts away from the heroes of each war or disaster, as often as not our government officials callously toss those heroes aside.

The list is long and dates from the Bonus Army of jobless World War I veterans attacked in 1932 by the Washington, DC, police for demanding compensation for wartime service, to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who suffered neglect and shoddy conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as recently as 2007. There are plenty of stops in between: The Vietnam vets never properly compensated for exposure to Agent Orange; Gulf War veterans who waited 17 years for Congress to acknowledge the reality of Gulf War Syndrome; and the 9/11 responders who waited eight years for whatever the budget cutters in Washington were willing, in their generosity, to dispense.

This sorry list is about to grow with the addition of scores of U.S. sailors who went on an idealistic mission three years ago to help the Japanese cope with the destruction from the strongest earthquake in the country’s history—the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 50-foot tsunami on March 11, 2011 that turned much of the northeastern coast of Japan into rubble and swamped the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The combined events knocked out all electricity to the plant, and within five hours, the first of three reactors that ultimately did so began melting down.

At least 79 of those sailors now suffer serious health effects consistent with radiation exposure. Some of the sailors have filed a class action lawsuit  against the Japanese power company, accusing it of hiding what it knew about the escaping radiation and seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as $1 billion for a fund to cover their medical monitoring and treatment. Some of them also blame the U.S. Navy, which denies that its sailors were exposed to harmful levels of radiation.

They Came Out Cooked

Paul Garner, the lead attorney on the case, told WhoWhatWhy that a much larger group of military personnel were exposed to radiation, and he expects the number signing on to the lawsuit to rise as more people develop symptoms. He reeled off a long list of alarming health complaints among the nearly 100 former Operation Tomodachi participants he’s interviewed. So far, about half have developed cancer—of the brain, eye, testes, thyroid, or blood (leukemia). “These kids were first responders,” Garner says. “They went in happily doing a humanitarian mission, and they came out cooked.”

Radiation Déjà vu

The situation these sailors find themselves in is all too familiar in the annals of the nuclear age. Over the past 75 years, claims of harm by many people exposed to radiation through no fault of their own have been officially downplayed or denied. For example: Victims of fallout from atom bomb testing, workers routinely exposed at a nuclear weapons facility, people living near one, and those caught downwind of reactor meltdowns at nuclear power plants, as in the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania and the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion.

The U.S. Department of Defense claims to have calculated “whole-body and thyroid radiation doses” for nearly 75,000 DOD-affiliated individuals who were on or near the mainland of Japan during the period from March 12, 2011 to May 11, 2011. Its determination: “Your whole-body and thyroid radiation dose estimates are well below levels associated with adverse medical conditions.”

Official Estimates Don’t Compute

A DOD report lays out how the Navy reached its conclusions about the doses that 17,000-plus sailors received. But according to nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, a former industry vice president who blew the whistle on radiation safety violations at his former employer, Nuclear Energy Services, as with the previous accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, nobody knows how much radiation has been released from Fukushima—because most of the radiation monitors did not survive the accidents. That means assumptions rather than real data were used to calculate the total amount of radiation released—resulting in estimates that Gundersen believes are much too low.

Another outside expert charges the Navy’s reconstructed doses are meaningless. Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, who has spent several years auditing radiation dose reconstructions on ailing U.S. nuclear weapons workers, says the only way to get an accurate internal and external dose on any individual is to take continual measurements throughout the time they are exposed. People must wear special monitoring equipment and undergo a regular regime of monitoring. This is especially important in trying to assess the health effects from a multiple meltdown situation with large explosions involving reactor cores, as occurred at Fukushima.

Alvarez says that based on the illnesses that Operation Tomodachi participants are reporting, the real radiation doses were likely very large. “We’re hearing the same kinds of complaints that I was hearing from the people exposed to fallout from the bomb testing program—the metallic taste in the mouth, loss of hair, and sudden and unexpected illnesses,” he says. Symptoms like that indicate “tissue-destructive doses.”

A February 2014 report by Kyle Cleveland, an American sociologist at Temple University in Japan, confirms Alvarez’s assessment. The report includes a transcribed telephone conversation Cleveland received from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which reveals that monitors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan picked up radiation levels 30 times higher than normal out at sea 100 miles from the reactors. The nuclear expert quoted in the transcript was surprised to detect anything at that distance and says radiation levels were high enough to damage people’s thyroids after ten hours of exposure.

If the Navy’s questionable dismissal of radiation exposure is troubling, the actions of the Tokyo Electric Power Company are even more so. The Japanese Diet (Japan’s parliament) tasked an independent commission, known officially as the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, with figuring out what caused the multiple meltdown.

The report, released in 2012, is damning in its conclusions. Unlike the U.S. Navy, the Commission characterizes Fukushima as a “severe accident that ultimately emitted an enormous amount of radioactive material into the environment.”

Scrubbing the Deck in the Danger Zone

Meanwhile, heroes like Lindsay Cooper live with the consequences of that accident. Cooper spent nearly two months on the flight deck of the Reagan, repeatedly exposed to radiation plumes from the destroyed reactors. On arriving in Japan just off the coast before dawn on March 12, 2011, Cooper confronted a surreal scene. “You couldn’t even really tell there was an ocean,” she told WhoWhatWhy. “It was a sea of wood.”

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Lindsay Cooper

After ship commanders became aware of the first radiation plume to hit the ship, they limited the number of people allowed on the flight deck where radiation exposure was highest. Consequently, sailors whose work required them to be on deck spent even longer periods of time at risk. The only protection from radiation they received were rubber boots that went over their regular boots. Judy Goodwin, who served with Cooper on that deck, says the sailors were assured they were not being exposed to anything dangerous and that the decontamination procedures they were subjected to were “simply precautionary.”

Judy Goodwin

Judy Goodwin

After two or three weeks, Cooper says, people started getting sick. She witnessed crewmembers running and vomiting over the side of the flight deck, because they couldn’t wait in the long lines to go through decontamination before being allowed to get to the bathroom.

Nearly three years later, Cooper, 24, suffers from a severely dysfunctional menstrual cycle, a problem that began about a month after she arrived in Japan. She also regularly gains 40 to 50 pounds over the course of a month and then loses it. Veterans Administration doctors attribute her severe problems to nothing other than “stress.”

After Goodwin, 26, was discharged from the Navy in late 2011, she lost 30 pounds and had to have her gallbladder removed, because, her doctor told her, it just stopped working. She also has problems with her liver. The Veterans Administration has denied her claim for disability based on radiation exposure, because it says there isn’t enough proof.

National VA spokesperson Gina Jackson told WhoWhatWhy she couldn’t comment on either of these cases without privacy waivers from the two sailors. But generally speaking, each vet’s claims are evaluated individually, and if their medical problem is determined to have been caused by their military service, they are awarded disability.

Despite repeated requests, neither Cooper nor Goodwin has been given access to their Navy medical files. Cooper did receive a “purged” file that contains records from her boot camp training—but nothing about her tour on the Reagan.

An Odd Constellation of Symptoms

Navy ensign Steve Simmons, now 36, headed the department that processed the paperwork documenting the flight of any aircraft on or off the ship. His office and sleeping quarters were located just below the entrance to the flight deck. Once the mission ended and restrictions to the flight deck were lifted, he worked out on an exposed weather deck, and tried to get up to the flight deck at least twice a day.

Steve Simmons

Steve Simmons

It wasn’t until the previously fit and healthy sailor started having bizarre health problems that he would think about the radiation exposure again. He has experienced an unexplained blackout, a persistent fever of 102.9℉, swollen lymph nodes, unusual sun sensitivity that landed him in the emergency room with third degree burns, and loss of balance and the strength in his legs. Now confined to a wheelchair and with bladder dysfunction, he has to insert a catheter into his urethra every four hours to empty his urine.

None of the military doctors attribute his maladies to radiation exposure. In fact, he says, they seemed to go out of their way to deny any connection. He’s not buying the Navy’s insistence that the maximum amount of radiation these sailors were exposed to was “less than 25 percent of the annual radiation exposure to a member of the U.S. public from natural sources of background radiation, such as the sun, rocks and soil.”

“If that’s truly the case,” Simmons asks, “why are they classifying Fukushima as either the worst nuclear disaster in history or the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl? How is it possible that there was absolutely no threat to human life? Why are there scientists out there saying that the land in that area is going to be uninhabitable for hundreds of years?”

Navy spokesman Lt. Greg Raelson says the Navy’s conclusions about the impact of Fukushima are based on the tri-service Dose Assessment and Registry Working Group, a peer-reviewed report, which determined that “the highest whole body dose to any crewmember is much lower than levels of radiation exposure associated with the occurrence of long-term health effects.”

Referencing the National Academy of Science’s Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) reports, he says many studies that examined the time between radiation exposure and the development of an effect, such as cancer, take much longer to show up—typically two years in the case of non-solid cancers like leukemia and at least ten years for solid malignancies, like thyroid cancer. “There is no indication that radiation exposure to U.S. personnel supporting Operation Tomodachi presented any risks greater than [what is] normally accepted during everyday life,” he said.

From Fitness Instructor to Near Invalid

When the earthquake hit, Mike Sebourn was the senior chief mechanic in the helicopter squadron at the Navy’s Atsugi air base in Japan. At the time, he was also a fitness instructor, strong and healthy. But a few weeks after the disaster, he began having nosebleeds and migraines. They went away, but four months later, he discovered he could lift only 60 percent of what he could lift previously.

Mike Sebourn

Mike Sebourn

Sebourn had been in charge of decontaminating helicopters that were coming back after flying relief missions through radioactive plumes. The Navy didn’t prepare him for the job, he told WhoWhatWhy. What normally would have been a two-year course in radiation remediation was distilled down to two days. The course contained no discussion on the health risks involved; however, they were assured that their exposures would be monitored and noted in their military files.

Lt. Raelson was not able to comment on Sebourn’s description of his radiation remediation training, because he said he could not verify what training Sebourn did or did not receive.

After the relief missions ended, Sebourn said, he didn’t use much protective gear at all because radiation readings they got off the skin of the aircraft weren’t high enough to warrant it. However, he now believes he continued to be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, mainly from hot components inside the aircraft. Sebourn, 39, now suffers from extreme loss of muscle mass and deterioration in the strength of his muscles on the right side of his body.

Because of his escalating physical problems, he changed his military status from enlisted to commissioned officer on the promise that he and his family would be redeployed to the U.S. But his officer’s orders kept him in Japan, so he decided to leave the Navy.

“After giving them 17 years of my life and putting the needs of the Navy before everything else—before my family and myself—I have no retirement, no medical benefits, nothing,” he said. As a result of his medical problems, Sebourn has received a 60 percent disability rating, which entitles him to a modest monthly stipend. He also receives GI benefits and is using that for school, training to be a network systems administrator. Despite his Navy job as a designated radiation decontamination officer, he says there is no mention of radiation exposure in his military medical file.

What Did the U.S. Navy Know?

Whether the plaintiffs succeed in holding the Japanese utility liable, the case raises important questions about the role and responsibility of the U.S. Navy:

   Why did the U.S. Navy insist from the beginning that it was safe for its troops to remain in the vicinity of three reactor meltdowns?
   After having gone to the trouble of setting up a medical registry to track radiation-related illnesses—the Operation Tomodachi Registry—why did the U.S. Department of Defense decide not to monitor the health of the nearly 75,000 DOD-affiliated citizens—military personnel and their family members—who were in or near Japan during and after the Fukushima meltdowns?
   Why is there no mention of radiation exposure in many of the sailors’ military medical files, even those people specifically assigned jobs involving radiation decontamination?
   Why, given the mounting evidence of illnesses known to be triggered by radiation exposure, is radiation dismissed as a possible cause?

In response to the first question, Lt. Raelson denies that Operation Tomodachi personnel were close enough to the three melting Fukushima reactors to have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation: “Specifically, all ships were kept at least 100 miles away from the Fukushima reactors, and aircraft supporting disaster relief flights were kept at an appropriate distance from the reactors.”

Furthermore, he says the Navy’s ships and aircraft were fully equipped to “reduce, eliminate, and control radioactive contamination” and did so. Potentially contaminated personnel—flight crews, those “who approached the area around Fukushima Daiichi,” those carrying out decontamination, and others—were carefully monitored with “sensitive whole body dosimeters” and, if necessary, decontaminated.

As to why the government scrapped plans to monitor the health of the U.S. citizens and family members who were in or around Japan during the early days of the triple meltdown, Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a spokesperson for the U.S Department of Defense, which runs the registry, told WhoWhatWhy that as far as she knows, the registry was only ever intended to document the exposures of the DoD-affiliated population in Japan. “This gives you the baseline—yes, you were there, it’s your official documentation of your estimated exposure,” she said. Beyond that, individuals are responsible for obtaining their own healthcare.

Regarding documentation of radiation exposure, Lt. Raelson said: “The Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC) maintains long-term records of occupational exposure to ionizing radiation derived from TLDs and other dosimeters. Any service member can request his or her dose history in writing from NDC.”

In answer to why radiation was dismissed as a possible cause to illnesses known to be triggered by radiation exposure that sailors are now reporting, he reiterated that the tri-service Dose Assessment and Registry Working Group studied the available data and concluded that no crewmember was exposed to anything higher than what they would ordinarily receive as inhabitants of planet Earth: “For perspective, the worst-case radiation exposure for a crewmember on USS Ronald Reagan is less than 25 percent of the annual radiation exposure to a member of the U.S. public from natural sources of background radiation, such as the sun, rocks, and soil.”

Legal Remedy Sought

Meanwhile, the only remedy available to Cooper, Goodwin, Sebourn, Simmons, and the others is to sue the Japanese operator of the nuclear plant, TEPCO. Lead attorney for the class action suit, Paul Garner, believes he will be able to prove that TEPCO knew on the first day of the accident that the plant was spewing deadly radiation, but concealed that information from the world. He also expresses confidence he will be able to prove that if the military had been aware of the radiation levels, it would not have sent or kept U.S. troops in harm’s way.

TEPCO executives bow in apology

TEPCO executives bow in apology

But Judge Janis L. Sammartino, who is hearing the case in San Diego, has set a high bar, ruling in November 2013 that the plaintiffs must show:

…not only that TEPCO misrepresented the condition of the FNPP [Fukushima nuclear power plant] and the risk to soldiers operating near the damaged facility, but also that TEPCO’s allegedly wrongful conduct, as opposed to other factors, caused the commanding officers of the Reagan “(1) to move the strike force and associated personnel into an area of dangerous radiation exposure; (2) to do so without undertaking radiation testing and research; and (3) to fail to order the necessary precautions, such as locking down the Reagan and supplying radiation monitoring.…”

And further:

At a minimum, Plaintiffs must show that, but for TEPCO’s allegedly wrongful conduct, the military would not have deployed personnel near the FNPP or would have taken additional measures to protect service members from radiation exposure. Thus, Plaintiffs’ success inevitably hinges on the conclusion that the military’s precautions were inadequate or unreasonable and that had it not been for TEPCO’s misstatements, military commanders would have adopted a different course of action.

Reason for Navy Cover-up?

Because U.S. military personnel are prevented from suing the government, their only recourse is to go after TEPCO. But given the interests involved, the outcome for the Operation Tomodachi victims remains very much in doubt. Robert Alvarez, the nuclear investigator and former DOE deputy assistant secretary, points out that about a quarter of a million U.S. soldiers were subjected to open air nuclear weapons testing in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

“If you use the treatment of atomic veterans who were involved in atmospheric testing as a benchmark, the government did everything it could to downplay the hazards, because from the military perspective, the mission is all important,” he says.

“Right now, the United States government and Japan are closing ranks because of their nuclear-related relationships,” he says. Although Japan’s 54 power-generating nuclear reactors are currently offline, the country still has the third largest number of nuclear reactors in the world.

But more important, Alvarez says, is the “extraordinary co-dependence” with Japan on nuclear-energy-related matters. “Because the U.S. has lost much of its capability in designing and building reactors, we have to depend on the Japanese and the French if we’re going to build any reactors or fabricate fuel or do anything to service the existing reactor fleet,” he explained. “We’re dependent on companies that are now owned by Japan and France.”

The case of the ill Operation Tomodachi veterans shines a spotlight on the intersection of competing interests between victims of radiation exposure, the nuclear power industry, and the U.S. government and its unwavering commitment to nuclear technology for both military and civilian use.

1So far, by denying the harm from the radiation U.S. military personnel were exposed to as they helped Japan clean up after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011—a position that supports the Japanese government and nuclear industry—the U.S. government is doing what it has almost always done: protect nuclear interests rather than its victims.

As the number of ill Operation Tomodachi veterans climbs, it remains to be seen whether their sacrifice will be acknowledged or if they, like so many others, will be left to fend for themselves.

IMAGE: Navy Comes Through

IMAGE: Lindsay Cooper

IMAGE:  Steve Simmons

IMAGE:  Mike Sebourn

IMAGE: TEPCO bows

IMAGE:  Join the Navy

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0 responses to “Is America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet Again?”

  1. Title

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  2. terryrs says:

    I am a 1962 radiation victim assigned to Johnston Island test site. I was denied under the
    EEOICPA ACT, VA, AND THE RECA ACT. I currently filed under the DBA but don’t hold
    your breath. Insurance agencies controvert and it takes years. I got cancer of the bladder.

  3. tyone says:

    bullshit

  4. Jacob Machnam says:

    great film ever http://www.films-vf.fr

  5. LocalHero says:

    Since when does volunteering to slaughter your fellow man make someone a “hero”? Live by the sword, you die by the sword. They deserve what they get by choosing this filthy vocation.

  6. shpilk says:

    If these reports of symptoms are accurate, these sailors were exposed to significant amounts of radiation – acute radiation sickness simply does not happen with low doses. Where’s the data from the Navy’s instruments?

  7. Roger6T6 says:

    The implication that the USS Reagan and attending vessels remained at least 100 miles offshore is false. The Reagan was just 2 miles offshore most of the time. They moved to 100 miles offshore AFTER their water was contaminated, and they had to go out to sea to get clean water to flush the system. That is according to two of the navigators who plotted the courses: http://bit.ly/VWSmFm

    • Both Lindsay Cooper and Judy Goodwin told me that they were often near the shore, close enough to see smokestacks and buildings on the land, and that during Operation Tomodachi the ship would repeatedly come close to the shore and sail out again. Lindsay Cooper thought they were very close to the Fukushima Daiichi reactors when they first arrived in Japan, on March 12, 2011, and this is in the story.

  8. dutch says:

    The health problems mentioned are NOT consistent with radiation exposure. For example, the sailor who vomited soon after exposure: Vomiting is a symptom of acute radiation sickness, the result of a massive dose. But if it occurred so soon after exposure he would have to have been hospitalized and treated intensively for gastro-intestinal syndrome with antibiotics and blood transfusions. (You see the sooner the onset of symptoms, the larger the dose must have been.) There was no indication that this treatment was provided, and without it he might very well have died if indeed his symptoms were radiogenic in origin. The facts provided indicate that it could not have been the result of radiation exposure.

    As was stated, correctly, in the piece, radiogenic cancers have latency periods of several years and would not be showing up so soon after exposure, with the possible exception of leukemia which might be showing up just about now. Other forms of cancer that sailors may have already developed could not have been the result of radiation exposure – it’s just too soon.

    The only health effects know to result from radiation exposure are acute radiation sickness ( from massive cell death resulting from a very large exposure – think atomic bomb victims) and cancer. The other health effects reported can not be radiogenic, and must be from something else.

    In short, this article indicates to anyone who knows anything about radiation effects that the sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan (its painful even to type that name!) are not suffering from radiation exposure – at least not yet.

    Of course, as was also pointed out in the piece, the best way to determine the doses received by these sailors is from real-time personal exposure monitoring. Film badges and/or TLDs worn by the crew or placed at locations around the ship where sailors were stationed would tell quantitatively what doses were absorbed. These data must be on file and also must be available to any sailor who may have been exposed.

    Russ, et al. I ask again that you consult a knowledgable expert in either health physics or radiation biology before printing stories on this topic.

    • The health effects reported in the story are consistent with large-dose radiation exposure, and many of the symptoms–vomiting, hair loss, sunburn, swollen lymph glands, among others–have been reported by victims of Three Mile Island and downwinders of the U.S. aboveground atom bomb tests. Large radiation doses don’t necessarily result in immediate death.

      Lt. Raelson told me that the dose information was available to sailors from the Naval Dosimetry Center, but none of the sailors I interviewed knew that, nor were they told so when they inquired about their radiation exposures.

      But more problematic is the fact that, as Robert Alvarez said, the only way to get an accurate dose measurement is to take radiation measurements throughout the time of the exposure, which was not done. In other words, in order to know the actual dose on any of the nearly 75,000 people the DoD claims to have calculated whole body and thyroid doses for, each one would have had to have been measured continuously throughout their time of exposure. The total dose estimates are based on only a small fraction of the people exposed: external dose measurements on 1,720 people and 8,378 internal dose measurements. (For the internal measurements, it’s not clear whether that came from 8,378 different individuals, whether some people were measured more than once, or exactly how many people provided those.)

    • dutch says:

      One single individual vomiting immediately after exposure is indicative of a very high dose. But with no report of hospitalization this indicates these symptoms had nothing to do with radiation. People vomit for many reason other than radiation sickness. Why was no one else affected? Was this sailor the only person on deck? Like I said, it is NOT consistent with radiation exposure.

      Dosimeters either worn by the crew or affixed in locations where the crew were stationed would give contemporaneous information about the external dose to crew members. There is some indication that this was done, but the report is not very clear. As to internal dose, air sampling would provide fairly accurate estimates of intakes, but more important would be bioassays of crew members suspected of having ingested radioactivity. There is no indication that this occurred. Why did the Navy not suspect internal contamination is not mentioned, but if the air sampling was negative, that would be a good reason not to do bioassays.

      Clearly, all the relevant facts have not reported, but those that have indicate little or no radiation exposure.

    • JohnJ says:

      Interesting that the DOD sent someone to push back. You can’t diagnose from anecdotal evidence as there is no count as to the number of people that vomited immediately, just observations.

      Add that to the skewed knowledge about radiation exposure symptoms since most comes from DOD experience, which is intentionally minimized to limit Gov’t liability. In other words, a lot of the case experience is based on lies. The massive amount of doctoring of evidence from the statistically largest number of people with radiation exposure (intentional by the DOD) has a huge effect on the statistical analysis of symptoms.

      We went through this same dance with the DOD about Agent Orange which eventually killed one of its main proponent’s son. In spite of the same type of armchair diagnosis as you are using here; all the claims about the “harmless” chemical and more have turned out to be true and proof that the Gov’t and MIC lied. I have at least 2 current friends locally suffering from the second generation effects of that “harmless chemical”. I have known many more through the years.

      More recently is “Gulf War Syndrome”. We heard the same kind of BS you are using here about that.

      The military can order its subjects to believe and say whatever it wants, that is the reason for all the obedience training they put them through; that has a diminishing effect on the public now that the euphoria of WWII is a generation ago.

      A magician doesn’t do tricks twice because people catch on.

      Fool me once…

    • dutch says:

      I’m actually not aware of any reported cases of acute radiation syndrome in military personnel, except for the Soviet army personnel who responded to Chernobyl. The few incidents I recall were civilian workers exposed during criticality accidents, overdosed radiation therapy patients, those poor people in Gioiana, Brazil exposed to Cs-137, and the occasional radiography accident.

      But you’re right – anecdotal reports, such as those in Ms. Chapman’s piece, don’t allow for any definitive diagnoses. The limited information that is given, however does not support the theory that the Ronald Reagan sailors suffered high radiation exposures.

      By the way, I’m still waiting for that fat DOD check they promised me.

  9. NoMoreMrNiceGuy says:

    Your telling me a US Warship knowing a Nuclear plant got wiped out by a wave sailed into the area did not have it’s Radiation monitors on? Damage Control Central (DCC) most certainly did. And now the hunt for discovery and FOIA request to get it.

    • JohnJ says:

      You are assuming honest recording, something the Military has a long history of NOT doing. The record will reflect whatever the highest ranking person says it will reflect. With an officer’s career in the balance, you don’t think they are going commit career suicide in the name of integrity do you?

  10. editorsteve says:

    There’s a lot of weird stuff in this report. For instance, let’s say the report is true, that monitored radiation levels 100 miles out to sea were 30 times natural background. That is far less — by an order of multiple millions — than would cause thyroid damage after only 10 hours. A huge Japanese population lived within 20-30 miles of the plants — easily enough to be severely contaminated, no matter which way the wind blew — and their health problems, while severe and probably under-documented, did not come close to apparent short-term radiation exposure by some US military personnel.

    That suggests some unique exposure routes — washing down aircraft, perhaps, or specific short-lived, perhaps bioactive airborne isotopes (for instance, strontium 91 and 92, which decay in hours rather than strontium 90, which decays over years; strontium is chemically similar to calcium so is picked up by bones quickly) whose decay path for one reason or another was not completely monitored. Monitors are not all-knowing and all-seeing; they only find what they are designed to find. If a researcher later says, “gee, you have 0.2 gram of strontium in your bones” and calculates the radiation dose as all from strontium 90, it will be underestimated by 25,000 if the strontium is really 91, or more than 150,000 times if it is 92.

    As there is basically zero research on what happens when a commercial reactor fails as spectacularly as did the TEPCO complex, the investigator would have to get a sample from those exposed and measure radiation energy of the electrons emitted, atomic weights and so forth. Can’t imagine that the Navy, or anyone, has done that for all possible short-lived candidate isotopes.

    And yes, my undergrad degree is in physics. I studied radiation issues with Dr. Herta Lang, who worked with the Curies. But I am not a radiation health expert.

    • JohnJ says:

      You are again assuming that the military is telling the truth. They have a very bad track record for admitting mistakes.

  11. PlayItAgain00 says:

    I have been following the story of the USS Reagan sailors on Enenews dot com, and I have to give kudos to Karen Charman for doing an excellent job encapsulating what’s been going on.
    Here are some of the reported health effects the sailors are suffering from:
    * a one-year old child of a navy sailor has brain and spinal cancer
    * cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, testicles
    * skin rashes
    * excessive bleeding
    * blindness
    * weak leg muscles
    * tumors
    * leukemia
    * thyroid problems
    * and more!
    There are a dozen articles on Enenews about this. (This is NOT spam for Enenews, it’s just that it’s the only website covering this continuously that I would highly recommend.)

  12. al says:

    This is just another reason why the military should be unionized.

  13. pawan says:

    This is a high price the the soldiers must pay, they are paid to be rady to kill or die. In the battle there should be no insurance, there is good luck only.

    • JohnJ says:

      But they expect their employer to protect them as best it can. This was not a mission to protect our people from foreign invaders.

  14. esopusdave says:

    If soldiers gets hit by a bullet, the armed forces will compensate them. Radiation is a sub-microscopic bullet, but can be just as deadly.