Eight U.S. Navy sailors have filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for not disclosing to them the full extent of the situation and the risks involved as they were assisting in rescue efforts related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.
The eight sailors were part of the more than 5,500 crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan who were part of “Operation Tomodachi”, a relief effort in 2011 that sent the sailors near the tsunami-ravaged coast of Japan. According to the lawsuit filed in a Federal Court in San Diego, California, TEPCO, who owns the Fukushima reactors, misrepresented the radiation levels to lull the sailors into a false sense of security and rush into an unsafe area too close to the damaged nuclear plant. The plaintiffs also alleged that the Japanese government conspired with TEPCO, knowing that the information given out was incomplete and defective. The sailors are demanding $10 million U.S. dollars for compensatory damages, $30 million U.S. dollars in punitive damages for fraud and negligence, as well as a $100 million fund for future medical expenses arising from the alleged radiation exposure.
Some people, however, hold a different opinion. The USS Ronald Reagan was supposedly docked 100 miles away from the plant, which is far beyond the evacuation distance recommended not only by Japan but by the U.S. government as well. Some media reported that the amount of radiation that the sailors were exposed to was less than that received from a month of exposure to background radiation from the sun.
[ via RT ]
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