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US Sailors Sue TEPCO And Japan Over Fukushima Exposures

Eight members of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan have sued TEPCO and the Japan government in US Federal Court. The sailors claim TEPCO  “a wholly owned public benefit subsidiary of the government of Japan,” misrepresented radiation levels to lull the U.S. Navy “into a false sense of security.”

The sailors blame TEPCO for misrepresenting the conditions during the initial disaster  “TEPCO pursued a policy to cause rescuers, including the plaintiffs, to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the FNPP [Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant] that had been damaged. Relying upon the misrepresentations regarding health and safety made by TEPCO … the U.S. Navy was lulled into a false sense of security,”

The sailors complaint also stated this: “the Japanese government kept representing that there was no danger of radiation contamination to the U.S.S. Reagan … and/or its crew, that ‘everything is under control,’ ‘all is OK, you can trust us,’ and there is ‘no immediate danger’ or threat to human life, all the while lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns at FNPP.

The complaint seems to hinge on the issues surrounding TEPCO and the Japan government who knew there were high levels of radiation yet told the Navy and the public that levels were low.

From the complaint:   “According to then-existing data uniquely known to the defendant at the time, the plaintiffs’ consequent exposure to radiation within their zone of operation, then indicated that radiation levels had already reached levels exceeding the levels of exposure to which those living the same distance from Chernobyl experienced who subsequently developed cancer,”

The sailors are asking for  $10 million in compensatory damages, $30 million in punitive damages and a fund of $100 million to pay for their medical expenses.

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