US Sailors from Radioactive USS Ronald Reagan Sue TEPCO – Updated

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A local resident asks: “What is this ship doing sitting in San Diego? Does anyone have radiation readings from this ship?” Good question.

Read Harvey Wasserman’s Jan. 12, 2014 update on this developing story: Toll of U.S. Sailors Devastated by Fukushima Radiation Continues to Climb


San Diego’s Radioactive Nuclear-Powered Supercarrier
It’s easy to see from any highrise hotel in trendy downtown San Diego. There it is, moored across the bay in its home port at Coronado Island. The USS Ronald Reagan is a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered so-called ‘super(aircraft)carrier’ that sailed into the cloud of deadly radioactive emissions spewing from the earthquake/tsunami, triple melt-down, multiple-explosion Fukushima nuclear power plant to provide relief to the devastated Japanese population in March of 2011, allegedly without its commanders being aware of the major radiological risks to its crew members. Now it is permanently radioactive and – so charge attorneys representing at least 51 USS Reagan sailors and Marines – are many exposed members of its ship’s company and related military and contractor personnel.

As one outraged reader comments,

“Why has this not made national headlines??? The Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan is nuclear powered. Radiation detection equipment did not pick up on this?? Why have these sailors and marines medical records been removed from permanent tracking? Criminal implications galore.”


Who’s Accountable?
Attorneys for the growing list of enlisted plaintiffs, who are suffering from proliferating serious health effects as a result of their radioactive fallout exposure during the US Navy’s Fukushima relief efforts, say the ultimate responsibility lies with TEPCO, the nuclear plant operator. They charge TEPCO officials withheld accurate and timely radioactive emissions data from both the Japanese government and the US military command. This charge is also made by Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (DPJ), who is still blamed by many in Japan for making bad critical choices in the immediate emergency hours. Kan has acknowledged in recent public presentations that he believes he was given inaccurate information downplaying the seriousness of the actual situation by TEPCO as he and his staff struggled to make responsible decisions during chaotic early stages of the still on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Command decisions are only as good as the accuracy of the incoming information on which they are based, argues Cabral Bonner, an attorney for the military plaintiffs in the complaint heard in San Diego’s Edward J. Schwartz Courthouse, by Judge Janis L. Sammartino, Nov. 19, 2013. “Was TEPCO providing even their own government with proper information? No. So we can assume that the decisions that are going to be made by the men and women in control of the ship will be only as good as the information they’re provided with.”

Co-Counsel Attornys Charles Bonner (l) and Paul Garner (r) with US Navy client Lindsay Cooper (c) outside the San Diego Courthouse, Nov. 19, 2013 - EON photo

Co-Counsel Paul Garner points out that the so-called Ferris Doctrine prohibits enlistees from suing the military for injuries sustained in the line of duty. But in this case, Garner says, even if they could sue the military, they wouldn’t, because the fault lies with TEPCO. “The military is not responsible for the victimization of these people,” Garner says. “It’s the Tokyo Electric Power Company people.”

“We’re suing this foreign corporation because they are doing business in America,” say Co-Counsel Charles Bonner. “Their second largest office outside of Tokyo is in Washington, D.C.. This foreign corporation caused harm to American rescuers, and they did it in ways that give rise to jurisdiction here in this country.”

“The irony out of all of this,” says attorney Garner, “is that the Tokyo Electric Power Company gets money infused to it from the Japanese government. The Japanese government is a major shareholder in this foreign corporation. And TEPCO had the largest return from the bailout money that they got in their history…more money in the last quarter than they ever made before.”

“At first we wanted to point the blame on the commanders of the ship,” says Lindsay Cooper, a young mother who spent days on deck exposed to radiation as she controlled landing and take-offs of helicopters delivering relief supplies, and is now experiencing serious negative health effects. “But we were completely ignorant of the fact that they didn’t know either, that we were literally running for our lives from this radiation.”

For an enlightening historical look at the U.S. military’s record of exposing its personnel to nuclear radiation, please see:
Experimental Animals – ( Why Atomic Vets Nix Nukes )
A Documentary by Michael Porter
Uploaded to EON’s YouTube channel on Feb 24, 2009, Animals has had 6,587 views to date, with more visits in recent days.

EON is proud to host-post another important documentary by the Academy Award-winning team Vivienne Verdon-Roe and Michael Porter. Their 1994 expose’ tells the currently relevant story of the U.S. soldiers and sailors who were used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS in America’s quest for nuclear dominance…and were then denied health care. A major voice in the film – directed and edited by Porter, produced and narrated by Verdon-Roe – is former Navy seaman Anthony Guarisco, founder of the INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF ATOMIC VETERANS, c/o Vincent L. Guarisco, 5312 Covina Rd., Bullhead, AZ. 86426
To contact the filmmakers:
For updates on Anthony and his wife Mary, here are two recent articles by their son, journalist Vincent Guarisco
Never Forget The Lessons Of Yesterday For The Sake Of Tomorrow
By Vincent Guarisco…
Honoring Two Activist Parents
By Vincent L. Guarisco…

Arinie Gundersen’s report The Atomic Sailors

For other coverage of this story see here and here and here.

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