Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fukushima's sting: cancer diagnoses among US sailors

Remember how our valiant Navy seamen took part in the Fukushima rescue mission after the tsunami caused a nuclear disaster? (You may have forgotten; the American news media did.)

The sailors were stationed aboard the USS Ronald Reagan as they performed their rescue duties. Now, many are being diagnosed with various forms of cancer. (Bolding ahead is mine.)
Crew members, many of whom are in their 20s, have been diagnosed with conditions including thyroid cancer, testicular cancer and leukemia. The Department of Defense says the Navy took "proactive measures" in order to "mitigate the levels of Fukushima-related contamination on U.S. Navy ships and aircraft” and that crew members were not exposed to dangerous radiation levels.
Charles Bonner, attorney for the sailors, says the radiation the USS Ronald Reagan crew was exposed to extended beyond the tasks of Operation Tomodachi. Deployed ships desalinate their own water, so crew members were unknowingly drinking, cooking with, and bathing in contaminated water due to the ship's close proximity to the disaster site, according to Bonner. The USS Reagan was ultimately informed of the contamination after a month of living approximately 10 miles offshore from the affected region.
I had to find out about this through Al Jazeera because the American media are beholden to industries that make zillions of dollars from nuclear energy. Therefore, one mustn't say anything bad about nuclear energy -- even after a disaster like Fukushima. It would be a mortal sin to talk about it. Shhhhhhh.