Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sailor who served on USS Ronald Reagan dies after radiation exposure


(NaturalNews) The first death has occurred among US Navy sailors who were exposed to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, news outlets reported on June 11.

In March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan. At the time, the Navy vessel USS Ronald Reagan was on maneuvers off the Korean Peninsula. The Reagan is considered one of the newest and most technically sophisticated nuclear-powered supercarriers in the entire naval fleet.

Sailors exposed to radiation for days

When the disasters hit, the Reagan was redirected for Japan to provide emergency aid.

"[B]efore the USS Ronald Reagan and Carrier Strike Group 7 arrived 2 miles off the coast, Fukushima Unit 1 blew up," reads a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the radiation-exposed sailors. "Then Unit 3 exploded, releasing plumes of hydrogen gases migrating through a shared vent, which destroyed the containment building at Unit 4, exposing the spent fuel pool to the air. Unit 2 followed suit."

Sailors who were on the flight deck at the time reported that they felt a warm gust of air followed abruptly by a snowstorm - the result of radioactive steam escaping from the plant. Yet the ship was not ordered to change its position for another two days, after "three helicopter aircrews returning to USS Ronald Reagan after conducting disaster relief missions near Sendai identified [measurable] levels of radioactivity on 17 air crew members," the lawsuit reads.
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