“The thyroid cancers in Japan now are 40 times higher than normal —
40 times higher in three years!”
“Now Japan has passed a Secrecy Law that will put people in jail for
ten years if they talk about what happened at Fukushima,
if they talk about the meltdowns.”
- Charles Bonner, Lead Atty., USS Reagan Class Action Lawsuit
March 27, 2014 San Diego, California - As attorney Charles Bonner has pointed out, Japan's TEPCO power utility in 2014 is finally admitting that it “significantly undercounted radiation levels” since the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami disaster and core meltdowns of three nuclear power reactors in Fukushima. Two of the most dangerous radioactive substances that spewed into the air and water from Japan's Fukushima TEPCO plant are strontium-90 and cesium-137. See “How Cesium and Strontium-90 Can Kill Children and Adults Fairly Quickly” in Websites below.
Bloomberg News, February 25, 2014.
Strontium-90 is a radioactive isotope of strontium produced by nuclear fission that has a chemical half-life of about 29 years. It is very dangerous in living bodies where its metabolism is complex and its half-life in bone, blood and tissues is about 18 years. Strontium-90 is present in significant amounts in spent nuclear fuel, in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors and in nuclear fallout from nuclear tests. Strontium-90 is called a “bone seeker” because its biochemical behavior is similar to calcium. After strontium-90 enters bodies in irradiated food or water, about 75% is excreted. Virtually all of the remaining strontium-90 is deposited in bones, bone marrow and some blood and soft tissues. The consequence is likely to be leukemia or cancer in bones and tissues near bones.
Cesium-137 is formed by the nuclear fission of uranium-235 in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Cesium-137 is highly soluble in water and can end up in everything that humans and animals are eating and drinking. After ingestion, cesium-137 moves easily throughout entire bodies, but tends to concentrate in soft tissues. The biological half-life of cesium-137 is about two months. So depending upon dose, cesium-137 can kill in as short a time as a month — or have survivors a year or more later.
Now in 2014, only three years after the reactor meltdowns at TEPCO's Fukushima plant that released massive quantities of radiation into the air and water, medical authorities in Fukushima are reporting 40 times the number of thyroid cancer cases in local children and young adults.
The Guardian, Sunday, March 9, 2014.
Interview continues with Charles Bonner, Attorney:
Play MP3 interview.
Charles Bonner, Attorney, Bonner and Bonner, Lead Attorney in USS Reagan Class Action Lawsuit, Sausalito, California: “MR. BONNER, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CESIUM-137 — STRONTIUM-90, WHICH IS A BONE SEEKER — OTHER RADIOACTIVE PARTICLES. IF IN MARCH 11, 2011, GOING FORWARD BEFORE THE USS REAGAN KNEW THAT EVEN 100 MILES FROM SHORE THEY WERE GETTING 30 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF WHAT WOULD BE NORMAL RADIATION, IT MEANS THAT THE JAPANESE CITIZENS AND CHILDREN WHO WERE THERE ON MARCH 11TH GOING FORWARD MUST HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF RADIATION FOR AWHILE. THAT MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY MEDICAL AUTHORITIES ARE SAYING THERE IS A SPIKE IN THYROID CANCERS AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE IN JAPAN NOW.
Absolutely! The thyroid cancers in Japan now are 40 times higher than normal. 40 times higher in three years! That is just common sense logic that this spike is caused by exposure to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns.
The manager of that TEPCO plant, who was out there trying to coordinate the containment of this disaster has now died of cancer, again within three years.
[ Howe Editor's Note: Masao Yoshida, Manager, TEPCO nuclear power plant, died on July 9, 2013, at age 58, who stayed with fifty of his workers after the March 11, 2011, catastrophe.
Masao Yoshida, Manager, TEPCO nuclear power plant,
Fukushima, Japan. Died on July 9, 2013, at age 58, from cancer
diagnosed eight months after his valiant efforts to control the
nuclear reactors when Units 1, 2 and 3 went into meltdowns
soon after the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami disaster.
On March 12, 2011, a day after the tsunami, Yoshida ignored an order from TEPCO headquarters to stop pumping seawater into a reactor to try and cool it. TEPCO was worried that ocean water would corrode the equipment. Masao Yoshida was more worried about what uncontrolled radiation was doing to his plant workers and the surrounding community. TEPCO even announced it would penalize Yoshida.
The “Fukushima Fifty” risked their lives to bring the damaged nuclear power reactors under control, but Units 1, 2 and 3 melted down without sufficient cooling water. Eight months later at the end of November 2011, Mr. Yoshida entered a hospital, was diagnosed with cancer and resigned from TEPCO.]
Another thing that was devastating for the sailors — the prevailing wind over the tsunami was blowing right out to sea. It was blowing right on to the American military. So the American military caught the brunt, the massive dosage of radiation of unknown measurements. When the sailors finally discovered that the radiation was much higher was when the helicopters were returning back to the USS Reagan and the helicopters were contaminated. The engines were contaminated. So the sailors were taking those engines off, putting those engines into bags so radiation would not be released, putting new engines on the helicopters and sending those helicopters back over, still not knowing the true levels of radiation.
Warm Radiation Plume Wafts Through Snowfall
One night it was about 20 degrees F. and it was snowing. The sailors are on the deck and one of our sailors, who is female said, 'We felt this warm wave come over us and we all thought, 'Now, that is unusual because it's 20 degrees and it's snowing.' Then we had this metallic taste in our mouths. Then the ship intercom announced, 'Do not use the water. The water supply is contaminated with radiation.'
One sailor had been told to go up to the top of the ship to take down the American flag. He went up, took the American flag down, folded it up in the kind of triangle way that they usually fold it up, the flag, and then put it under his arm and went all the way down to the bottom of the ship to store it. By the time he reached the bottom of the ship, his whole left side where the flag was had become inflamed. They immediately stripped his clothes off, hosed him down, washed him down with soap. He is naked there in front of all the sailors, men and women, because it became an extreme emergency. Then 17 other sailors were immediately scrubbed down.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAN SO FAR WHO CARRIED THE FLAG?
He had to be discharged, he and his wife. He ended up marrying a young lady on the ship. They both had to be discharged for medical reasons. She developed major leukemias, uterine cancers, uncontrolled uterine bleeding, and they both received a medical discharge.
March 2014 - TEPCO Still
Releasing Radioactive Water
And as we speak right now, TEPCO is still releasing 300 tons of irradiated water into the Pacific Ocean and they have been releasing that continuously since March 11, 2011, and there is no let up because they are still in a meltdown status and they don't have any place to put this water. So they are releasing it into the ocean. They have tanks — they rapidly built tanks to try to store the water that is coming off the reactors. Once they cool it down, they have to dispose of this used irradiated water and they don't have more tanks to store it so they are releasing it into the Pacific Ocean.
So in addition, debris mass the size of the state of Texas is now floating towards the West Coast of California and Oregon and Washington and Alaska, is due to hit in July of this 2014 year.
To Reach Attorney Charles Bonner
to Join Class-Action Lawsuit
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR FROM PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN ON THE USS REAGAN AND HAVEN'T COME FORWARD YET?
Any sailor or marine that was exposed — even if the person has not come down with an illness, but yet has a fear that they will — they have a claim and they should contact us. They should contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or they can also call my cell phone number, which is: 415-601-0268.
Class-Action Lawsuit Goal: Medical Fund
for Injured USS Reagan Sailors
We want TEPCO, the responsible party here to establish a fund to take care of these sailors who are injured and to take care of their children and to take care of their offspring. This fund should be extended out at least 70 to 100 years because it is going to take that long for these radioactive particles to ultimately dissipate. As long as they are there in the bodies of these sailors, they will be in their genes and they are going to cause injuries.
These young sailors are too sick. They can't go to Japan to litigate this case. Now Japan has passed a Secrecy Law that will put people in jail for ten years if they talk about what happened at Fukushima, if they talk about the meltdowns. Even the Japanese government's commission that investigated this disaster concluded this was a man-made disaster caused by the managers of TEPCO, who refused to take the appropriate precautionary measures to prevent these meltdowns.
For example, TEPCO was told they had to have a protection from a tsunami that could be 10 meters high, that's 10 yards high (33 feet). And TEPCO ignored that! They said, ‘That's impossible, that's never going to happen.’
When in fact, this particular (March 11, 2011) tsunami was 14 yards or meters high (46 feet)! The U. S. Navy was not prepared to go in and fight radiation. They were prepared to go in and provide humanitarian relief and that's what they did. That's why TEPCO is liable. They have a headquarters in Washington, D. C. They have investors in their company from America. They have a corporation in California. And that's why we have filed this lawsuit in San Diego Federal Court because the USS Reagan is docked in San Diego, California, and many of the sailors are stationed there in San Diego from the USS Reagan.
So we have filed a lawsuit there and TEPCO has been fighting us in court trying to get the case removed over to Tokyo.
SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN NEXT IN TERMS OF YOUR PROJECTED PLAN FOR LEGAL ACTION?
Well, I suspect that in July when this case goes back before the judge that she is going to rule that this case will stay in federal court and that she will appoint a mediator, a magistrate, federal judge to oversee the resolution of this case — the establishing of a fund to take care of the medical needs of these young sailors. It's not fair for these sailors to go to the Veterans Hospital to deal with these illnesses. It's not fair for the taxpayers of the United States to pay for the injuries of these sailors and their children and their offspring for the next 100 years when it's TEPCO, this for-profit, multi-trillion-dollars corporation that is the entity that caused the injury.
So, we have to make sure that they step up to the plate and take responsibility. I fully expect the courts to require this case to go to some kind of mediation. Otherwise, we'll go to trial. We'll then seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. We've sued for $1 billion. If we have to go to trial, that number will increase.
IF JAPAN HAS GONE SO FAR AS TO MAKE A SECRECY LAW AND ANYONE IN JAPAN WHO TALKS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT FUKUSHIMA CAN BE JAILED OR PUNISHED IN SOME WAY, HOW DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO FEND OFF THE JAPANESE TEPCO EFFORTS TO TRY TO GET YOU AND THE CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT INTO JAPAN VERSUS THE UNITED STATES?
Well, it is true they have this Secrecy Law that will put anyone in jail for 10 years who speak about Fukushima. But we already have the admissions to prove the case. We have admissions from TEPCO now admitting they made an error by a factor of 10. They now are admitting that they were not prepared for this disaster. The Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the disaster has admitted as recently as December 14, 2013, that he had just learned for the first time that the meltdown occurred not on March 12, 2011, the following day as TEPCO had represented. But instead had occurred within 4 hours following the earthquake and that TEPCO had deliberately concealed this information from him.
Now this is the ruler of Japan who is admitting that TEPCO concealed important information from him. And he also indicated he had to fly over the nuclear power plant himself because TEPCO was not allowing him to get accurate information to talk directly to the people at the power plant.
So, if TEPCO will conceal information from the Prime Minister, you know they will conceal it from the United States Navy! And they did. They concealed it from the public and the Navy.
LET'S SAY THAT WHATEVER TEPCO RESPONDS NOW IN MARCH THAT YOU WILL BE IN THAT COURT IN SAN DIEGO IN JULY. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN THEN?
I want to see the federal court rule that this case will stay in the court in San Diego and will move forward. And I want the judge to grant my request that this case be assigned to a magistrate judge for all purposes. And that this case then goes to a magistrate judge who then sets up a commission to assess the damage, the injury to these young sailors. And then quantifies an amount of money that will be reasonable to take care of their medical needs.”
March 2014 Fukushima Workers
Protest Against TEPCO
On Friday, March 14, 2014, workers at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant,
where its melted core is highly radioactive, raised their fists to
protest having to work in such dangerous conditions for low pay.
While attorney Charles Bonner is trying to get medical help for the American sailors and marines exposed to high radiation levels three years ago on the USS Reagan, this month on March 14th, about a hundred workers from TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the first to melt down, protested with fists in the air aimed at TEPCO's headquarters. One of the workers told Japan Times, “Workers are forced to handle contaminated water in such grim working conditions, where any human being should not be put to work. They tend to make easy mistakes under the pressure, but it's not they who are at fault — it's the conditions that force them to do terrible tasks.”
Several thousand people, even some homeless, have been hired by TEPCO at low wages to cope with the never-ending immense quantities of radioactive waste water coming from cooling the reactor cores. Until the highly radioactive reactor cores in Units 1, 2 and 3 are dismantled, the Fukushima plant is dangerous not only to the workers, but to everyone around the region. But that dismantling process has not even started yet and will take years to accomplish. So, Fukushima is like a slow motion car crash that will be dangerous to the world around it for many more decades. What happens if another large earthquake rips into northeastern Japan again before those highly radioactive melted cores have been removed?
For further information about 3/11/11 Fukushima catastrophe, please see reports below from the Earthfiles Archive.
• 09/04/2013 — Update September 4, 2013: Japanese Government Will Spend $470 Million On Underground Ice Wall by March 2015, to Stop Radioactive Leaks. TEPCO's Leaking Storage Tanks Still Out of Control.
• 04/08/2012 — Part 2: Fukushima Cesium-137 Danger Is Greater Than Chernobyl
• 03/30/2012 — Japan Is Burning Radioactive Debris Until 2014
• 09/30/2011 — Japan's 3/11 Radiation Refugees
• 06/06/2011 — Where is Plutonium-MOX Nuclear Reactor Fuel Ejected from Fukushima Unit 3?
• 03/18/2011 — Water Cannons, Fire Trucks and Tons of Helicopter-Lifted Water Have Not Stopped Heating in Fukushima Reactors
• 03/15/2011 — Japan Seismic Agency Says Strong Chance of 7.0 Aftershocks. Pattern of Quakes Headed Toward Tokyo
• 03/14/2011 — Three Japan Damaged Nuclear Reactor Fuel Rods “Melting”?