USS Reagan update and an interview with a dying sailor

Earlier this year the Asia-Pacific Journal published a detailed report called Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty, which amongst other things shows clear evidence, from the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that the USS Ronald Reagan and its Carrier Fleet were exposed to levels of radiation that were 30 times greater than normal (and by the way, ‘normal’ is worldwide elevated levels of radiation as a result of decades of atom bomb tests and nuclear disasters like Chernobyl). In response to a request from Congress, this month the US Navy published its own report, which, of course, says stuff like this:

The estimated radiation doses for all individuals in the Operation Tomodachi registry, including sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan, were very small and well below levels associated with adverse medical conditions.

‘Operation Tomodachi’ (‘Friendship’) was a humanitarian relief effort carried out by the US Navy, in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It put the USS Reagan and part of its carrier fleet right by the Fukushima Daaiichi nuclear power plant, just as it was blowing-up and melting down. The sailors, marines and airmen on these US warships (some 12,000 in total) received large doses of radiation, and many of them are now sick and dying. This makes the following video clip absolutely heart breaking to watch. It was shot at the time, onboard the USS Reagan. All doors leading to the flight deck were sealed, except for the one shown in this clip, where they were testing the sailors for radiation exposure as they came down from the deck (you can hear the warning beeps from the geiger counters they were using)…

(The above clip is an excerpt. The original video can be found here. If you want to verify the authenticity of the above clip, look at the other videos this YouTube user has put up)

The sailors shooting this video are laughing and joking, because little did they know at the time that some of the sailors shown in the clip are dead people walking. A group of these sailors, who have since become ill, are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima plant, for $1 billion. At the time of writing, there are 112 sailors in this lawsuit, with more joining all the time. Sadly, the first of these sailors died in April. His name was Theodore Holcomb and he was 38 years old. He died from a rare form of heart cancer (here). Another sailor in the lawsuit, Steve Simmons, was recently interviewed by Libbe HaLevy on her Nuclear Hotseat blog. Simmons is very ill at the moment, and once again this is heart breaking stuff…

(the original interview can be found here)

The depressing thing about all this is not only are the US Navy trying to cover it up, and the mainstream media won’t touch the story, it’s the fact that these sailors are getting sick and dying just three years after the event. How many more will die over the coming years? because of course it can take decades for these cancers to develop.

My previous post about the sailors’ lawsuit gives much greater detail about the background to it all.

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One Response to USS Reagan update and an interview with a dying sailor

  1. Breanna says:

    Thank you for linking my video on YouTube but you did not ask permission to use it in an article.

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