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by Michael Steinberg Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2015 at 12:50 AM

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:


March 11 marked four years since the Fukushima disaster hit the northeastern coast of Japan. But its fallout continues.

At that time the then San Diego-based aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was off Japan’s west coast, heading east.

After March 11’s earthquake, tsunami, and triple nuclear reactor meltdown, however, the nuclear powered warship was ordered back to the coast for relief work, passing through a radioactive cloud while on its way.

This past March 10, Global Research published an article about what has happened to the hundreds of sailors who were on the Reagan at the time since then.

Global Research is The Center for Research on Globalization, an “independent research and media organization” based in Montreal.

The report, by David Gutierrez, is “Fukushima Coverup: Sick Navy Sailors Class Action Lawsuit, US Government, Doctors Bury Truth About Fukushima Radiation.”

According to Global Research. San Diego attorney Paul Garner is representing 247 sailors who served on the Reagan while it was conducting its relief mission in Japan after the Fukushima disaster, and have since become sick.

Their 100 page legal complaint, filed in San Diego US District Court, is suing Fukushima’s operators and builders; Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Toshiba, Hitachi, Ebasco, and General Electric.

A 1950s US Supreme Court decision—the Feres Doctrine—bars military personnel from suing the military or federal government from injuries suffered while in the service.

Nevertheless, the sailors’ claim their illnesses have been caused by radioactive fallout they received while serving in Fukushima’s disaster zone.

According to Global Research, those diseases include, “case after case of cancer, internal bleeding, abscesses, thyroid dysfunctions, and birth defects.”

The Navy and US government respond that that the sailors couldn’t have received a high enough amount of radiation to cause these injuries.

But Global Research reports that the Fukushima tragedy was the “worst nuclear disaster in history,” and “released two times as much nuclear material as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.”

Global Research reports, “in the years since the Fukushima disaster at least 500 Reagan sailors have become ill.” But many have not joined the lawsuit,because a number of those who did have did have been subjected to harassment and intimidation.

One of these sailors, ‘initial plaintiff” in the lawsuit, Lindsay Cooper, who went public, “”has already been mocked by atomic energy experts on CNN and by conservative radio hosts. Others are afraid of being perceived as anti-military or un-American,” according to Global Research.

Another Reagan sailor plaintiff who has spoken out is Lt. Steve Simmons,

Global Research reports. Simmons, “once a triathlon athlete, fell ill after returning from Japan, suffering hair loss, muscle wasting, migraines, bloody discharges and incontinence. His fingers turned yellow, even brown. His feet turned dark red. He suffers from whole-body spasms and must use wheel chairs.

“Personnel, diplomatic and economic interests are all at stake,” Simmons commented.

“They are leaving us alone,” he continued. They’re closing their eyes, keeping quiet and waiting for it to blow over. There are sick soldiers everywhere, many in the hospital in San Diego, and in the medical center in Hawaii. They’re ordinary folks who are poorly insured, with family and kids. Loyal and scattered. Most of them don’t know how to react. Those who raise their voices are denounced on the Internet for being unpatriotic. You have to put up with a lot.”

But Fukushima’s fallout blew far beyond Japan. It’s airborne radiation reached the west coast of North America within a week.

Has it done us any harm?

The Radiation and Public Health Project ( thinks so. This organization of scientists, physicians and concerned citizens has produced a series of post Fukushima studies that have implicated Fukushima fallout in increases in US total deaths, infant mortality and childhood thyroid disorders, especially along the west coast.

The RPHP’s latest study, published this March, deals with birth defects.

The study, “Changes in Congenital Anomaly Incidence in West Coast and Pacific States (USA) after Arrival of Fukushima Fallout,” appeared March 19 in the Open Journal of Pediatrics. RPHP researchers Joseph Mangano and Jannette Sherman are its authors.

The study cites Environmental Protection Agency measurements of airborne radiation during a 47 day period when the highest amounts of

Fukushima fallout hit the US. Fukushima blew on March 11, 2011, and the EPA testing was March 15-April 30.

The study’s authors report “over this period well over 1000 samples with detectable concentrations (of radiation) were taken at over 100 stations” around the country.

In California those sampling stations were in San Diego, San Francisco, LA, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Fresno, Richmond, Eureka, Sacramento, Riverside, and San Bernardino.

And “the most elevated levels of environmental radiation after Fukushima occured in states bounding on the Pacific Ocean: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska.

The researchers then compared the rates of five kinds of birth defects that occurred in these states during the months of April to November 2011 to the rates for the same period in 2010.

The five birth defects studied included Cleft Lip Palate, Downs Syndrome, and Spinabifida.

The study authors “included births conceived in September-December 2010, meaning they were in the 3rd-6th month in utero when Fukushima occurred.”

In describing the study, the authors state, “The particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation exposure, and the ability of radioisotopes to attach to cells, tissues and DNA raise the question of whether fetuses/newborns with birth defects suffered greater exposures after the period after the meltdown.”

This study concludes that they did.

“The birth defect rate for all five defects increased 13% in the five Pacific Ocean states for births from April-November (2011)”, compared to that period the year before.

The actual number of birth defect cases rose from 600 to 677.

For the other 45 states and Washington DC, the birth defect rate for those five anomalies actually decreased 3.77%.

And the actual number of cases fell, from 4378 to 4180.

In addition, the birth defect rate for each of the Pacific states increased.

The study notes, “Only the California increase achieved statistical significance.”

That increase was 11.88%

Sources: Journal of Open Pediatrics

Radiation and Public Health Project

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