Friday, December 28, 2012

Lawsuit by US Sailors Against TEPCO: "Goshi Hosono,You Lied!"


It's very interesting to see the reaction of the Japanese people on Twitter. I'd say the overwhelming majority is highly approving of the US sailors (they were not the helicopter pilots who were actually contaminated with radiation), buying all their arguments and sympathizing with them, particularly with the female sailor who was pregnant at that time.

(What was she doing on a nuclear aircraft carrier, pregnant?)

Anyway, the court paper filed on December 21, 2012 is here, for those who are interested. I'm skimming through it right now. So far, very flimsy.

One of their basis that the TEPCO/Japanese government (they use them interchangeably) lied to them was no other than Goshi Hosono, then a personal advisor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Page 21 of the court document says (emphasis is mine):

94. Upon information and belief, as a further direct and proximate result of Defendant's negligence, Plaintiffs have been and will be required to undergo further medical testing, evaluation and medical procedures, including but not limiting to chelation therapy and bone marrow transplants in an effort to seek cure, and will be required to employ extraordinary means to achieve cure.

95. As a further direct and proximate result of Defendant's negligence, the Plantiffs incurred losses and damages for personal injury and property damage, loss of use and enjoyment of life and their property, the need for periodic medical examination and treatment, and economic losses, including wage loss, and the expenditure of time and money, and will continue to incur losses and damages in the future.

96. Plaintiffs also face additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.

97. Solely as the result of the defendant's negligence, carelessness and recklessness, the Plaintiffs, were caused to suffer severe and serious personal injuries to mind and body, and further, that the Plaintiffs were subjected to great physical pain and mental anguish.


Mr. Paul C Garner, who represents the Plaintiffs, seems to be an attorney from New York, specializing in "General Litigation; Corporate Law; Negligence Law; Medical Malpractice; Wills, Estates and Trusts; International Corporate; Entertainment Law; Business Law; Civil Practice; Environmental Law; Asbestos Litigation; Real Estate" (from Martindale.com)

USS Ronald Reagan's Facebook post on that day (Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 11:52pm, probably the US time) by Commanding Officer Captain Thom Burke says (emphasis is mine):

Friends and Family of USS Ronald Reagan:

I want to take this opportunity to personally assure you that first and foremost all personnel aboard the USS Ronald Reagan are safe and healthy.

During our mission to assist our close allies of Japan, we were operating near the radioactive plume from Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant. As you may have already heard, radioactivity was detected on 17 personnel from our ship, however, we promptly took the proper precautions and the radioactivity was easily removed by using soap and water. The levels that were detected were very low levels. To put this into perspective, the maximum radiation dose received was equalt to the amount of natural background radiation one would receive in one month from sources such as rocks, soil and the sun.

Ronald Reagan has since repositioned away from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

As a nuclear-powered aircraft carrrier, we have extensive technical expertise onboard to properly monitor such types of risks, and if necessary, rapidly resolve the situation.

We have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure that everyone is safe. We have closely monitored spaces, evaluated everyone who has flown or worked on the flight deck and cleaned the aircraft.

I have not seen any levels of radiation or contamination that would cause me to have any significant concerns at all.

As we continue to assist Japan in this terrible catastrophe, our Sailor's--and your loves ones'-- safety will remain at the top of my priority list.

Capt. Thom Burke


The Japanese would take this as confirmation to their belief that all officials "lie".

All I can think of is how many bento would this money could buy for Futaba-machi evacuees in that abandoned high school building in Saitama. They could build a mansion for each and every one of them. Many of them, just like Mayor Idogawa, were there in Futaba-machi when Reactor 1 blew up and shiny, white particles were falling on them from the sky.

(H/T anon reader for USS Ronald Reagan's Facebook post)

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

"All I can think of is how many bento would this money could buy for Futaba-machi evacuees in that abandoned high school building in Saitama. "

The Futabamachi evacuees should also file lawsuits!

The courts are supposed to be there to dispense justice in cases like this, where the powerful criminals are made to pay for their crimes. The sailors deserve compensation, the evacuees deserve compensation, and perhaps everyone in Kanto and Tohoku deserve compensation. Yes, in the end we may be paying each other through higher taxes. However, monetization of the losses is the only way the public, the government and the nuclear industry can be held accountable for the externalities of nuclear power.

If TEPCO and the Japanese government had learned the lesson - that there is no future in nuclear power - then perhaps some litigants could forgive. However the Japanese in-your-face insults, like electing the LDP, naming Ishihara as minister of environment, and TEPCO preparing to restart its other nukes are clear demonstration that they have no intention of making things right by their victims.

Sue I say! Sue until they are all bankrupt.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tweet.

To be honest I always have difficulties to imagine something like, 'equalt to the amount of natural background radiation one would receive in one month from sources such as rocks, soil and the sun' .

So lets try to convert this fluffy text to some numbers... According to Wiki ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_radiation ) in one year in the US you will be exposed to
2.28 mSv from inhaling
0.21 mSv from terrestrial ground
0.33 mSv from cosmic sources

One big question is, did he include inhaling in his calculation? For the beginning I will include this value, based on the argument that the main exposure form inhaling should be Radon, which 'originates' from rocks.

If we sum up these values and then divide by 12 we get 235 uSv/month (=0.235 mSv/month).

Thus the maximum exposure of each of these 17 sailors has been around 235 uSv.

The exposure probably occurred during less than 12h, but we have no information whether the personnel was exposed only shortly, e.g. passing through a 'hotter' cloud. So they were exposed to something between ~20 uSv/h (over 12h) up to maybe 40 uSv/h (over 6h) or a maximum of 235 uSv/h (if only for 1h).

Anyway, I think 235 uSv are quite little compared to what the general population in the Kanto area received during the first few weeks.....

Even though the exposure was quite limited and despite the fact that the Japanese tax-payer will have to pay any fine, I wish them luck with their law suite. It would be so important for NPP operators and politicians to know, that they will be held accountable personally. (I know, a dream)

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the sailors wearing masks to prevent inhaling radiation particles? Also, bone marrow transplants--are any of the sailors showing blood diseases from their service in the disaster? One video did show dosimeters alarming on board the US Ronald Reagan. What about the US bases and citizens\/families deployed to Japan? Some figures would be good, data points. Would help in Japan too.

Anonymous said...

The point is not the external dose, but particles ingested from the plume. It is well known that a single alpha emitting nano-particle of plutonium can cause a deadly cancer, for example...

Anonymous said...

I thought Tamplin's plutonium hot particle theory had been long busted.

Anonymous said...

Unless the Captain told a boldfaced lie on facebook the premise of the lawsuit is totally ridiculous. It sounds like a standard over-exaggerated "slip and fall" suit. First and foremost TEPCO didn't deploy the USS Reagan the US president did, second off the US military doesn't rely solely on foreign nations (or businesses) for accurate environmental intelligence during an emergency. A nuclear powered ACC has the ability to accurately detect and quantify minute radiation fields inside and outside the vessel. They have this capacity to insure the ship isn't releasing an easily detectable radiation signature and to fight under NBC conditions. I'm also pretty sure TEPCO didn't personally "lie" to the crew members. I was in the military and I don't remember anybody especially foreign officials ever asking my opinion or offering any actionable assurances on any of my deployments, "not safe" is part of active deployment. If your commanding officer considers your area of operation safe then you are safe until otherwise notified regardless of the facts on the ground.

These people can't sue the US government so they are taking a wild shot at Japan. Unless they have some earthshaking indisputable new facts they'll be settling out of court for an undisclosed sum if they are lucky.

Anonymous said...

Presumably a shut up and die already was as far as it went in the USA.

Anonymous said...

If i lived downwind and wave i would as a State be suing the Federal Government over the proliferation of restricted materials to unstable feckless gamblers who cannot by any rational premise have the collateral.

Anonymous said...

The truth of which is self-evident to all impartial witnesses.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Captain didn't measure the crews exposure level on the banana scale "less exposure than eating 1500 bananas in 12 seconds".

As for "a shut up and die already" that goes without saying as soon as you join the service. In the US you are bound by Sovereign Immunity you can't sue the government unless they allow you to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity_in_the_United_States

In addition Feres v. United States "bars service members from collecting damages from the United States Government for personal injuries experienced in the performance of their duties."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feres_v._United_States

There is also the principle of Foreign Sovereign Immunity.

"Sovereign Immunity has long been the norm in U.S. courts. In an early case, the Supreme Court held that a private party could not sue the government of France. In that case, The Schooner Exchange v. M'Faddon, 11 U.S. 116 (1812), the Supreme Court concluded that a plaintiff cannot sue a foreign sovereign claiming ownership to a war ship which had taken refuge in Philadelphia. Relying on common law principles, U.S. courts routinely refused to hear claims against foreign governments, even where those claims related to commercial activities. In addition, courts generally relied on suggestions of immunity filed by the U.S. State Department in actions against foreign sovereigns."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Sovereign_Immunities_Act

Anonymous said...

After reading the complaint, it sounds to me more like a suit designed to make a point against the use of nuclear power in general than to actually claim damages.

From what one can deduct from the document itself, obviously without having seen any evidence, it 1. is weak in terms of damages experienced, putting in question the paintiffs' right to sue for compensation; 2. has at it's basis the hotly debated and probably impossible to proof issue of how much radiation exposure causes what/how much damage; and 3. is based on the equally difficult to proof assertion that TEPCO knew or should have known the actual amount of radiation released and should have notified the public. The latter being interesting since, I assume, TEPCO's only legal obligation was to notify the Japanese government, thereby bringing into focus what the Japanese government knew.

A complicating factor for the plaintiffs to proof their loss of enjoyment of life and property, i.e., damages, might be that they all worked on a nuclear carrier, meaning they work with or around radioactive material and probably not only had special training in that regard, but were also willing to accept a certain amount of risk in that respect.

The easier to proof basis for their claim of design and/or maintenance failures (intake pumps and generators inadequately protected, earthquake safety inadequately ensured, etc.) probably won't help all that much in light of the foregoing, I'm guessing.

If the plaintiffs were to be successful to any degree - and we all can only hope so as a matter of principle -, it could certainly have interesting ramifications on the nuclear industry as a whole. Of course, this lawsuit can just as easily backfire if unsuccessful: It would set precedence for NPP providers to be pretty much safe from liability claims, even in the face of negligence.

Lets all keep our fingers crossed.
*mscharisma*

Nancy said...

The sailors are suing TEPCO and GoJ because they can't sue the US govt and fighting this through the Veterans administration would be a very long battle. The US govt has not been kind to the previous generations of Atomic Veterans. This suit is also in US court, not Japanese court so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

The radiation levels on the Reagan are in the NRC FOIA documents. The levels ARE above background and officials express some concern about exposure and thyroid damage. The levels were elevated but not crazy high. So the issue of exposure may come down to any testing the individuals had done as they were monitored.

The US apparently had no clue as of March 13 exactly how bad things were at Daiichi and they were being lied to about the severity by the Japanese govt. The elevated levels on the Reagan that was 100 miles out to sea were higher than they expected. This caused discussion between US officials and the NRC about this disparity. That was on March 13. Then on March 14 suddenly the GoJ shares SPEEDI data with the US. I doubt that was coincidence. It was a few days later than Yokosuka went under voluntary evacuation for families on base and the USS George Washington was moved to a different location even though it was under maintenance.

There was enough information to concern the US into taking some action. I do not know if that is enough to justify the sailors case or not or if they hold additional information that could back up their claims.

I do agree that I would rather see than money go to the people stuck homeless getting no compensation first. I do not know if the sailors winning this case could do anything to improve the odds of Fukushima victims winning their cases or not. I hope more would sue rather than waiting on the govt and TEPCO to make good.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, the only plaintiff is TEPCO. I don't think they are or even can sue the Japanese government, unless you're inferring they're suing the government because meanwhile it owns a great part of TEPCO. From a legal standpoint, however, I don't think that's the same thing?

Anyway, agree with you on every other point. Especially, the communication between the USS Reagan and the NRC and/or DOE and the subsequent release of SPEEDI data by the Japanese government didn't seem like much of a coincidence to me either. After all, if I remember correctly, it was mentioned in the communication that the matter would be escalated up the command chain right away.

That issue with the SPEEDI data is something that's confusing me for a long time now anyway. I could have sworn that in one of the many press conferences with government representatives, etc., quite some time into the accident, someone asked why SPEEDI data weren't made available to the public in the early days. The response was that the SPEEDI system did not function and no data was available. But for the life of me I can't find a vidio of that press conference.

Does anyone else remember seeing/hearing that?

Thanks.
*mscharisma*

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

"The US apparently had no clue as of March 13 exactly how bad things were at Daiichi and they were being lied to about the severity by the Japanese govt."

Nancy, I have to disagree. The US military started flying its unmanned drone over Fuku-I, on March 12, 2011. They collected data for their own analysis, and they forwarded the data to the Japanese government with the express consent to release the data. The US weren't lied to, as they were the ones who had the data.

mscharisma, I remember that narrative, that SPEEDI didn't work. That's what the national government said. Herr Edano, probably, as chief cabinet secretary. It was a lie in substance, probably not a lie on technicality.

There were two other simulations being done, in addition to SPEEDI. One by NISA, the other by TEPCO.

Atomfritz said...

A bunch of American mercenaries suing because of a few microsieverts. How ridiculous and wimpy!

The lawsuit will of course be dismissed, because it else would constitute a danger to the nuclear policy of the US. Imagine everybody affected by previous nuclear plumes, be them intentional or accidental, but of genuine US origin, being granted damages of $10 million...

And regarding the fact of pregnants doing duty on a nuclear-powered vessel... none of the women were forced to work there. They wanted to work there.

It's just wise from the government's perspective to have a bunch of nymphomaniac female soldiers on their ships, as this saves them for the need to provide govt-operated brothels. Honestly, one can expect quite some pregnants on an aircraft carrier with its five-thousand population, a large part of that being female. And only one of them sued.

Either way, it's amusing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is an anti-nuclear activist group behind the soldiers, footing the bill for the NY attorney.

Blaming Hosono is lame.

Atomfritz said...

LaPrimavera, thanks for pointing out again the important fact that the US government were the actual people who had the data.
Even the Japanese government thus depended on their data.

I agree with you. A Herr Edano, with his degree in applied physics, and who delved that much into accident micromanagement, will surely have known and understood the SPEEDI data. And for sure he had also the US data and understood it.

Richard Wilcox said...

Ex SKF,

As usual you make these off the cuff statements that are very flimsy themselves. How is the lawsuit flimsy? By its very nature these kinds of lawsuits are hard to prove. You assert that but provide no evidence.

According to this source below, 370 million bq per cm3 is hardly flimsy but incredibly massive.

Of course, it that is the case why only 8 plaintiffs and I agree that the hypocrisy of this stinks to high Heaven, and that (you may agree) that the US military is using this to divert attention from their own incompetence; and they may even be using the data as part of ongoing experiments using sailors as white rats in a radiation experiment. The US military itself is the world's worst polluter.

"FOIA releases from the NRC document some of the radiation levels and reporting from those early days that may have been part of the reason for the lawsuit. FOIA documents report a level of 10,000 uCi/cm3 by air filter measurement on the USS Ronald Reagan while it was 100 miles out to sea. This would have been on March 13, 2011. This level converted to becquerels would have been 370,000,000 bq/cm3. The Navy said it was 30 times normal levels. A “Mr. Mueller” in the NRC transcripts reported this regarding the levels found “And so we thought — we thought based on what we had heard on the reactors that we wouldn’t detect that level even at 25 miles. So it’s much greater than what we had thought. We didn’t think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” The NRC discussions also considered this to be a thyroid risk to those on board."
http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=8788

Anonymous said...

@Wilcox, I myself had to laugh when I read the section about "bone marrow transplant".

Your quote of Nancy's site, "The navy said it was 30 times normal levels", that's about what USS Ronald Reagan officer said in the Facebook page, about one month worth of radiation. For air filters to have high concentration, is that a surprise to you after 21 months?

Anonymous said...

It's something the Village People could not have anticipated,being as they were the flamboyant entertainer and not the competent authority on timebombs.

Anonymous said...

Aye,building and refueling reactors with gay abandon,i guess we all now know what the designers knew then.

Anonymous said...

@wilcox, "As usual"? That's rather severe, considering what crap you write.

Anonymous said...

@laprimavera: Thanks for clarification on the SPEEDI data/press conference. While they may not have been able to input actual radiation amounts, as I understand it, they were still - and DID - use SPEEDI to predict the distribution of the plume. Hence, they could and, in my opinion, should have released as much to the public with an appropriate explanation. In my book, telling the public it didn't work was deliberately misleading and, therefore, a lie.

Good point on the US drones, btw. The problem for the sailors is, of course, that they can't sue the US government.

@anon at 3:24:
The attorney studied and specializes, among other things, in environmental law. While I had thought I saw his name come up before somewhere in connection with the fight against the San Onofre restart, I must have been wrong since I now can't find any docs on the web anymore to verify that. Be that as it may, he may also be working on this case simply out of personal conviction? Besides, typically, no lawyer fee is due anyway unless or until the case is won. The big out-of-pocket cost to worry about for the plaintiffs are usually those for expert witnesses.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

About the attorney, it depends. Some do it only on a retainer, others do it on contingency (what you're talking about).

Anonymous said...

OK I’ve been reading over the complaint and I almost stopped when I saw links from ENEnews.com, Fukushima diary, Washington’s blog and rense.com in the footnotes. While these sites are great for winning Internet arguments I doubt they’ll carry the same weight in a court of law. The complaint seems like it was researched and written by an anti-nuclear NPO I see lots of allegations with very, very little evidence to support them in a court of law. Footnotes aside if you look at the document in paragraph #41 the Plaintiffs claim they have never been exposed to harmful levels of radiation including their time aboard the USS Reagan. This is impossible for any of them to prove before their time in the navy radiation detection wasn’t part of a standard medical check-up. It is going to be hard to use the USS Reagan’s medical assurances that the crew wasn’t exposed prior to Fukushima and then ignore the official Navy assurances made during and after operation Tomodachi.

They also allege the USN was dependant on TEPCO for their situational awareness but the Global Hawk mission was run the day before the claim so the US was well aware of the facts on the ground. This doesn’t include the fact that all nuclear fighting ships are by their very nature designed to detect and respond to nuclear contamination emergencies without any help from external sources. A nuclear aircraft carrier is the perfect place to ride out a fallout incursion this vessel is designed to fight in a NBC environment 99.9% of vessels at sea would be totally in the dark about contamination much less what to do about it while the contaminated crewmembers of the USS Reagan were immediately detected and given swift medical attention. Some people may not be aware but the Reagan has a crew complement of about 6000 people 17 were detected with contamination and only 8 of them saw fit to file suit.

As a matter of fact according to this PBS article the ship continued operations:

“The aircraft carrier was 100 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant when it encountered the low-level radiation plume emitted by the plant. The radiation levels were determined to be low enough to continue humanitarian operations aboard the ship, including serving as a floating refueling station for the Japan Self-Defense Force in Operation Tomodachi”

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/photo-a-super-size-scrub/8143/

I would love nothing better than a show stopping trial that exposes new and disturbing information but it looks to me like the plaintiffs want to use this case to establish their minimal exposure so they can have a payday and pin any future ailments on the accident but the law (in the US) doesn’t work like that they will have to prove actual damages not the possibility of injury in the future. They will also need to prove the damage was caused by the accident and not other factors. I agree with *mscharisma* this suit may backfire due to a lack of evidence.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the evidence would have to be deemed inadmissible for there to be the lack of it that has been hypothesized.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 1:08:
Reading your first sentence, I had to smile. When I saw the links, I too thought, "you got to be kidding." But then I was wondering if in a US law suit it is maybe the normal process that you don't throw all your hard evidence in right in the beginning, i.e., the initial complaint? Maybe only enough to show that there is a basis for your claims, followed by the hard evidence being presented during the trial?

Because if not, I totally agree with you. The references to claims made by the press or blogs as evidence aren't going to hold any water in court.

Thanks.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

Coast to Coast AM radio... Fukushima Diary... So they are counting on all the mistranslations by you know who...

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:04 pm

I think you'd be guessing wrong, evidence doesn't need to be deemed inadmissible to be found lacking. I can tell you right now the court isn't going to accept internet blog news rehashes as evidence, what they will accept is the Navy's official version of the story regardless of how truthful it is. The nuclear industries both military and civilian have reams upon reams of data they use to discredit the medical claims of low dose plaintiffs. “My butt is bleeding” sounds pretty damning but it isn’t evidence maybe this guy’s boyfriend is a little too vigorous, maybe this guy eats too much meat whatever the reason it will need to be proven. If the highest exposure was really one month of background I don't see them winning but I could see an undisclosed settlement just so the suit will go away.

@*mscharisma*

I really doubt the plaintiff’s have much more evidence than what they have shown in their complaint but you are right the complaint doesn’t have to present all the evidence. That being said I don’t think the US wouldn’t have set up the Tomodachi registry if there were actionable data recorded.

According to the Tomodachi website:

“The registry will be used for medical treatment and diagnosis, inquires and exposure-related allegations, epidemiological health outcomes studies, medical surveillance and claims adjudication”.

Since the military claims that no one was overexposed what the statement above really means is the registry will be used to discredit any future attempts at claims adjudication.

Anonymous said...

I read that there is also a Japanese lawsuit against TEPCO it started back in June with a little over 1000 people it has recently swelled to 10,000 plaintiffs. Unfortunately it sounds like they'll have a steep uphill battle making any charges stick.


THE ASAHI SHIMBUN June 12, 2012

"FUKUSHIMA--More than 1,000 people filed a criminal complaint against officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the government, saying they should be held responsible for the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Criminal complaints have been filed with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and other organizations, but many investigative officials say it will be difficult to bring charges.

For example, it will be difficult to win recognition that the complainants were “injured” because the health impact of low-dose exposure has yet to be scientifically clarified.

In addition, investigators must establish the cause-and-effect relationship between the accident and the damage.

They also must show that TEPCO and the government were able to predict the accident and its damage, as well as show that measures were available to prevent such damage."

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201206120042

a female Faust said...

on the lawyer, what could be found by a preliminary search:

http://williamgoingassociates.com/staff.html:
Katherine J. Beinkafner, Consultant/Associate, Geologist/Hydrogeologist unpublished publications
“Gulf Station NYS DEC Gasoline Spill Number 9406827 Route 52 and Lake Drive, East Fishkill, NY” for Paul C. Garner, Esq. Of New York City, Conklin vs Gulf (June 2008)

www.upenn.edu/gazette/0102/0102notes.html
Paul C. Garner C'67, an attorney, is board-certified as a trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy

lawyersonline.net/area.html:
General Law, Personal Injury, Malpractice

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-c-garner/8/366/536:

Learning from the best professors available who work to improve the world's environment from the bottom up and top down
Senior counsel
Garnerlaw (Sole Proprietorship)
Providing specialized legal services in New York, California and Washington, D.C.
Graduated from law school in New York 40 years ago and now back earning a Masters Degree in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, again rated #1.
The day after my admission to practice, tried my first of many jury cases to conclusion (my client won). For me it’s always more satisfying to have changed the life of a client for the better, either by providing a significant monetary relief or vindication of their civil right’s.
For several years, I formally worked for our court system in an effort to improve our profession; a cause I continue to champion. Also gained admission to California and D.C. bars, where I continue to practice in many forums. Listed in Marquis Publications of Who's Who for over 25 years and continue in 2012 to be rated as "Superb" by AVVO.
As Marshall McLuhan so aptly observed in 1992, "On Spaceship Earth there are no passengers; everybody is a member of the crew. We have moved into an age in which everybody's activities affect everybody else." (This sentiment especially rings true to me, having been a member of the varsity lightweight crew during my four years at Penn, where I will re-unite with my mates for a row this May.)
Hopefully, through the education I continue to pursue, I can continue to be an effective voice in championing the cause of protecting our spaceship.
“God works wonders now and then;
Behold! A Lawyer, an honest Man!”
[Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1733]

Anonymous said...

Varan is there!

Anonymous said...

Really though it's which level of evidence is permissible as evidence.

Think of it as a banknote,you need to determine if what is proferred as tender is genuine or a forgery.

There are various levels of security,a suite of features for the everyman which are obvious,another for the retailer and his basic diagnostic tools,another for banks and the like,maybe even some other levels of security features which to be honest no one would really need to know about.

Not quite unknown unknowns.

How does this translate to your rice or tea from Fukushima?

Well it fails to be genuine rice as the everyman suspects it's contaminated.
The Shopkeeper has sussed what he has for sale is contaminated.
The department of agriculture knows it's contaminated.
The government knows it is contaminated.
The Nuclear regulator knows it's contaminated.

So we are looking for documented evidence of wrong doing on the part of those who anticipated more than a spilt cup of coffee in the parking lot of the reactor sheds.

What could go wrong,hmmm what about seismic events cascading to meltdown detonation and fire?

Ah yes,damn you for adding to the top-secret files!

As an everyman i put it to you that it could very well take presidential aproval to send an US Navy vessel into a radioactive plume to gather intelligence on tell-tale nuclides.

And not even the incumbent president,this directive may well have been the standard operating proceedure for the US Navy for decades,and not just for Japanese reactors.

If you want tangible evidence a contaminated sailor is worth more than a mere observational satellite.

But this is idle conjecture.

Anonymous said...

“Well it fails to be genuine rice as the everyman suspects it's contaminated.
The Shopkeeper has sussed what he has for sale is contaminated.
The department of agriculture knows it's contaminated.
The government knows it is contaminated.
The Nuclear regulator knows it's contaminated.”

Suspecting or knowing your food is contaminated isn’t trial worthy evidence that your food is dangerous (and the nuclear industry knows it) the court is going to defer to nuclear regulatory agencies that sets the safety standards this means you are “safe” until they say otherwise regardless of the facts. Few people know it but the EPA may have already semi-secretly instituted a plan “to dramatically increase permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents. The proposed radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed”.

“Documents PEER obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that EPA made a decision to approve the PAGs months ago but has yet to make an official announcement. Last fall the agency hired contractors to prepare a Communications Plan for it. Sources tell PEER that EPA is ready to send the PAGs over to the White House Office of Management & Budget for approval prior to publication in the Federal Register”.

http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2011/05/09/epa-halts-heightened-monitoring-of-fukushima-fallout/be

e-mail indicating EPA has approved the PAGs:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/epa/5_9_11_E-mail_EPA_approves_PAGs.pdf

If the PAG’s have been accepted then the sailors will be in for a surprise when they get to court. The EPA screwed a lot of 9/11 first responders and local residents by officially stating the dust in the air was safe this is how governments manage financial liability for themselves and their corporate masters.

"it could very well take presidential aproval to send an US Navy vessel into a radioactive plume to gather intelligence on tell-tale nuclides".

This was granted the moment the President ordered the USS Reagan into Japanese waters downwind from a heavily damaged reactor complex. We don't have a better surface vessel in the fleet for responding to a nuclear emergency. Data from the Reagan was an integral part of NARAC's early dispersal modeling. The President owns a TV I’m sure he was watching the reactors explode like the rest of us he can hardly be surprised there was a problem.

“If you want tangible evidence a contaminated sailor is worth more than a mere observational satellite.”

Once again proof of contamination isn’t proof of damage if it was this form letter prognosis wouldn’t be found after each dose estimate so far in the Tomodachi registry:

“ WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOUR HEALTH?

Your whole-body and thyroid radiation dose estimates ARE WELL BELOW levels associated with adverse medical conditions. Since the estimated radiation doses and health risks associated with this event are so low, no one is being placed in a medical surveillance program to monitor their long-term health outcomes. If you have medical concerns, please discuss these results with your health care provider.”
(No idle conjecture there)

It doesn’t matter if you melt into a pile of cancerous goo the Tomodachi registry disclaimer is pretty clear as far as officials are concerned your problems didn’t come from your time in Japan. If the plaintiff’s get a similar disclaimer with their dose estimate it will be a major hurdle in proving damages or linking them to current or future illness.

Anonymous said...

When there's obvious political and informational manipulation going on, I usually look at actions to determine the truth, rather than propaganda.

Here's the facts about the actions regarding the radiation the Reagan encountered:

Prior to the explosion of #3 reactor, USS Reagan and presumably the normal fleet of support ships was on orders steaming directly toward the Fukushima Daichi Complex with 5,000 able bodied soldiers, 1 million gallons of jet fuel (to power equipment) enough power generating capability to run a small city; enough pumps and equipment to drain a large flood; and the finest nuclear engineers in the world.

Unbeknowst to the crew, the Reactor #3 was experiencing meltdown and recorded over 1000 psi of internal pressure and it finally blew it's MOX core at 11:01 am. Ejecting a plutonium laced cloud into the atmosphere.

Less than two hours later, the USS Ronald Reagan abandoned its mission, and steamed north at maximum speed to get out of the fallout cloud. The air and water systems onboard were reportedly contaminated with radiation. The sailors spent a week scrubbing the ship, while token tsunami relief efforts were conducted on land, and the ship then hightailed it back to Pearl, then Home Port - where it was immediately sent for unscheduled refitment at Bremerton - which it is still ongoing 1 year later....

You tell me if that sounds like a "minor brush with radiation"?.

The Tepco workers on site at Daichi abandoned the plant - until the Prime Minister ordered them to return.

Within 1 day, the US government began plans to remove all family members of military personel from all military bases in Japan - and strongly urged the Japanese government to extend the evacuation zone to 50 miles. The president of the United States and his family were rerouted to South America for a two week unplanned vacation...

Later, the Navy changed the reports describing the time of the incident to US time zone - which indicated the Reagan retreat happened on Sunday night March 13th, , rather than Monday morning March 14th, Japan time - when it actually happened.

Every sailor onboard that ship - including the Captain himself, the officers, the crew, the air wing, and all the accompanying battle group ships were subjected to whatever spit out of the MOX core of the #3 reactor on March 14th. They were in exactly the wrong place at the exact right time.

They met up with something so horrible the President of the United States' advisors wouldn't tell him about it... Just as all the previous Presidents' advisors have lied to them...

The problem for those exposed is not external exposure which is what all the reports talk about, it's internal exposure.

I will leave it up to you to research the survivability of inhaled plutonium particles in mammals. I wish them Godspeed for the rest of their lives.

James

Anonymous said...

@anon at Dec. 31, 2 pm:
Thanks for the clarification re. evidence in the initial claim. And couldn't agree with you more on everything else you wrote, particularly the Tomodachi registry.

@anon at Jan 1, 1.27 pm:
"It doesn’t matter if you melt into a pile of cancerous goo ..." Correct imho re. the registry. And, of course, it doesn't matter even without the registry if you can't prove the causal effect. And no one can.

The attorney surely knows all this, so it will be interesting to see how he'll attempt to work it.

*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

Japan is yet to fully develop a wonderful system of trial lawyers (aka ambulance chasers). Good luck TEPCO.

Anonymous said...

>You tell me if that sounds like a "minor brush with radiation"?

Why would I bother when that is the official story given by the Navy? It doesn’t matter what you or I think it matters what the Navy reports in official records. BTW, all your supposition about the Reagan “rushing home for a radiation refit” is wrong. The USS Reagan didn’t leave Japan until April 5 and they didn’t make Pearl until the end of Aug. then they return home Sept 2011 for a SCHEDULED refit. Read this article below it doesn’t have any of the hysteria you’re trying to portray there are pictures of the ship being met by family members they aren’t in space suits nor is the ship quarantined. The Captain is very clear:

“Being a nuclear-powered ship, we are pretty well-educated on how to deal with something like that. So we put a lot of controls in place to make sure that we weren’t dragging contamination all over,” Burke said.”

“But it’s a very tedious business,” he added, involving constant wash-downs of returning aircraft and the Reagan’s flight deck and island. Crew members were scanned before they were allowed below deck and contaminated items were confiscated.”

“We had a very small amount of exposure on one occasion. We dealt with it very carefully to be sure that we could do it over a sustained period of time if required, and that ended up not happening. So no, I have no concerns whatsoever for the health of this crew, zero.”

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/08/carrier-ronald-reagan-due-home-after-eventful-depl/

USS Reagan Leaves Japan:

http://www.stripes.com/news/uss-ronald-reagan-ends-mission-as-u-s-military-relief-efforts-shift-in-japan-1.140061

USS Reagan stays on patrol after Japan:

http://homepost.kpbs.org/news/2011/apr/11/uss-ronald-reagan-commanding-officer-talks-about/

Reagan arrives in Hawaii:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/128726263.html?id=128726263

Here is a letter from Congressman Norm Dicks welcoming the Reagan for a scheduled refit:

“The Navy informed the congressman today that the carrier, commissioned in 2003 and currently homeported in San Diego, will complete a series of scheduled repairs during the ”docking planned incremental availability” at PSNS.”

(So much for your "facts")

http://www.house.gov/list/speech/wa06_dicks/morenews1/ussreagan.shtml

>They met up with something so horrible the President of the United States' advisors wouldn't tell him about it... Just as all the previous Presidents' advisors have lied to them.

Obama wasn’t misled it took him a week to make sure he wouldn’t be outright contradicted then he gave the standard “everything is OK” speech. He didn’t recall the USS Reagan and he didn’t curse the Japanese for “lying through their teeth”. Obama is pro-nuclear he didn’t want to bring any attention to the issue because the US is full of the same crappy reactor designs all extended beyond their intended lifecycle.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-japan-nuclear-crisis-harmful-radiation-us/story?id=13158789

>The problem for those exposed is not external exposure which is what all the reports talk about, it's internal exposure.

No, the real problem is proving that ANY form of exposure has or will cause any damage the crewmembers didn’t have a full body assay before their exposure so they can’t even prove a baseline before the accident.

>I will leave it up to you to research the survivability of inhaled plutonium particles in mammals.

Why? Do you have any hard evidence anyone was exposed to Pu that originating from the plant? I’m pretty sure you don’t and neither do the plaintiffs. The court isn’t going to entertain the survivability of mammals after Pu inhalation until you prove people have inhaled and retained enough Pu to be statically above normal.

Look I know I’m being a killjoy and you feel any case is a good case but a weak case could set a negative precedent for future victims that are heavily contaminated.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 4:16 am:

Obviously you don't have access to all the facts.

Ask any person who was aboard the Reagan and they will tell you it was near panic aboard that morning when all the radiation alarms went off. The ship went through the cloud multiple times.

We know for a fact that Unit 3 was loaded with MOX fuel, which is produced with nano ground weapons grade plutonium particles.

We know for a fact that less than two hours before the Reagan declared an emergency that there was a very powerful explosion in the building which contained the reactor with MOX - about 100 miles away.

We know for a fact that for 24 hours prior to that explosion the workers on site were trying to deal with extreme pressures - which they logged at over 1000 psi in the RPV.

We know for a fact that after the explosion plutonium was found "several kilometers" from the plant.

We know for a fact from FOIA documents that the US NRC leadership spoke that evening about a US Navy ship reporting "Gamma shine from 100 miles out" after the event, and we also can plainly read the shock and dismay from those who heard that report and questioned whether they heard it correctly.

We know for a fact that the Reagan - one of the most powerful warships on earth - aborted a critical emergency mission, turned and ran at full steam. I have never heard of a nuclear powered US aircraft carrier abandoning a critical mission and running - never. They are built with the sole objective of accomplishing their mission. The only thing that would turn an aircraft carrier is if the captain felt the ship was in danger of being lost.

That is how dangerous it was that morning. That is how dangerous whatever was in the cloud was - it was threatening every life aboard.

We also know for a fact that about 4 days later the cloud reached the US west coast, and it contained plutonium particles, among many other substances.

I believe there will be no problem at all for a competent lawyer to establish that the sailors were very likely subject to inhaled plutonium from MOX fuel ejected in the explosion of the #3 reactor. Of course the Navy undoubtedly has the facts in hand and probably won't release them.

James

Anonymous said...

James, why do these sailors have to rely on rense.com, washingtonsblog.com and fukushima-diary.com for their lawsuit, if they are fact-based?

Also, what I heard from the navy guys was that a nuclear aircraft carrier has its own radiation monitoring system for its own nuclear reactors onboard, and radioactive materials from Fukushima I started to cause enough noise to affect their monitoring instruments. That's different from "the ship was in danger of being lost". The ship removed itself from the affected area so that its monitoring system wouldn't be affected.

Anonymous said...

If they are smart, they don't have to rely on any of those sources. All the facts are available from Tepco, the Japanese government, the US NRC and the United States Navy.

The ship had a mission to try and help avert a nuclear meltdown catastrophe. It was ordered to Fukushima Daichi to conduct that mission. 100 miles out, a helicopter crew landed hot with radiation. It was bad enough they were searching around the ship for a place to do the decontamination - they did it in the barber shop as i recall. Eventually both the air and water systems were contaminated with some unnamed form of radiation.

As I mentioned, the ship reported back to Washington gamma shine at a distance of 130 miles - which sounded incredible to the NRC experts. You tell me what would cause that?

The ship had been steaming toward Daichi to conduct that mission. A Navy ship on an emergency mission doesn't turn away in the face of nonlethal danger.

They knew full well the monitoring system would go off around melting down nuclear reactors - if you believe that's why they turned around I've got a bridge in Arizona to sell you...

The Navy has made all kinds of statements like " it wasn't dangerous", or it was a"months worth of background radiation". But I haven't once seen any factual data from them - just these broad statements.

Maybe the Navy should simply release their readings from their equipment, and explain the source of the gamma radiation, and make available the nuke officers to explain what was observed and recorded. After all, this isn't a wartime issue - there's no reason to hold the readings classified.

http://enformable.com/2012/03/uss-ronald-reagan-measured-0-6-mrhr-direct-gamma-shine-from-clouds-130-miles-from-fukushima-daiichi/

james

Anonymous said...

>Obviously you don't have access to all the facts.

None of your melodrama has anything to do with pertinent facts the crew's initial panic doesn't prove anything they are mostly young kids many on their first trip far away from home. Very few of them are experts in radiation or it’s effects so gripping youtube videos of them talking about dying while being told to shut off the camera won’t carry much weight in court. You have to show that the medical staff and command officers were panicked moving the ship isn’t proof of panic it’s proof of common sense. I've already refuted your "they abandoned the mission and fled” position. No they didn't, they officially detected radiation and repositioned then they continued their rescue support operations under contamination protocols for three more weeks. I’ve shown multiple examples of the official story the military has presented so far:

1) Nobody was injured or in danger they even setup a registry to cement this claim.
2) The Reagan didn’t leave Japan until April 5th
3) The ship is over 10 years old it is undergoing a ***scheduled*** refit a full 6 months after the accident. The vessel wasn’t quarantined when it made homeport and neither was any of the crew.

>We also know for a fact that about 4 days later the cloud reached the US west coast, and it contained plutonium particles, among many other substances.

We also know the EPA shut off the detection net and said everything was fine so it doesn’t matter what “we” know as far as a judge is concerned the EPA is going to be right. Nobody has any proof there was dangerous fallout on the ship much less California you need to accept the fact that when it comes to radiation proof of contamination isn’t proof of damage or injury. Everybody was so panicked but only 8 people out of the nearly 6000 people on the USS Reagan bothered to complain then of course there’s all the crews on the Reagan’s support vessels that didn’t lodge legal claims either.

>We know for a fact that after the explosion plutonium was found "several kilometers" from the plant.

So! We know for a fact the USS Reagan was well over 100 km from the plant and repositioned in a timely manner. Once again you don't have proof that Pu migrated to the ship or proof that the crew was contaminated with Pu you just assume it happened that won’t standup in court. You keep saying “we know” all kinds of stuff about the accident that won’t be supported by the Navy, EPA or IAEA a good lawyer would get his ass handed to him the lawyer they hired might get them deported to North Korea.

BTW, the gamma shine you’re talking about was from a nearby cloud and it was detected before any fallout deposition they go on to say that at this point the only contamination they have detected onboard has come from a Japanese sailor who’s ship was more directly in the plume. The only thing the full verbal exchange proves is that the Navy knew about radiation before they entered the deposition portion of the plume and they knew the plume had the capability to contaminated people who were more directly exposed.

MR. TRAUTMAN: The answer is it — well, I don’t know, I’m not sure what you are asking me. This is not a — we do not have deposition on the ship. This is coming from a cloud.

MR. TRAUTMAN: We had an individual who was on a Japanese ship that was more directly in the plume have some contamination on their feet, which we did detect as part of the process. But it was not from the deck on the aircraft carriers.

http://enformable.com/2012/03/uss-ronald-reagan-measured-0-6-mrhr-direct-gamma-shine-from-clouds-130-miles-from-fukushima-daiichi/

Anonymous said...

> All the facts are available from Tepco, the Japanese government, the US NRC and the United States Navy.

Yes and NONE of these sources are going to support the sailors case because it would undermine their hegemony. Since the NRC, EPA and the Navy aren't on trial their testimony won't be questioned. The Navy who has the most direct evidence has already spoken, they claim nobody was injured and they have the ability to classify any material they deem a national security risks so if they are hiding something earth shattering good luck with your FOIA request. The NRC booted Jaczko for “overstating” the situation and ever since they have been working to discredit his “opinions”. When TEPCO is subpoenaed you can be sure they’ll respond with a disorganized pile of take out menus and laundry lists written in the most obscure form of Japanese they can find. As far as the IAEA is concerned “Japan’s response to the nuclear accident has been exemplary… [and that the country’s] long-term response, including the evacuation of the area around stricken reactors, has been impressive and well organized.”

Oh, and you forgot the EPA they run the US monitoring stations and set US environmental safety standards. They shutdown the detection net and pretty much officially said, ”nothing to see here move along” so no help there. Nuclear power would have ceased to exist long ago if what you think was hard evidence were ever accepted in court. The international nuclear industry has gone to great lengths to establish a myriad of official agencies that precludes most legal action this enables them to explode reactors and dump nuclear waste in an officially “safe” manner (safe from prosecution). We can claim the EPA’s actions were done to cover up a fallout disaster but until that is proven in a court of law it is just an unsubstantiated claim that won’t be admissible. What will be admitted is the EPA assurance that “everything is OK”. Oh and they will be allow to use broad terms like " it wasn't dangerous" and it was a "months worth of background radiation" or “equal to x amount of air transport while eating x amount of bananas” and they won’t have to define x.

>no reason to hold the readings classified.

No, there isn’t so why hasn’t the crew offered them up in their complaint? Either the crew members knows their exact exposure burden or they have no basis for their complaint. If their story is the Navy won’t tell us then their first complaint is with the Navy if their story is the Navy got them wrong once again they need to sue the Navy to establish that fact. The question isn’t did they get exposed the real questions are, were they exposed to a level that most “industry accepted experts” would consider dangerous (no) and will “industry accepted medical experts” attribute the crews medical claims to their exposure (no)? I suspect they haven't made their exposure burden public because it is well below the accepted expert level of dangerous and the pro-nuclear MSM would rip their case to pieces before it ever made it to trial.

Anonymous said...

I find your compelling need to refute my posts in great volume interesting.

Your lack of ability to discern between fact and opinion or fact and propaganda indicates that you're not trained in logic, however it is certainly a commendable effort. I was thinking that you must be a paid professional of some sort, however I'm not sure a paid professional organization would trip over itself to deal with a lone internet commenter like me.

The facts of what happened on the morning of March 14th at Fukushima and onboard the Reagan have been slowly revealed, although sufficiently hushed that they are not widely known.

Whatever radiation the ship encountered, her crew will suffer accordingly - regardless of a lawsuit, and regardless of anything we type on these comments.

The lawsuit has to be a tremendous dilemma for the nuclear power industry. They simply cannot let the facts become a matter of public record, however they cannot settle it, because there are millions of other potential lawsuits behind this one.

About all they can really do is one of two things: pull strings and get it dismissed on a technicality of some sort; or agree to some sort of public admission of minor guilt, and have them drop the suit for an under-the-table payoff.

James


Anonymous said...

>I find your compelling need to refute my posts in great volume interesting.

No you don't, you find it very annoying that's why you have devolved into attacking my logic over not agreeing with you as to what will be accepted as facts in a court of law. The reason my posts are so voluminous is because I have to prove my case with the preponderance of evidence I know I won’t sway you but you might not be the only person reading this. I can't just say you're wrong about the USS Reagan turning tail and running and rushing for an emergency radioactive refit. I have to support every minute detail only to have you call it "propaganda" well I'm sorry but in a courtroom they will accept the Navy's version of events because the Navy isn't on trial.

>The lawsuit has to be a tremendous dilemma for the nuclear power industry.

Yeah that's what Karen Silkwood's supporters thought until Kee-MeGee (KMG) appealed the suit all the way to the Supreme Court where the judgment was upheld they settled out of court for a fraction of the original judgment ADMITTING NO LIABILITY (1.3 million vs 10.5 mil). Now keep in mind KMG purposely contaminated her and her home with dangerous levels of Pu and they probably had her killed in a car accident $1.3 million is just the cost of doing business. KMG was also responsible for a nuclear disaster at Churchrock New Mexico but they still managed kept control of Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site (where Silkwood worked) under a subsidiary named the Cimarron Corporation until 2006 when they spun it off to an independent company named Tronox. Tronox soon went bankrupt partially blaming KMG’s environmental debits. Now the poor suckers at Tronox are suing because KMG lied (good luck with that). KMG held onto Cimarron for decades because they knew it had environmental problems the sale to Tronox was made to defer liability and complicate future litigation but until it is proven in court appealed, proven, appealed then upheld by the supreme court and then settled out of court for peanuts (without an admission of guilt) it is just conjecture.

If lawsuits could adversely affect the nuclear industry as a whole the government would outlaw them. Oh wait, they did it's called the Price Anderson act in the case of a nuclear emergency the government decides who is contaminated and to what degree along with how much they will by paid this means they decide how bad an accident is period. There have been thousands of government allowed lawsuits over TMI but nothing industry stopping has come of it the remaining aging reactor still awaits the next human mistake. The USS Reagan never officially declared a dangerous nuclear emergency they detected radiation and moved to avoid it then they continued operations the US military hasn’t done or said anything to support the sailors account and without this support their case has little merit.

>About all they can really do…

Yes the technicality will be every officially recognized organization and agency involved will contradict the sailor’s position. A payoff settlement is a very big possibility but it will be a minor fraction of the claim and under no circumstances will there ever be an admission of guilt. You don’t pay some one to shut up and go away while admitting liability how logical would that be in the face of possible future litigation from other parties?

You keep droning about logic but the nuclear industry doesn't operate on logic and neither do the official agencies set up to "monitor" them (they operate on money and revolving doors). You are pretty naive about nuclear litigation and it's history in the US. Here are a couple of books that will enlighten you I’d add more but I don’t want you to get too “compelled”.

The Ambushed Grand Jury

http://www.ambushedgrandjury.com/

Insuring Against Disaster by John W. Johnson

http://books.google.com/books/about/Insuring_against_disaster.html?id=Kn1PAAAAMAAJ

Anonymous said...

Mutiny is a terrible thing.

'round the horn!

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