Tokyo: Eight US Navy sailors have sued Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for tens of millions of dollars.
The sailors claim that they were unwittingly exposed to radiation from the Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant meltdowns and that Tepco lied about the dangers.
The sailors aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan were involved in the Operation Tomodachi disaster relief operations following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region and led to the nuclear catastrophe, according to their complaint filed in US federal court in San Diego on Dec 21.
According to the Japan Times, the sailors complained that Tepco and the Japanese Government conspired to create the false impression that radiation leaking from the Fukushima No. 1 plant did not pose a threat to the sailors.
As a result, the plaintiffs rushed to areas that were unsafe and too close to the facility, exposing them to radiation, their lawyers said.
The Japanese Government was ‘lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdown’ crisis, as it reassured the USS Reagan crew that ‘everything is under control’, the plaintiffs`` lawyers said in the complaint.
The sailors are each seeking 10 million dollars in damages, 30 million dollars in punitive damages and a judgment requiring the creation of a 100 million dollars fund to pay for their medical monitoring and treatments, the report added.