Fukushima nuclear disaster

US sailors sue Fukushima nuclear plant operator for faking radiation data

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 10:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 3:58pm

Nearly 80 US sailors are seeking US$1 billion from the operator of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

They allege the company lied about the high level of radiation in the area where they were carrying out a humanitarian mission after the tsunami that triggered a nuclear crisis three years ago.

A lawsuit filed in US federal court in San Diego, California, claims Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) repeatedly said there was no danger to the crew when in fact they were being blanketed with radiation that has since led to dozens of cancer cases. This is the second time the sailors have targeted the utility.

A lawsuit in 2012 was dismissed because it named Japan's government and went beyond the reach of a US court. The new lawsuit names only the utility.

The sailors were on the carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which ferried supplies to the quake zone.

But TEPCO hit back: "It's wholly implausible that military commanders in charge of thousands of personnel and armed with some of the world's most sophisticated equipment, relied instead only on the … public statements of a foreign electric utility company."