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Fukushima cleanup efforts halted: TEPCO is served a class-action lawsuit

US Marines and Navy sue TEPCO
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

According to recent news reports, Fukushima radiation levels still exceed safety limits. On March 18, United States Marines and Navy members announced on the 'National Public Radio' show they are filing a class-action lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

After the disastrous nuclear plant meltdown happened due to the 2011 Japan tsunami, which killed more than 15,0000 people and left approximately 3,000 missing, the casualty numbers continue to rise.

TEPCO knowingly withheld knowledge about the severity of exposure limits to those helping in the response and cleanup efforts, according to Oregon Live.

At the time of the meltdown Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan said no specific information was sent to him about the actual situation. When he wasn't able to get the whole picture he made a trip to fly over the devastated area. Now according to news reports, Kan used to be "staunchly pro-nuclear," now he "advocates for a nuclear-free Japan."

The humanitarian efforts from the USS Ronald Reagan and other U.S. military forces included more than 100 people.

Charles Bonner is the lead attorney on the Fukushima class-action lawsuit, who has reported that his clients continue to suffer from ongoing illnesses like, "thyroid cancers, testicular cancers, brain cancers, unusual uterine problems, excessive uterine bleeding, all kinds of gynecological problems, problems that you do not see in a population of 20-year-olds, 22-year-olds, 23-year-olds, even 35-year-olds."

Bonner explained the failure happened when TEPCO, "the fourth-largest power company in the world failed to tell the public, including the Navy that they were in an active meltdown."

In recent reports the Fukushima plant halted its decontamination efforts last week when reports indicated the "damaged facility had jumped to 8 times the government safety guidelines."

Apparently, TEPCO has issues with telling the truth about radiation limits, and their decontamination cleanup efforts, but they have also "hired unskilled and destitute workers to perform highly technical cleanup assignments," according to a March 16, New York Times report.

It appears 3 years later Fukushima continues to have accumulative issues, which TEPCO's management said it was not properly prepared for a meltdown, and the cleanup efforts, according to news reports.

“We never expected radioactive water to flow into the storage tanks,” said Masayuki Ono, acting general manager of TEPCO’s Nuclear Power & Plant Siting Division. “We should have been better prepared. We have no idea how long it will take to clean them if we decided to do so.”

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