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Full Version: Navy Sailors Lawsuit Against TEPCO
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On a sidenote, I talked to a friend of mine today who is a former navy-nuke now studying to make the transition to the commercial nuclear power industry.  He said that there is some very frank discussions going on internally within the Navy about the contamination of the vessels in the area.  They want to ensure that doesn't happen in the future.  What exactly that means I'm not sure and it was above his pay grade, but he said that between 2011 and 2014 (when he was honorably discharged) it was a topic of discussion.

Law360, Los Angeles (September 1, 2016, 5:47 PM ET) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to dismiss a $1 billion putative class action on behalf of 70,000 U.S. sailors allegedly exposed to radiation while responding to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, arguing the claims belong in Japan. 

During oral arguments in Pasadena, California, Daniel Collins of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, representing Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, urged a three-judge panel to reverse U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino’s refusal to dismiss the suit.

Collins argued that Judge Sammartino had erred in not dismissing the case under the doctrine of international comity — a discretionary power allowing a court to dismiss a case when another country has a strong interest in handling the claims and can adequately do so. Collins noted that the judge even admitted Japan would provide an adequate forum for resolving the claims.

“The foreign policy interests of both Japan and the United States favor centralizing claims for nuclear damage in the courts of the country where the incident took place, where the facility is located,” Collins said.

Collins noted that the government of Japan has filed an amicus brief supporting TEPCO in its appeal and expressing its “very strong” interest in keeping all claims from the Fukushima disaster within its own courts, where it has already paid out tens of billions of dollars to people and businesses damaged by the nuclear plant’s meltdown.

Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, however, asked what evidence there was that this was also the interest of the U.S. government.

Collins said that TEPCO asked the district court to ask the government for its opinion but that the court declined to do so. Collins said the government's position was clear when looking at the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, an international treaty on nuclear damage ratified by the U.S. in 2006 and effective as of April 2015.

In addition to the interests evident in the actual provisions of the treaty, which include consolidating all claims in a single forum, the comments from U.S. executive branch officials during Senate hearings about the treaty indicated it was codifying existing U.S. policies, Collins said.

The plaintiffs, members of the U.S. Navy and their dependents, filed suit in California federal court in December 2012. The sailors, who performed relief efforts after the 2011 tsunami in Fukushima, claimed that they were exposed to radiation during the meltdowns at the TEPCO-owned Fukushima nuclear power plant — events they say stemmed from the company’s negligence.

TEPCO knew the Navy personnel were in danger of suffering from toxic exposure after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in March 2011, leaving them at risk of cancer and other health problems, according to the sailors’ amended complaint, filed in February 2014.

The sailor first-responders were sent to the Fukushima region as part of Operation Tomadachi, providing aid to victims of the natural disaster that caused the nuclear plant failure. The company should have warned the soldiers about the meltdown before they arrived, the amended complaint said.

In October 2014, Judge Sammartino denied TEPCO’s bid to dismiss the suit, rejecting the power company’s argument that the plaintiffs’ claims are barred by the international comity doctrine. The judge also rejected TEPCO’s argument that the case is also barred by the political question doctrine, which holds that that the court cannot rule on fundamentally political questions. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs' second amended complaint sufficiently alleged that TEPCO’s negligence — not the Navy’s decision to send them to the area around the power plant to provide humanitarian relief after a tsunami — caused their injuries.

On Thursday, Adam Cabral Bonner of the Law Offices of Bonner & Bonner, representing the plaintiff sailors, urged the appellate court to affirm that ruling, arguing that the district court’s decision not to dismiss the case under the doctrine of international comity is “wholly discretionary” and that TEPCO had not shown that failing to dismiss the suit was an abuse of that discretion.

“In this case it’s without question that the district court applied the correct law,” he said. “It is abundantly clear that [Judge Sammartino] came down with her decision in a way that was neither illogical nor implausible.”

Bonner’s co-counsel, Charles Bonner, then argued that the political question doctrine should not apply, because TEPCO cannot show there was a “completely independent” and exceptional act of a political nature as required to have liability shift from it to the U.S. Navy.

“The district court does not need to look at the judgment of the military here; our second amended complaint has claims solely based in negligence and strict liability,” he said.

The panel took the matter under submission.

Circuit Judges A. Wallace Tashima, Kim McLane Wardlaw and Jay Bybee sat on the panel that heard Thursday’s arguments.

The sailors are represented by Charles A. Bonner, Adam Cabral Bonner and Paul C. Garner of the Law Offices of Bonner & Bonner.

TEPCO is represented by Daniel P. Collins, Bryan H. Heckenlively, Rio S. Pierce and Gregory P. Stone of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.

The case is Lindsay R. Cooper et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc., case number 15-56424, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Law360 (July 25, 2019, 7:27 PM EDT) — U.S. sailors who allegedly suffered radiation injuries during their response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster urged the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to revive their $1 billion lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and General Electric Co., arguing it belongs in California federal court, not Japan.
Nothing substantial has changed since the district court and the Ninth Circuit previously decided that the claims against Tepco could stay in U.S. courts, the sailors said. And the lower court should have allowed discovery and further briefing before determining that Japanese law should apply to the claims against GE, the sailors argued.
who is at fault for the sailors radioactive exposure?  The ICRP is at fault for not using the studies of fallout from Chernobyl which showed extreme radiotoxicity.  The nuclear corporations around the world are at fault for promoting and using the deadly tech, risking all for profit.  The Navy is at fault for exposing their sailors, scrubbing the decks in heavy fallout.  The Japanese mafia, the Yakuza are at fault for getting into nuclear, the government is at fault for colluding with corporations at the expense of the public, and the people are at fault for always supporting corrupt leaders, calling them great dignitaries and superior people to whom they give all of their power  and stand helpless and begging before them. The lawyers are at fault for seeing every case as a money making opportunity regardless of ethics.  The people are again at fault for not realizing that any money paid out in restitution, if they get it, ultimately comes from them in the first place...

 "the government of Japan has filed an amicus brief supporting TEPCO in its appeal and expressing its “very strong” interest in keeping all claims from the Fukushima disaster within its own courts, where it has already paid out tens of billions of dollars to people and businesses damaged by the nuclear plant’s meltdown."

Where did the tens of billions of dollars come from in the first place?   

This sort of big circus of grabbing wealth at the expense of others would perhaps be OK in some Kafka-esque novel way but in the end there remain evacuation zones,  deformed animals and innocent victims.   If the sailors suffered on that boat think of all the sea life around them that got dosed.  

Man thinks only of himself and has no feel for the small size of the planet and the interconnected web of life. If one takes the entire zone of life on the planet, including the oceans, its a sphere only about 1000 miles in diameter.  We kill and poison and exploit that sphere of life relentlessly, embroiled in corruption, politics and legal struggles, thinking nothing of the end result.

 Thus the earth was lost
I guess the sailors will end up the same..there is simply no accountability for the elite..only slaves , cannonfodder and labrats without consent..

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Trial Ends With Acquittals of 3 Executives

"TOKYO — A Japanese court on Thursday acquitted three former Tokyo Electric Power Company executives who had been accused of criminal negligence for their roles in the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The verdict makes it likely that no one will be held criminally responsible for one of the worst nuclear accidents in history — a catastrophe that led to a global backlash against nuclear power and created environmental damage that will haunt Japan for generations to come.

Although the ruling has likely cleared it of criminal liability, the company, known as Tepco, still faces civil litigation and the burden of mitigating the continuing harm caused by the meltdown of three reactors at the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima after a huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011."
"The three executives argued that they could not have anticipated the damage caused by the unprecedented disaster, and the court appeared to agree on Thursday.

“It would be impossible to operate a nuclear plant if operators are obliged to predict every possibility about a tsunami and take necessary measures,” said the presiding judge, Kenichi Nagafuchi, according to Kyodo News."
Times, they are a changin'...

Sept. 29, 2019

Monday marks 20 years since a deadly nuclear criticality accident at a fuel processing plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

At the time, it was Japan's worst-ever nuclear accident, leaving two workers dead.

It took place at a plant of the JCO nuclear fuel processing company at Tokai Village on September 30, 1999.

The company had engaged in illegal procedures, including the use of stainless buckets to mix uranium with nitric acid. This led to a state of criticality, a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Three workers were exposed to a large amount of radiation and two died. More than 600 nearby residents were also exposed to radiation.
JCO's license to process nuclear fuel was revoked. Six company officials, including the then-head of the plant, were found guilty of negligence resulting in death and given suspended prison terms.
The accident also revealed flaws in Japan's nuclear disaster management system.

The central and local governments and the company failed to work together effectively and it took a whole day to stop the nuclear chain reaction. There was also confusion over who should issue evacuation orders.

The central government introduced new legislation allowing it to take the initiative in responding to a nuclear disaster. It also set up offsite emergency response centers across Japan.

Two decades on, the country faces a problem as to how to pass on the experience and lessons from the accident to future generations.
Fewer than 30 percent of village officials now serving experienced the accident and the number of residents with direct knowledge of the accident has also declined.

Village mayor Osamu Yamada says there have been recent cases of errors and accidents. He said it is the village's mission to keep the memory of the accident alive.

Chief of Japan nuclear fuel processer JCO makes fresh apology over deadly 1999 accident