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The Japanese government had established a computer modeling “System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI)” in 1980, following the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the system remained functional throughout the nuclear crisis. SPEEDI was designed to provide detailed computer modeling projections of how weather patterns dispersed radioactive fallout into the environment. -
Suzuki Kan, the Vice Minister of MEXT, the agency in charge of radiation assessment, did not know about SPEEDI and learned of it only when Hayano Ryugo, a particle physicist and Chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Tokyo, approached him to inquire how the SPEEDI data was being utilized and to request access to the data so that he could run an analysis. Minister Suzuki thereafter made internal inquiries and confirmed on March 19th that the system was operative but not being properly utilized, but in the interim, Professor Hayano began Tweeting about SPEEDI, drawing attention to the issue.5 - See more at: japanfocus.org...
The U.S. government and military support for tsunami relief efforts through Operation Tomodachi have garnered considerable attention, but less is known about the role the U.S. military played in helping to respond to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. With the Sendai airport rendered inoperable by the tsunami, the U.S. Navy's Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group, parked off the coast of Fukushima, served as a fueling platform and staging area for tsunami relief, at which time military personnel were exposed to radiation emanating from the reactors. As the wind was blowing out to sea for the first couple of days after the onset of the crisis, aside from local communities near the Daiichi facility, servicemen on this nuclear powered aircraft carrier were among the first to be exposed to the radiation plume from the explosion of the Reactor 1 building on March 12. The exposure levels both on the ship and on the shoes of US servicemen who had temporarily landed on a Japanese command ship at 50 nautical miles from the plant were unexpectedly high, provoking the carrier group to back off from 60 to 180 nautical miles from the plant. - See more at: japanfocus.org...
Had the Navy known, says Bonner, it could have moved its ships out of harm’s way. But some sailors actually jumped into the ocean just offshore to pull victims to safety. Others worked 18-hour shifts in the open air through a four-day mission, re-fueling and repairing helicopters, loading them with vital supplies and much more. All were drinking and bathing in desalinated water that had been severely contaminated by radioactive fallout and runoff.
Many are in their twenties, complaining of a terrible host of radiation-related diseases. They are legally barred from suing the U.S. military. Tepco denies that any of their health problems could be related to radiation from Fukushima. The company also says the U.S. has no jurisdiction in the case.
But with U.S. support, Japan has imposed a state secrets act severely restricting reliable news reporting from the Fukushima site.