US was unprepared for Fukushima radiation exposure to troops

Stars and Stripes reports today:

In the first few days of Japan’s nuclear crisis this spring, the U.S. military wasn’t fully prepared to deal with possible radiation exposure to its troops and equipment, the top U.S. general in Japan said Wednesday.U.S. Forces Japan commander Lt. Gen. Burton M. Field talked about the radiation risk to U.S. troops during a briefing on Operation Tomodachi for members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on Wednesday.

Field painted a vivid picture of the confused early response:

“As the (Fukushima Dai-ichi) reactors exploded and they sent some of that radiation out, we had the issue with it being detected off shore by the Navy,” he said. “We had to start dealing with the kind of environment that the U.S. military had not really worked in, so we didn’t have the strictest guidelines on what kind of risk we would take in terms of radiation exposure for our (service) members.”

Stars and Stripes also reported:

Shortly after the earthquake, personnel from the Department of Energy departed the U.S. with radiation measuring equipment bound for Yokota Air Base, he said.

The equipment could measure radiation on the ground if it was flown over an area in an aircraft, Field said.

“We figured out how to strap these things on airplanes and helicopters,” he said. “We asked the pilots: ‘Okay, we are going to have you fly into weird and wonderful places that might have a lot of radiation. Who’s in?’ ”

Stars and Stripes also reported:

U.S. Forces Japan has declined Stars and Stripes’ requests to release the levels of radiation or toxic substances detected in areas where U.S. personnel worked during Operation Tomodachi. The military also has not released levels of radiation detected on servicemembers’ clothing and equipment.

Here’s a link: http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/earthquake-disaster-in-japan/u-s-wasn-t-fully-prepared-for-radiation-risks-following-japan-earthquake-top-general-says-1.150236

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About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
This entry was posted in Japan, Radiation leak, Reactor problems and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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