US sailors sue Japan utility for tsunami radiation

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Seventy-nine U.S. sailors are suing the Tokyo utility that operates the Fukushima nuclear power plant for $1 billion, alleging it lied about radiation in the area where they were carrying out a humanitarian mission after the 2011 tsunami.

The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/PGRNQm) reports Monday that the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego is the sailors' second attempt at suing Tokyo Electric Power Co. A judge dismissed the previous suit because it named the Japanese government, putting it beyond the reach of U.S. court.

The sailors served on the USS Ronald Reagan, which was ferrying food and water after the earthquake and tsunami.

They claim the utility downplayed the danger when they were being blanketed with radiation.

The utility says it's implausible that the Reagan's commanders relied on public statements from the company to determine sailors' safety.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com