Fallout

Just as I thought, since going public with the leak on USS HOUSTON, those who know little about nuclear power (and understand less) are up in arms over the contamination and the Navy is desperately trying to ease those fears.

Likewise, commanders in Japan were trying to calm public worries over the port visit of another nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class attack sub, the La Jolla, just a few days after Japanese authorities revealed the Navy had alerted them about the Houston’s leak. According to local news reports, government officials in Japan were upset that they learned about the radiation worries from a report on CNN, rather than having been told by the U.S. Navy or the Japanese foreign ministry.

The La Jolla’s visit to Naval Base Sasebo had already been scheduled as part of its Western Pacific deployment.

Anti-military activists on Guam demonstrated outside the naval station and a local legislator introduced a bill that would require continuous radioactive monitoring in the island’s port.

I wish there was more to say to try to help calm the situation, but I’ve already said it. Unfortunately, once you feed the stray cat that is nuclear hysteria, it keeps coming around and is almost impossible to get rid of.

TSSBP has a good discussion going on here.

And a surprising report from MSNBC:

U.S. Navy Commodore Captain D.E. Wright said that the Navy conducted environmental surveys that confirm that U.S. Navy operations are not having an adverse impact on human health, marine life, or the environment. No Cobalt–60 or other gamma ray emitting radionuclide attributable to U.S. Navy operations was detected in any of the samples analyzed.

Those of you “in the program” know exactly why I’m surprised at THAT report.

Regardless, those who will not hear cannot be spoken to:

Residents like Ben “Lam Lam” San Nicolas however don’t buy the Navy’s assertions. He said, “You know what that’s called it’s called plausible deniability. I believe that the military will cover up everything and anything that they say and do this is my island this is our island regardless if your Filipino, Korean, Chinese or whatever if you stay here on Guam this is our island.”

UPDATE
Like all good investigations, new information has turned up and it appears the HOUSTON has been leaking since 2006.

Still no mention of exactly where the leak is from, and definitely no mention of the overall contamination level being leaked out. This, of course, doesn’t make the Japanese very happy.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tokyo appreciated the United States reporting the new information promptly.

“At the same time, what remains to be nailed down is the cause,” said the spokesman, Hiroshi Suzuki. “We still need to get to the bottom of the cause of this leak. We would like to get a full explanation.”

Suzuki said the U.S. government has assured Japan it is taking all precautionary measures to guarantee safety. In addition, Japan also conducts round-the-clock monitoring of U.S. vessels in Japanese ports.

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