Former Navy Navigators Talk about Radiation Contamination on the USS Ronald Reagan during the Crisis at Fukushima, Japan and its Effect on their Lives
Saturday, March 9, 2013, 12:00 PM, Press Conference, Croton-Harmon Train Station, Croton on Hudson, NY with former Navy navigators on the USS Reagan Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis and Peace Walkers on the 12th Annual Walk for a New Spring.
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 2 PM Program at Stony Point Center, with Jaime and Maurice and others.
Sunday, March 10th, 2013, 5 PM Potluck for the Peace Walkers who will arrive from Indian Point, Stony Point Center.
After dinner there will be a screening of Cold Shut Down: One Year After and a discussion with the director, Professor Martin Lucas about his experience in filming how people are living with radiation in the area surrounding the destroyed nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Stony Point Center. All are welcome.
While there is no charge for any of the programs, please register online so that we can plan for adequate seating.
Context and content
The Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, the Indian Point Convergence, Clearwater and other grassroots and environmental groups are bringing Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis to Westchester to talk about their personal story in regard to the effects of radiation exposure. This topic has long been of great concern to people living within the 50 mile radius of Indian Point.
Plym and Enis were both navigators on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on March 11, 2011 when the northeast coast of Japan was destroyed by earthquake and tsunami. The USS Ronald Reagan led a group of ships that were deployed by the United States Navy in “Operation Tomodachi,” ( the Japanese word for friendship) to help our ally in the aftermath of a natural catastrophe which later became a nuclear disaster. The USS Ronald Reagan was later sent to dry dock for radiological decontamination.
On Saturday, March 9 at 9:00 AM at 460 South Riverside, Croton on Hudson, Jaime and Maurice will be joined by Peace Walkers from the New England Peace Pagoda, for a press conference at the Shop Rite parking lot prior to their walk to Indian Point. On Monday, March 11, they will be available in New York City.
Both Jaime and Maurice live in Florida now but will be in our area for a limited time. They met aboard ship, fell in love and plan to make their lives together. As navigators, they plotted the course of the aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers are a quarter of a mile long and have limited mobility in changing course. At times the USS Ronald Reagan was two miles off the coast of Japan near Fukushima prefecture during the worst of the uncontrolled radiological release.
Americans living within a 50 mile radius of the Fukushima reactors were advised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to evacuate but the Navy stayed for 80 days to continue rescue operations. Both Enis and Plyme now suffer from symptoms they feel are related to their exposure to radiation. Recently released transcripts of meetings held at the time show high levels of concern by officials for contamination of the Yokosuka Naval Base, 188 miles away. US dependents from the base were in fact evacuated. The transcripts are available here.
Jaime describes playing a “cat and mouse game” with radiological releases so that the ship could avoid contamination. The decks were scrubbed with ocean water which was later found to contain radioactive isotopes from the stricken reactors. The ship’s water comes from a desalination plant on board which was also contaminated. Maurice was sent to collect the ship’s flag and later set off shipboard radiation monitors because his hands were so contaminated.
After the press conference the walkers will continue to Indian Point with members of the community as part of the 12th Annual Walk for a New Spring, for the People, for the Earth. This part of their walk will culminate in a vigil at the gates of Indian Point. The walk began on February 15, at Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Burlington and will continue from Indian Point to New York City, Jersey City, Staten Island and Oyster Creek the nuclear power plant in Tom’s River, New Jersey. The complete schedule is available at www.newenglandpeacepagoda.org. There will be an ending ceremony in Washington, DC, on April 3.
All are welcome and invited to join the walk as it passes through our communities and walk as long or as little as is comfortable. Those who wish to support the walkers but prefer not to walk are encouraged to welcome them at the gates of Indian Point at the intersection of Bleakly and Broadway in Buchanan, NY and participate in the vigil. The Walkers are expected at approximately 1 PM. Support vehicles are available for those who need a lift back to their car at any point. For information to join or support the walk, call 413-485-8469 or 413-320-2856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, March 10 at 2PM there will be a program at Stony Point Center featuring Jaime, Maurice and others with time for questions and answers in regard to the effect of radiation exposure. The program is free. You are strongly encouraged to register so that we can plan for adequate seating. A potluck will be held at 5PM when the Peace Walkers arrive from Indian Point. All are welcome. Please bring a covered dish to share. Those who can are invited to bring extra food to help feed the Peace Walkers. After the potluck there will be a short program culminating in the showing of Cold Shut Down, a 32 minute documentary by Professor Martin Lucas that details what life is like dealing with radiation on a daily basis in Fukushima and surrounding areas. Professor Lucas will join us for a discussion of what he saw and recorded during his filming in Japan last year.
The spent fuel pools at Indian Point contain 2,000 tons of highly radioactive waste – more than was in all of the spent fuel pools and reactors at Fukushima. While a few of the rod assemblies have been moved to dry cask storage on the property, the remaining irradiated rods are racked to four times the intended density thus increasing the probability of a spent pool fire. Buildings housing the pools are ordinary commercial construction and are not hardened like the reactor.
A spent fuel pool fire at Indian Point would be an unparalleled tragedy for our entire region.
Indian Point Convergence meets regularly at Stony Point Center, usually on the first Sunday of the month. For info call (1-888-474-8848) or email.
For more information
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1205/ML12052A105.pdf Transcripts of Briefings on Fukushima
http://www.rogerwitherspoon.com/docs/ssailorsvstepco-usdistrictcourt-12-21-12.pdf Court Case
A Lasting Legacy of the Fukushima Rescue Mission: Part 1 Radioactive Contamination of American Sailors
A Lasting Legacy of the Fukushima Rescue Mission: Part 2, The Navy Life -- Into the Abyss http://bit.ly/Y5jXCJ
http://bit.ly/11bfTqS Link to USS Ronald Reagan
Walk for a New Spring: www.newenglandpeacepagoda.org.