Japan Press Weekly
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U.S. nuclear-powered submarine has leaked radioactive water for more than two years
The U.S. government on August 7 notified Japan that trace amounts of radioactivity leaked from the nuclear-powered submarine Houston at Japanese ports between June 2006 and July 2008. During this period, the USS Houston made 11 port calls in Japan.
The fact shows how irresponsible it is for the Japanese and U.S. governments to argue that U.S. nuclear-powered ships have no safety problems.
The radioactivity leaks from the Houston were confirmed on July 24, when the nuclear-powered submarine was in Hawaii for regular maintenance. However, the United States informed Japan of the radioactive leak on August 1, one week after its discovery, and the Japanese Foreign Ministry informed local governments concerned of the problem the day after. The delay in the ministryfs action came under public criticism.
At that point, the United States said it did not know when cooling water contaminated with radioactivity began to leak, although it had been pointed out that the leak had occurred for several months. .
The Japanese Foreign Ministry on August 7 said that the U.S. government confirmed that the radioactivity leak had begun in June 2006.
Records show that since June 2006, the USS Houston called at the U.S. Sasebo Naval Base five times, at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base once, and White Beach in Okinawa five times. The United States estimates that radioactivity leaks from the Houston may have occurred on these occasions.
Although the United States has notified Japan that gtrace amounts of radioactivity leaked,h the truth needs to be established. ? Akahata, August 8, 2008
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