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Public Health

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Fukushima Nuclear Accident 2011

Three Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan released radiation into the environment on March 11, 2011, following an earthquake and tsunami.

Two airmen with a radiation detection instrument

Air sample test Misawa Air Base, Japan
U.S. Air Force

Soon after, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) established Operation Tomodachi Registry. The Registry will include:

  • Names of nearly 70,000 Servicemembers and DoD-affiliated people potentially exposed to low doses of radiation while on or near the mainland of Japan during the period March 12 to May 11, 2011
  • Location-based radiation dose estimates for each person

Possible health risks

The estimated radiation doses calculated for all members of the DoD-affiliated group are well below levels associated with adverse medical conditions. The additional risk of cancer from this exposure is considered extremely small.

VA recognizes certain cancers and other diseases as linked to exposure to ionizing radiation during service. Eligibility for VA compensation depends on a number of factors, such as the radiation dose and when the disease develops.

Health concerns?

If you are concerned about radiation exposure during military service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.

Need help determining exposure?

VA can help determine exposure during military service after you file a claim for compensation benefits for health problems associated with radiation exposure during service.

Environmental health coordinators directory
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer


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