Washington — US Navy ships have leaked radiation at least 37 times since they began using nuclear reactors, including 13 incidents in American, British, Japanese, and other coastal waters, a report says.
The study by the Fund for Constitutional Government, a private research group , accused the Navy of ''suppressing information about a 30-year-long history of radiation accidents and safety problems.'' The Navy says it has a perfect record of reactor safety.
Citing Pentagon and congressional documents and published reports, the study concluded that US nuclear-powered submarines were responsible for ''at least 13 accidental discharges of radioactive material'' off the coasts of the United States, Japan, and Britain.
Citing former Pentagon employees, it said the Navy routinely dumps at sea the highly radioactive resins which serve as filters in nuclear reactors, despite its avowed policy of never throwing such materials overboard.
Among the incidents listed was one in Apra Harbor, Guam, in 1975, when a disabled submarine tender reportedly discharged highly radioactive reactor cooling water into the harbor. Another incident took place in the Thames River off New London, Conn., when 500 tons of radioactive water spilled during transfer from a submarine to a sub tender.