Japan orders TEPCO to compensate families affected by crippled Fukushima nuclear complex

By Dorothy Davis 

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has been ordered by the Japanese government to pay compensation to families affected by the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex, reports The Wall Street Journal.

"Tepco is to make an urgent and speedy payment in order to compensate for the losses incurred by evacuation and orders to stay indoors," said chief government spokesman Yukio Edano, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"The basic idea is that one household will receive 1 million yen (US$12,000). We think that such an amount is necessary as a provisional payment," he said.

The utility's president Masataka Shimizu outlined that approximately 50,000 households within a 30-kilometer radius of the facility will be eligible for the first round of payments. Considering this estimate, the company will be responsible for dispersing US $600 million thus far to families for the nuclear accident.

"We have decided to offer necessary payment as provisional compensation so that we can provide as much support as possible," TEPCO's President Masataka Shimzu said.

The announcement comes just days after TEPCO said efforts to stabilize the crippled Fukushima reactors would continue at least until June, and less than a week following Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency upgraded the nuclear crisis to a level 7, the highest point on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).

For comprehensive coverage of the Japanese nuclear power disaster and efforts under way to resolve it, visit PennEnergy’s Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Emergency 2011 special section.

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