Japan’s parliament approves Tepco compensation plan
Japan’s parliament has approved a plan to help the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) compensate victims of its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.
According to the plan, a new fund will be set up to pay damages to victims affected by the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power station since March.
Japan’s other nuclear power operators will make annual contributions.
Tepco, which reported a loss of $15bn (£9.2bn) earlier this year, may have to pay more than $100bn in compensation.
The bill was passed by Japan’s parliament with support from both the government and the opposition.
The aim is to ensure victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster get compensation, while keeping the lights on in Tokyo, says the BBC’s Roland Buerk in the capital. Tepco faces unlimited liabilities – and the weight of claims have threatened to drive it into bankruptcy.
At the Fukushima plant itself, workers are still trying to bring the reactors under control by January at the latest.
Earlier this week, Tepco said hotspots had been discovered on an exhaust pipe from the buildings, showing the highest levels of radiation recorded since the crisis began.
About 80,000 people living with 20km (12 miles) of the Fukushima plant have been forced to abandon their homes. Farmers and others business owners further afield have been ruined. As a result, claims are expected to run into billions of dollars. Under the plan, the government is expected to put in an initial 2 trillion yen ($26bn; £15bn) into the fund, although the final cost could be far higher.
In return, Tepco will restructure, and along with other nuclear power companies in Japan make annual contributions.
Source: BBC News
Category: World News |