Bloomberg News

Voluntary Evacuees Around Fukushima Plant May Be Compensated

December 06, 2011

(Updates with number of evacuees in second paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Residents who voluntarily evacuated from areas around Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station should be compensated, a government panel said in draft guidelines.

The compensation guidelines, released at a public meeting of the committee in Tokyo today, didn’t specify the locations. Voluntary evacuees, including those who lived outside Fukushima prefecture, were estimated at 50,327 as of Sept. 22, according to a separate report by the panel, headed by Yoshihisa Noumi, a professor of law at Gakushuin University.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami disabled power and cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station, leading to three meltdowns and radiation release, the worst since Chernobyl. The utility known as Tepco may have to pay 4.5 trillion yen ($57.9 billion) in compensation to those affected by the disaster, which displaced 160,000 people, by March 2013, said a government panel headed by lawyer Kazuhiko Shimokobe in October.

Tepco has said it plans to compensate those affected by the disaster based on interim guidelines drawn up by the committee headed by Noumi. Voluntary evacuation wasn’t covered under initial guidelines released on Aug. 5 by his panel.

Residents said in September the compensation process is “outrageous” after receiving from Tepco a 56-page form that needs to be filled up and a 156-page explanatory booklet.

Tepco has paid 5.7 billion yen in compensation to settle about 2,500 claims from individuals out of 23,800 claims received by the utility, Jun Oshima, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said by phone today. The utility has paid out a total of 138.7 billion yen in provisional compensation, he said.

--Editors: Ryan Woo, Aaron Sheldrick.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at tinajima@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.


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