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Tokyo, nuke plant operator to pay Fukushima damages

Considered this century’s worst energy-related catastrophe, Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster left thousands dead

Tokyo, nuke plant operator to pay Fukushima damages

By Sibel Ugurlu


A Japanese court on Tuesday ruled that the government and nuclear plant operator Tepco must pay compensation to victims of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, according to local media reports.

Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported that a district court in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture had found both the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) liable for all damage caused by the tsunami-induced catastrophe.

The court ordered the two parties to pay 500 million yen (roughly $4.4 million) to some 2,900 out of 3,800 plaintiffs in Fukushima who claimed to have incurred damage as a direct result of the disaster.

Considered the world’s worst energy-related disaster since Ukraine’s 1986 Chernobyl incident, the 2011 Fukushima crisis was caused by a tsunami (triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake), which disabled the emergency generators needed to cool the plant’s nuclear reactors.

The resulting radiation leak later led to the death of thousands of people.

Tuesday’s decision was the third time a Japanese court has ruled in favor of the disaster victims.

According to the court, both the government and Tepco failed to take adequate precautions against the possibility of a tsunami induced by an earthquake.

“The government's inaction in exercising its regulatory authority [to order Tepco to take sufficient safety measures] was extremely unreasonable,” the news agency quoted the judge as saying on Tuesday.

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