Japanese Court Orders Millions in Payments After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

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Japanese Court Orders Millions in Payments After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

A court on Tuesday ordered the state and the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to pay a total of about ¥500 million in damages for the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The court ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co.

About 3,800 plaintiffs, the most among around 30 similar suits, filed lawsuits against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and the government in the wake of one of the world's worst nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex, triggered by the March 2011 quake and tsunami.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said it will consult with other government offices on whether to appeal the ruling.

In his ruling, presiding Judge Hideki Kanazawa ordered the government and TEPCO to pay ¥250 million each in damages to a total of some 2,900 of the plaintiffs. Another ruling last month, however, said only TEPCO should pay 376 million yen ($3.4 million) to almost 45 former Fukushima residents. The plaintiffs in the Chiba and Maebashi cases were evacuees, including those who were subject to government evacuation orders and those who had left their homes at their own discretion.

In March 2017, the court in Maebashi-Shi, also called the Japanese authorities and Tepco are guilty in the accident, but during the second process, the state was acquitted.

This is the third court decision on the accident at the nuclear power plant.

The court supported the plaintiffs' argument that the disaster could have been avoided had TEPCO moved the emergency diesel generators located in its basement to a higher spot and made its reactor buildings water tight, based on a 2002 study that recommended those changes.

During the trial, the government and Tepco claimed the quake assessment in question was short of being established knowledge and that the tsunami could not have been foreseen. They sought a monthly compensation of ¥50,000 until the radiation levels return to pre-crisis level of 0.04 microsieverts per hour.

In 2011, an natural disaster and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns at the nuclear power plant, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

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