The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The compensation standards for voluntary evacuees from the nuclear power plant accident will finally be reviewed on May 5, and there are concerns about whether the standards will be commensurate with the actual situation.

Members of the Nuclear Damage Dispute Review Committee (front) interviewing victims in the evacuation zone (back) at the town hall of Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, in August.

December 4, 2022
The government’s Dispute Coordination Committee for Nuclear Damage (CALI) will discuss compensation for “areas subject to voluntary evacuation,” which are defined by the guidelines as areas within 30-100 km of the nuclear power plant, at its meeting on December 5. While some victims have voiced their appreciation for the review, others have criticized the slow response and inadequate relief. (Natsuko Katayama)
 The trigger for the review was a judicial decision. In March, the Supreme Court rejected TEPCO’s appeal in seven class action lawsuits filed by victims of the nuclear accident against the government and TEPCO, ordering TEPCO to pay damages that exceeded the guidelines. The final ruling in the Fukushima lawsuit, which was contested by approximately 3,650 people in and outside of Fukushima Prefecture, approved an additional maximum of 3 million yen per person.
 In response, the CALI finally decided on November 10 to review the guidelines. New compensation targets, such as “severe evacuation conditions” in evacuation-directed zones, will be added. On the other hand, the review of voluntary evacuation zones and other areas is likely to be limited to a very small portion.

Guntaro Managi, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the Fukushima lawsuit, commented, “The fact that there has been a move to review the lawsuit is a result of the class action lawsuit, but it is too late to wait for the Supreme Court decision. The review is too late,” said Ittaro Managi, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Fukushima lawsuits.
◆Discrimination and bullying at evacuation centers, and many times “I want to die
 In the review of the “interim guidelines” for compensation standards by the CALI, one of the issues presented so far is the focus on “areas subject to voluntary evacuation, etc.” The court made a partial judicial decision on children and pregnant women. This is because the CALI Board is cautious about reviewing the guidelines for children and pregnant women, even though some judicial decisions have approved compensation amounts higher than the guidelines. The review for adults is also inadequate, and some of the victims are concerned about whether the amount of compensation will be commensurate with the damage.
 We want them to listen to us, who were children at the time of the accident, even now,” said one victim. A female student at a vocational school, 18, who evacuated to another prefecture from the voluntary evacuation zone, said, “I would like you to listen to our stories, even now.
 She was in the first grade at the time of the accident. She suffered discrimination and bullying at the evacuation site. Radiation” and “Fukushima is dirty. Her father worked in Fukushima and commuted to the evacuation site on weekends, while her mother was busy raising their young children. Not wanting to cause worry to her parents, she kept to herself, unable to confide in them. I wanted to die” she thought many times.
 Before deciding on the review policy, the CALI committee members heard from residents in the evacuation zone, but only asked the head of the municipality for his opinion on the voluntary evacuation zone. The committee members said, “We don’t want you to make a decision as if you knew about the damage we have suffered without hearing from the people involved. We are concerned that the review will be far removed from the actual situation.
 In several court decisions, children and pregnant women in the voluntary evacuation zone have been awarded compensation that exceeds the guidelines, but the CALI is cautious about a review. If the guidelines had been reviewed at the most difficult time, I would have felt that they recognized my suffering and saved my life…” he said.

In its review of the issue, the CALI Board stated that adults in the voluntary evacuation zone are not considered to be more sensitive to radiation than children and pregnant women, and that fear of exposure alone is not sufficient to warrant compensation. On the other hand, the court acknowledged the combined fear of continued accidents and further spread of radioactive contamination, and considered extending the period of compensation.
 The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit in Niigata Prefecture, who had been suing the government for damages for the accident, said that the Supreme Court’s decision was too late to review the case. Masashi Kanno, 48, a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit in Niigata Prefecture, evacuated from Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, which is in the voluntary evacuation zone, to Niigata City, where he still lives with his family. He said, “I can’t imagine how much fear and heartache the parents must have felt worrying about their children without any knowledge of radiation. I don’t care if the compensation period is extended without hearing from the people involved and without a proper acknowledgement of the damage.
 Although the CALI tribunal has ruled that damages other than those covered by the guidelines can be compensated through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), there have been a number of cases where TEPCO has rejected settlement proposals because of the gap between the guidelines and the CALI tribunal. Mr. Kanno said, “The guidelines are supposed to be the ‘minimum standards for compensation,’ but TEPCO has set them as the ‘upper limit’ for compensation. Why didn’t TEPCO investigate the actual situation and take action sooner?
 Regardless of the outcome of the trial, he believes that the government itself should have reviewed the guidelines. I hope that this time, the government will seriously review the damage, rather than just saying that it has reviewed the situation.


December 4, 2022 - Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: