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TEPCO ordered to compensate ex-plant worker

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June 26, 2019
A Japanese district court has ordered the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi power station to pay about 3,000 dollars in damages to a man who worked at the plant just after the 2011 nuclear accident.
The man says he was exposed to radiation without being informed about high radiation levels in a building where he worked.
In his suit against Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, and its subcontractors, the 53-year-old plaintiff demanded more than 100,000 dollars in damages.
He said he was forced to work in the turbine building basement of the plant’s crippled No. 3 reactor while being uninformed of a pool of highly radioactive water there.
The Iwaki branch of the Fukushima District Court on Wednesday handed down the compensation order to TEPCO for psychological damage to the plaintiff caused by working at the plant.
The court said he felt concern and fear while warning signals were sounding that indicated another worker alongside him was exposed to radiation exceeding the utility-set limit of 20 millisieverts.
But the court said 16 millisieverts the plaintiff was exposed to in an hour and half were below a level that would pose a health hazard.
The court also turned down his suits against two subcontractors of the utility. It found them not liable for his damage, saying responsibility for a nuclear disaster lies with the nuclear operator.
The plaintiff’s lawyer said the ruling was the first in favor of a Fukushima Daiichi plant worker, but partly granted his demands. The lawyer added that this will encourage other workers.
TEPCO says it will study the ruling in detail and deal with it sincerely.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Court orders TEPCO to pay 31 million yen over deaths of Fukushima patients

The Tokyo District Court on April 27 ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to pay a total of around 31 million yen to the families of two former patients at a local hospital who died following the 2011 crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The families of the two elderly men had demanded the operator of the crippled nuclear plant pay a total of about 66 million yen, claiming that they died after being forced to evacuate from Futaba Hospital located approximately 4.6 kilometers from the power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Okuma.

Of some 50 patients at Futaba Hospital who died following the nuclear disaster, the families of a then 98-year-old dementia patient and a then 73-year-old schizophrenia patient filed the lawsuit. While there have been two cases of settlement between the families of former Futaba Hospital patients and TEPCO at Chiba and Fukushima district courts, this is the first court ruling to have been delivered over deaths of patients at the hospital.

TEPCO had acknowledged the causal relationship between evacuation and the deaths of the two patients. The trial, therefore, had focused on the amount of damages.

According to the ruling, the conditions of the two patients had been severe and they required assistance with eating and other daily tasks. An evacuation order was issued on March 12, 2011, the following day of the disaster, and the patients left the hospital on March 14 and 16, respectively. However, unable to receive appropriate medical care, the pair died of dehydration and hypothermia.

The court determined the amount of damages at 20 million yen for each patient and judged that their existing conditions had affected the development of additional illnesses. It then reduced the amount demanded by the families by 40 percent for the dementia patient and by 20 percent for the schizophrenia patient.

An attorney representing the plaintiffs said it was unfortunate that circumstances particular to a nuclear plant disaster was not taken into consideration in the ruling.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. released a comment stating that the utility will go through the ruling and sincerely handle the situation.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160428/p2a/00m/0na/010000c

April 30, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Court issues surprise injunction to halt Takahama nuclear

 

jlmm.jpgOTSU, SHIGA PREF. – In a surprise ruling that is likely to delay efforts to restart nuclear power generation nationwide, the Otsu District Court on Wednesday issued a provisional injunction ordering Kansai Electric Power Co. to shut down its No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Takahama facility in Fukui Prefecture.

While Kepco is expected to appeal the ruling, company officials said at a news conference that was hastily called after the decision that they would begin operations to shut down the No. 3 reactor on Thursday morning, and expected to complete the process by the evening.

The No. 3 reactor was restarted in January, and the No. 4, which had been scheduled to restart last month, was delayed due to technical problems.

“There are doubts remaining about both the tsunami response and the evacuation plan,” the ruling said.

The Otsu ruling comes just two days before the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting tsunami and triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

The jubilant plaintiffs expressed surprise and relief following the ruling, which emphasized technical problems regarding the two reactors, including issues concerning an outside power supply source in the event of an emergency. The ruling also raised concerns over the emergency protocol.

“This is a huge victory for the safety of children, people with disabilities, and the society and economy of not only the Fukui-Kansai region of Japan but the entire country,” said Aileen Mioko Smith of Kyoto-based Green Action, an anti-nuclear group. Smith was not a plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit that sought the injunction was filed by Shiga residents who are fearful that an accident at the Takahama plant, which lies less than 30 kilometers from the northern part of Shiga Prefecture, would impact Lake Biwa, the nation’s largest freshwater body and the source of water for about 14 million people in the Kansai region, including Kyoto and Osaka.

The judgment — the first of its kind affecting reactors that were fired up under strengthened safety regulations following the March 2011 disaster — is a blow to the government’s renewed push for atomic power. The ruling could also cast doubt on the stringency of the new safety regulations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, however, told reporters following the ruling the government would not change its basic stance of promoting restarts.

In a separate case concerning the two reactors, the Fukui District Court issued an injunction last April banning Kansai Electric from restarting the units, citing safety concerns.

But the same court later lifted the injunction in December, allowing the utility to resume operations at both reactors. Plaintiffs appealed the court decision to the Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Court, where the case is pending.

Under the revamped safety regulations, which took effect in 2013, utilities are for the first time obliged to put in place specific countermeasures in the event of severe accidents such as reactor core meltdowns and huge tsunami — which was the initial cause of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/09/national/court-issues-surprise-injunction-halt-takahama-nuclear-reactors/#.VuBVK3rzN_l

Court orders Takahama reactor shut down, 2nd offline

A court has issued an unprecedented order for a nuclear reactor in western Japan to stop operating and ordered a second one to stay offline.

The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture, which issued the injunction, said the emergency response plans and equipment designs at the two reactors have not been sufficiently upgraded despite the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

Wednesday’s order requires Kansai Electric Power Co. to shut down the No. 3 reactor immediately and keep the No. 4 offline at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture, home to about a dozen reactors.

The two reactors restarted this year after a high court in December reversed an earlier injunction by another court.

The decision reflects Japan’s divisive views on nuclear safety and leaves only two of the country’s 43 reactors in operation.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201603090064

March 10, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment