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Lump-sum compensation for some evacuees

November 22, 2013


Fukushima residents who can't return home to receive lump-sum compensation

A government panel to settle disputes over nuclear accident compensation is set to provide damages in lump-sum payments to residents of areas feared to be uninhabitable over a long period due to the nuclear crisis, panel sources said.

The Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation made the decision after the government abandoned the return home of all residents of areas hit by the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The committee will pay damages for mental anguish to residents of areas that are likely to remain uninhabitable for a long period.

The panel will work out standards for calculating the amounts of compensation based on damages that it has been paying to those who will unlikely be allowed to return home in the foreseeable future -- 100,000 yen a month. The standards will be incorporated in new guidelines for nuclear accident compensation that the panel will draw up by the end of this year.

Residents of areas where the annual radiation dose exceeds 50 millisieverts and evacuation orders are expected to be in effect for at least six years after the crisis broke out in March 2011 will be eligible for such compensation. Furthermore, residents of areas surrounded by zones expected to remain uninhabitable for a long time and who will face difficulties in their daily lives after returning home will also be entitled to such payments.

The panel has paid 12 months worth of compensation to residents of areas with radiation dosages of up to 20 millisieverts per year and where preparations are being made to lift evacuation orders, 24 months worth of damages to those of districts with radiation dosages exceeding 20 millisieverts but below 50 millisieverts and where residency is restricted. Moreover, residents of zones where they are unlikely to be able to return in the foreseeable future have received 60 months of compensation payments.

Under the new guidelines, such compensation payments will be discontinued one year after the lifting of evacuation orders. However, further compensation will be provided in lump-sum payments to residents of areas where evacuation orders will likely be prolonged.

The panel released a rough estimate at a Nov. 22 meeting that if an evacuation order continues for seven years in an area badly contaminated with radioactive substances, each resident will get 9.6 million yen as eight years worth of compensation, including a one-year period following the lifting of the order.

The guidelines are also expected to call for compensation to help residents of areas expected to be uninhabitable over a long period secure housing elsewhere.


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