Residents affected by the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are furious after learning they will have to wade through a 60-page application form — accompanied by a 160-page manual — to seek compensation from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
The company, which on Sept. 12 started sending out documents for individual compensation claims for the period between March and August, says its careful explanation of the process resulted in a large amount of documentation. However, this hasn’t appeased residents.
[quote]”One can only assume it’s to prevent people from billing them,” one resident commented.[/quote]
Before the company started sending out the application forms, it was receiving about 1000 inquiries a day, but that figure has now jumped to about 3,000 a day.
“The application forms arrived a few days ago, but I can’t understand them at all, so I haven’t started on them yet,” said one man in his 60s who is living in a temporary housing unit in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture. “Unless I hear an explanation of the process directly at a meeting, it’ll be impossible.”
Fifty-nine-year-old Shigeru Sugioka, who attended an explanatory meeting for residents of the village of Iitate — part of the evacuation zone around the plant — on Sept. 20, commented, “We came the previous day as well, but there were too many people there so we came again today. We’re worried about whether we’ll get the amount we’ve claimed. But more than that, we’re unhappy with TEPCO’s attitude.”
TEPCO now has 280 people handling explanatory meetings for residents in Fukushima Prefecture, but from October it will boost this number to 900. However, other residents who have ended up scattered across Japan in the wake of the disaster are unable to have the process explained to them directly, and have no option but to phone TEPCO.
Yoshio Suzuki, 44, took refuge in Kitakyushu in southern Japan after being forced out of his home about a dozen kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear complex, and he’s angered by the lack of assistance.
“I don’t know what to do. There’s no way I can settle a problem that will determine the course of my future over the phone. TEPCO should visit each person and explain the process to them,” he said.
Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of the Fukushima Prefecture town of Futaba — just north of the nuclear plant — lambasted TEPCO over the application process.
“I’m angered at the company’s high-handed approach in which it won’t pay compensation unless people fill in a wad of forms,” he said. On Sept. 17, he demanded that the company cease its explanatory meetings, and none have been held for the town since Sept. 18.
It has emerged that any claims for the period from September onwards will have to be filed every three months, and residents have called for simplification of subsequent applications, but as the situation stands, that seems unlikely.
“At the present stage we do not plan any alterations,” a TEPCO representative said
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- TEPCO’s secret 40 billion yen donations to local governments near nuclear plants – “We wanted to avoid criticism that we had collusive relations with local authorities” (enformable.com)
- TEPCO submits heavily redacted copy of Fukushima nuke accident manual – After seeking a guarantee of nondisclosure the day before (enformable.com)
- TEPCO to Pay 2.4 Billion Yen Into Nuclear Damages Support Organization (ex-skf.blogspot.com)
- TEPCO’s Extreme Blackout (ex-skf.blogspot.com)
- PM Kan to TEPCO President and Chairman: “Prepare to meet your fate” – Total worker numbers estimated over 16,0000 (enformable.com)
- TEPCO Dumps 565-Page Report on Early Days of Crisis, Says No Re-Melting of Reactor 3 Fuel (ex-skf.blogspot.com)
- TEPCO reports $7.4bn loss in quarter (enformable.com)