Japan increases support to Fukushima clean up but TEPCO retains management role

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Fukushima Daiichi Site 2013

Originally, Tokyo Electric was to be held liable for all costs stemming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, but in September the Japanese government stepped in and began providing financial help.  Now the clean-up and rebuilding of affected areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant are the responsibility of the Japanese Government, while Tokyo Electric is responsible for compensation claims which are brought forward due to the disaster.

A statement released by the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters estimated that the decontamination costs near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will cost at least $24 billion USD.

Over the last two years, criticism of TEPCO’s handling of the disaster from within Japan and abroad, has instigated many calls for the utility to be placed under government control.

Instead, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe adopted new guidelines this week which increased the amount of interest-free loans which could be provided to TEPCO, up to $90 billion, up from $50 billion.

The central government also pledged to build a facility to store contaminated soil from around the plant with tax money.

To recover some these costs, the Japanese government will sell its shares of the Tokyo Electric Power company.

Essentially, the government is increasing its investment and oversight, but the management and operations will remain in TEPCO’s hands.

Experts however see the move as being made out of the fear to accept legal responsibility for the nuclear disaster and concern for how such actions could affect the nuclear industry as a whole.

TEPCO is facing seemingly insurmountable liabilities while it works to control and clean up the crippled nuclear power facility.  It is also facing the compensation of tens of thousands of evacuees and the decontamination of an area nearly the size of Connecticut.

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4 Comments

  1. Sickened by service: More US sailors claim cancer from helping at Fukushima
    December 20, 2013 FoxNews

    51 crewmembers of the USS Ronald Reagan who have joined a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric.
    When the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Navy sailors gladly pitched in with rescue efforts.
    51 U.S. Navy members who served aboard the Ronald Reagan now trace illnesses including thyroid and testicular cancers, leukemia and brain tumors.

    The lawsuit was initially dismissed, when the court ruled that any ruling would hinge on interpreting communication between the Japanese and U.S. governments, which could violate the separation of powers.
    The Department of Defense declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.
    The Japanese government knew radiation was being leaked and did not inform the U.S. Navy.

  2. They’re all worried about who is going to share responsibility, while not paying any attention to the fact that both the government and Tepco share the irresonsibility.

  3. How about the fact THEY, yes – both Japan Gov & TEPCO are liable to the entire planet, along with the ENTIRE Nuclear Industry! Costs? Interest Free Loans??Clean-up will NEVER END… Who’s going the pay for evacuating 500+ million people from North America?! Not to mention the cost of LIFE on Earth, paying for it with their lives for generations to come PERIOD.

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