Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Asia’s largest utility company, has started making compensation payments to the residents who had to be evacuated from around the Fukushima nuclear plant after the disaster in March. Now, they may end up paying a lot more according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary.
The Japanese government has decided that they will not put a limit on the amount of compensation payments that TEPCO must make to residents and the local government. Japan’s government officials could have granted the company an “exemption” from being liable for any of the compensation payments; but it decided not to.
The government stated that Japan has had large quakes before, so the company should have been ready for a disaster of this size. It was not considered a disaster of exceptional character. The Japanese government is trying to work on a plan to help TEPCO manage the financial loss.
Most likely, the government will set up a fund for the immediate payments and allow TEPCO to make scheduled payments to repay the amount funded. No set amount has been decided yet on what the compensation will be. After the March quake and tsunami, the Fukushima plant lost power to cool the reactors it held.
Eventually, radiation started to leak and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes and businesses. People have still not been able to return to the area because of the radiation. Estimates by JP Morgan and Bank of America- Merrill Lynch were predicted to be in the billions of dollars.