District Court In Fukushima Rules That Tepco & Central Government Liable In Nuclear Disaster … For Only $4.44 Million

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As a result of a class action lawsuit brought against Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and the government of Japan — the largest such class action lawsuit to date that relates to the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima — a district court in the prefecture has ruled that both Tepco and the government are liable for damages … totaling only around 500 million yen ($4.44 million).

The class action suit was filed on behalf of a group of around 3,800 people who lived in or adjacent to the prefecture, so the award for damages seems pretty paltry, to put it lightly.

To date, there have been around 30 similar class action suits filed following the 2011 nuclear disaster, but this one represented the largest by a fair margin, as noted in the coverage from the Kyodo news agency.

“This is the second court ruling that fixed the government’s responsibility after a Maebashi district court decision in March. All the three district court decisions so far have ordered Tepco to pay damages. Only the Chiba court decision last month did not find the government liable for compensation,” Reuters reports.

“The plaintiffs in Fukushima case have called on defendants for reinstating the levels of radioactivity at their homes before the disaster, but the court rejected the request, Kyodo said. Tepco has long been criticized for ignoring the threat posed by natural disasters to the Fukushima plant and the company and the government were lambasted for their handling of the crisis.”

It seems pretty likely at this point that the sorts of figures discussed above are as good as it’s going to get for those affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, unfortunately.

In related news, Areva’s nuclear energy project in Finland has been delayed yet again — meaning that it is now expected to enter into service at least a decade late.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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