Panel urges $90k for Japan's nuclear evacuees
This is to compensate for their mental suffering. -Yomiuri Shimbun/ANN
TOKYO - Residents who will be unable to return to areas around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for at least five years should be paid 6 million yen (S$90,500) each as compensation for their mental suffering, a government panel has decided.
The Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation on Friday decided on new guidelines in line with the government's planned reclassification of the no-entry and expanded evacuation zones established after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis at the plant last year.
The facility's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., will pay compensation to affected residents based on the new guidelines, which the committee established to supplement interim guidelines announced in August.
Under the reclassification, which is expected to be implemented by the end of this month, three new categories will be established based on annual radiation doses:
- Areas where the accumulated radiation dose exceeds 50 millisieverts per year will be designated as "zones where residency is prohibited for an extended period."
- Areas with annual doses of above 20 and up to 50 millisieverts will be designated as "zones with restricted residency."
- Areas where the radiation dose is 20 millisieverts or less per year will be designated as "zones being prepared for residents' return."
The committee has decided that residents whose houses are within areas that fall under the first category should be paid a lump sum of 6 million yen, equivalent to five years of the current monthly payments of 100,000 yen per person.
They also should be paid the full actual value of their real estate before the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, according to the new guidelines.
Evacuees from the "zones with restricted residency" can choose to be paid 100,000 yen every month or to receive a lump sum of 2.4 million yen - two years of compensation - as they are unlikely to be able to return to their homes for the time being.
Residents from "zones preparing to lift restrictions on residents' return" - in which people will be allowed to return to their homes once living conditions are restored through decontamination and other work - will be paid 100,000 yen every month, according to the new guidelines.
The committee also decided compensation payments will conclude at the end of August for evacuees from what used to be the emergency evacuation preparation zone - located between 20 and 30 kilometres from the crippled power plant - nearly one year after it was dissolved at the end of September.
However, residents from Naraha will be exempt from the measure because only part of the town was designated as being within the zone.
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