Japan to implement compensation rules for losses caused by Fukushima rumors

A Cabinet meeting on the management of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is held at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo on December 28, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – The Japanese government on Tuesday decided to establish, within a year, standards for compensating companies that suffer losses due to rumors that may emerge when Japan starts dumping into the sea of treated radioactive water from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

While neighboring countries such as China and South Korea have expressed concerns over the release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant scheduled for spring 2023, the action plan provides that the agency Atomic Energy International assesses water security to ensure transparency. .

The government will also set up a 30 billion yen ($ 261 million) fund provided for in the FY2021 Supplementary Budget to purchase seafood when demand drops and promote the online sale of products by consumers. fishing groups.

In a Cabinet meeting on the topic, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno called on members to “implement the measures quickly and steadily and educate as many consumers as possible about the safety (of treated water ) to create an environment in which people in communities can continue to function and develop their activities. ”

The action plan was drawn up when the government decided in April to allow Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. to discharge significantly diluted contaminated water into the sea in a step-by-step operation.

More than a million tonnes of treated water accumulated at the plant’s premises after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011.

The water is treated using an advanced liquid treatment system. The process removes most of the radioactive material, with the exception of tritium, which is said to pose little health risk.

As part of the action plan, the government will establish compensation plans for each industry such as fishing, agriculture, trade and tourism and decide on the period to be compared when calculating losses before the operator of the Fukushima plant, TEPCO, does not create compensation standards.

The IAEA will send an investigative team to the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to compile its mid-term safety assessment report by 2022 and participate in the long-term water discharge, according to the plan.

The plan also includes conducting online surveys targeting consumers in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere starting in January to understand their perceptions of treated water and food products in Fukushima Prefecture.

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