3 Aug 2011

Japan approves compo plan for Fukushima victims

10:27 pm on 3 August 2011

The Japanese parliament has approved a plan to help power company Tepco compensate the victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

A 9.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami on 11 March which led to a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northwest Japan.

The government will pay damages to those affected, including some 80,000 people who abandoned their homes.

The aim is to ensure victims get compensation while keeping the lights on in Tokyo, the BBC reports.

Tepco faces unlimited liabilities and the weight of claims threaten to drive it into bankruptcy.

Under the plan, the government will set up a compensation fund and is expected to put in an initial 2 trillion yen ($US26 billion), although the final cost could be far higher.

In return, Tepco will restructure and, along with other nuclear power companies in Japan, make annual contributions.