TEPCO gets 120 bil. yen as government insurance over nuclear crisis
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crisis-stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant, said Tuesday it has received 120 billion yen from the government under an existing insurance program for nuclear accidents.
The funds will be used by the company to pay massive compensation to people and companies affected by the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years. The utility, known as TEPCO, has separately received 558.7 billion yen from a state-backed funding entity.
TEPCO submitted a request on Oct. 24 for the payment of 120 billion yen, the maximum compensation amount set by a contract between the government and TEPCO for an accident at one nuclear power plant.
“We will continue to do our best to ensure that the indemnification payment process is as convenient as possible for all applicants,” the company said in a statement.
As for compensation to make up for the victims’ emotional distress, sources familiar with the matter said the company plans to review the current guideline so that each of the residents around the plant who evacuated because of the crisis will be paid 100,000 yen per month beyond Sept. 1.
Under the guideline, the amount of compensation was expected to be halved to 50,000 yen per month from Sept. 1, based on the assumption that the living environment of many of the evacuees was to have improved six months after the nuclear crisis began in March.
But criticism has been growing from Fukushima Prefecture that mental distress will “rather increase if life as evacuees prolongs.”
TEPCO is expected to announce the revision on Thursday, according to the sources.
Japan Not to Extend Jobless Benefits Further for Disaster Victims
Tokyo, Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government will not extend the maximum unemployment benefit period any further in areas hit hard by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, labor minister Yoko Komiyama said Tuesday.
Instead of extending the benefit period, the government will focus on measures to help people who became unemployed in the disaster find new jobs, she told a news conference.
Further extending the cash benefits could dampen recipients’ motivation to look for work, Komiyama added.
As a special measure in May, the maximum jobless benefit period was extended to 120 days from 60 days in areas affected by the disaster.
In late September, the government decided on a further extension of up to 90 days for tsunami-ravaged coastal areas in the hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, and in municipalities affected by radiation leaks from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered serious damage from the disaster.
Detailed summary of the events of this year:
Occupy Tokyo: Mass demonstrations go unreported by Japanese media
Tue, 15 Nov 2011 00:53 CST
Several large demonstrations have taken place all over Japan in recent months, especially in Tokyo. The general mood is the same as elsewhere: ordinary people in Japan are fed up with their leaders’ lies, particularly the lies told by TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and how the government has handled the Fukushima disaster. Or rather, how it has avoided handling it. This should all be eerily familiar to Americans of course; BP’s lies and the US government’s enabling role from the moment the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010 has continued to this day, with the tragedy continuing to unfold in deathly silence. What is happening in Japan is almost a carbon copy; denial, smear campaigns, heavy-handed tactics and, of course, total media blackout. Up to one million people may have died as a result of Chernobyl, although we’ll never really know the true death toll. Fukushima is many orders of magnitude worse…
Now They Tell Us: Fukushima Rice Was Tested at 2 Locations Per Town, Says Yomiuri
Nothing new, I hope, for the readers of this blog. Now that radioactive cesium exceeding the national provisional limit has been detected from the rice in the area that passed the test with flying colors, the Fukushima prefectural government will test rice in select locations in 4 cities with relatively high radiation.
How does the simplified testing work? 200 grams of rice is put in a plastic bag, and a government official waves a scintillation survey meter over the rice for a few seconds.
The prefecture’s survey that tested 1174 samples in Fukushima was much praised in the media, and Fukushima rice was shipped with great fanfare. Big department stores specially feature Fukushima rice as the year-end gifts.
Now, Fukushima Prefecture and the Japanese MSM admit that locations within only 4 cities in Fukushima has nearly 2000 farms.
(Oh wait… Soma City has locations with relatively high radiation? That’s where the Japanese government sent the young king and the queen of Bhutan…)
Read the entire article at:
Last Updated: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:35:00 +1100
Japan’s Science Ministry says nearly 10 per cent of the country’s land has been contaminated by radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
It says more than 30,000km², or eight per cent of the country’s land area, has been blanketed by radioactive caesium.
The Ministry says most of the contamination was caused by four large plumes of radiation spewed out by the Fukushima nuclear plant in the first two weeks after meltdowns after the March earthquake and tsunami.
The Japanese Government says some of the radioactive material fell with rain and snow, leaving the affected areas with accumulations of more than 10,000 becquerels of caesium per square metre.
Emergency condenser at Fukushima plant may not have fully run after tsunami
An emergency cooling condenser at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant appears to have only partially run after the loss of all external power sources caused by the March 11 tsunami, the plant’s operator said.
There are two systems comprising the “isolation condenser (IC),” which is meant to cool down steam in a nuclear reactor in time of emergency, according to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
When employees examined the plant on Oct. 18, the levels of coolant in the two systems in the plant’s No. 1 reactor were at 65 percent and 85 percent. The coolant evaporates in the process of heat exchange.
Noting that water has not been supplied to either of the systems since the disasters on March 11, TEPCO officials said they suspect that the IC in the No. 1 reactor functioned only at a limited level or over a short period.
As to the cause of the suspected malfunctioning, TEPCO suggested that hydrogen generated by damaged nuclear fuel may have gathered in the piping, causing the IC’s heat removal efficiency to decline. During the inspection on Oct. 18, the workers found no damage to the IC in the No. 1 reactor.
A high-ranking official of TEPCO said the IC would not have prevented the damage in the reactor even if it had functioned properly.
“Even if the IC had been working, it could have only delayed the damage to the reactor core a little bit. It wouldn’t have been a fundamental solution,” said Junichi Matsumoto, head of TEPCO’s nuclear power division.
It is believed that after the IC was automatically activated in response to the earthquake, a worker manually stopped it and then restarted it.
The government’s accident investigation panel is investigating to see if the IC was properly operated and if it functioned properly.
(Mainichi Japan) November 23, 2011
TEPCO to Recalculate the Amount of Radioactive Materials Leaked into the Ocean
Not only foreign researchers but also Japanese researchers have raised issues with TEPCO’s estimate on the amount of radioactive materials that leaked (on its own, or intentionally) into the Pacific Ocean, TEPCO has said it will recalculate the number. The company hopes to announce the result of the recalculation by the end of this month.
So far, TEPCO’s number is 4,700 terabequerels (iodine, cesium).
From Chunichi Shinbun (11/23/2011; don’t expect the link to last long on this paper):
Researchers in Japan and abroad have been disputing the number that TEPCO had announced regarding the amount of radioactive materials in the highly contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant that leaked into the ocean. The leak was discovered in April. TEPCO’s number does not include the amount that leaked in March. If the March number were to be added, it could be the worst marine contamination ever. In response to the criticism, TEPCO has started the recalculation, and hopes to announce the result by the end of this month.
Article continues at:
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Full text of Chunichi article: