Japanese Cabinet Approves Nuclear Accident Compensation Plan

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
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Japan's Cabinet has approved legislation that will help the owners of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant compensate people affected by the disaster.

The plan calls for the creation of a fund that Tokyo Electric Power Company will use to pay reparations to tens of thousands of residents who were living within a 20-kilometer evacuation zone surrounding the plant. Farmers, fishermen and businesses have also lost income because of the accident.

The fund will be financed by the sale of special government bonds and contributions from other power companies. TEPCO will eventually be required to fully reimburse the fund.

Shares in TEPCO rose more than 15 percent Tuesday on news of the measure, which must still be approved by the Japanese parliament.

The Fukushima plant was crippled by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which damaged cooling systems at all of six of the plant's reactors and caused radiation leaks. It is the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl incident.

The government announced Monday that at least eight workers at Fukushima have been exposed to more radiation than is allowed under a new set of safety standards.