Ministers slam TEPCO with Fukushima resettlement imminent


TOKYO — Cabinet ministers applied pressure on Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Sept.27 to take care of the evacuees in the lead-up to the official end of the Evacuation Zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Friday.

Goshi Hosono, the state minister in charge of responding to the nuclear disaster, told TEPCO to ensure it continued to compensate the tens of thousands of those taking refuge from the radiation-leaking plant.

About 30,000 people are expected to be able to return to their homes when the evacuation order applying to the zone 20 to 30 kilometers (12 to 18 miles) around the reactor is officially lifted on Sept. 30.

“Many people come from evacuated areas they won’t be able to return to even after the evacuation order is lifted, and it’s unfair if compensation paid to those people is lowered,” Hosono told a news conference, insisting that TEPCO continue compensating evacuees until they are able to return to their homes.

In a related development, TEPCO on Sept. 27 submitted an uncensored operation manual for the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a government body set up to reform the utility after it was widely criticized for blacking out more than 90% of its contents for security purposes in an earlier submission. TEPCO was ordered to submit the manual under the law regulating nuclear reactors. It must submit operation manuals for the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors by Wednesday.

TEPCO’s submission of the manual came as Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano blasted the utility for overpaying its executives and making compensation claims too complicated.

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