by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 30, 2011
Japanese lawyers on Sunday launched a legal team to help victims of the Fukushima accident seek compensation from the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., and the national government.
About 30 lawyers, mostly based in the northern Fukushima region, announced at a news conference in Fukushima city that they had set up a new legal advisory team.
In a statement, they vowed to help victims including those engaged in tourism, agriculture and dairy farms whose business has slumped due to fears of radiation from the plant.
A similar team of about 30 lawyers, mostly based in southern Fukushima, was already inaugurated on October 16 as they had been asked for legal advice on compensation from "hundreds" of victims, according to their leader.
The statement said that the team will initially assist some 50 people in demanding Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and the government fully compensate them, restore their business bases and rebuild their neighbourhoods.
The number of their clients is expected to grow, the statement said.
On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Fukushima, demanding full compensation for victims of the crisis, and swift decontamination of their neighbourhoods.
The accident has been rated as the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The government hopes to stabilise the troubled reactors in a "cold shutdown" by the end of this year, a goal seen by critics as difficult.
More than seven months after the disaster, tens of thousands of people remain evacuated from homes and businesses in a 20 kilometre (12 mile) no-go zone around the plant and in pockets beyond.
Fully decontaminating those areas is expected to take decades.
Both legal teams charged that TEPCO had been negligent in preparing for a major quake and tsunami and the government had been promoting nuclear power generation.
On Friday, TEPCO asked the government for a reported $13 billion to help pay compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The company did not reveal the amount of cash it asked for and said the figure would remain secret until it was approved by the government.
However, media reports put the figure at up to one trillion yen, or $13 billion dollars.
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Nuclear pollution of sea from Fukushima was world's biggest
Paris (AFP) Oct 27, 2011
France's nuclear monitor said on Thursday that the amount of caesium 137 that leaked into the Pacific from the Fukushima disaster was the greatest single nuclear contamination of the sea ever seen. But, confirming previous assessments, it said caesium levels had been hugely diluted by ocean currents and, except for near-shore species, posed no discernible threat. From March 21 to mid-Jul ... read more
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