Tepco ordered to pay $30,000 each to 318 people of the Minamisoma’s Odaka District class action suit

TEPCO ordered to pay 1.1 billion yen to evacuees in Fukushima
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Junichiro Hironaka, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, right, speaks at a news conference on Feb. 7 after the Tokyo District Court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 3.3 million yen in damages to each plaintiff in a Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation lawsuit.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has been ordered to pay 3.3 million yen ($30,000) each to 318 people who were forced to flee their hometown in Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear disaster.
However, the plaintiffs are unhappy as they sought 10 times that amount.
“We are stripped of our hometown, livelihood and life, and Odaka will not return to what it used to be,” 76-year-old Isao Enei of Minami-Soma said at a news conference after the Feb. 7 verdict at Tokyo District Court. “I am sorry that the judges did not visit and see the situation of Odaka for themselves.”
The plaintiffs are now considering appealing as they had initially sought 33 million yen each in additional damages in the lawsuit.
“It is significant in a way in recognizing ‘damages for the loss of a hometown,’” said Junichiro Hironaka, the plaintiffs’ lead lawyer. “But the amount of compensation ordered does not correspond to the actual damages they suffered.”
In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Yuko Mizuno said that the plaintiffs’ “right to a stable life in a place that was the foundation of their livelihood had been breached.”
TEPCO said it will respond to the court decision after studying it in detail.
The plaintiffs lived in Minami-Soma’s Odaka district before the triple meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
Odaka was located within the 20-kilometer no-entry zone surrounding the plant from which residents were forced to evacuate.
The plaintiffs contended that TEPCO was liable for causing psychological damage as they were displaced and lost their hometown.
The total that TEPCO must pay to the 318 plaintiffs falls a fraction short of 1.1 billion yen, but the court dismissed claims by three plaintiffs on the grounds that they lived overseas at the time of the accident or for other reasons.
The verdict was the fourth that has been handed down in regard to about 30 similar lawsuits that have been brought across the nation.
In the three other suits, the plaintiffs claimed in the district courts that the government and TEPCO had been negligent, but in the latest case the court was only concerned with the amount of compensation.
The plaintiffs argued for compensation for damages stemming from the evacuation, as well as compensation for a loss of various general benefits that they would have enjoyed if they had continued to reside in their hometown.
The power company rejected the plaintiffs’ claim for additional compensation, citing the payment already made of 8.5 million yen per victim of the nuclear disaster in the district based on the government’s “interim guidelines” for compensation.
It insisted that the plaintiffs’ claim that “Odaka has been lost forever” was not proven.
The evacuation order was lifted for most of the district in July 2016.
But the court stated that even after it became possible for residents to return (to Odaka), it “constitutes a serious violation of the plaintiffs’ life if the foundations of their livelihood were considerably changed.”
TEPCO argued that the government’s interim compensation guidelines were reasonable.
But the court rejected it, saying the district court will not be bound by the government’s guidelines.
Rulings for similar lawsuits are expected in March at the Kyoto District Court and Tokyo District Court.
 
Fukushima operator Tepco ordered to pay US$10 million in new damages
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A Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) employee working near the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Jan 31, 2018
 
TOKYO (AFP) – A Tokyo court has ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to pay US$10 million (S$13.3 million) in fresh damages to residents who fled their homes after the disaster, the plaintiffs’ attorney said Thursday (Feb 8).
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) was instructed to pay a total of 1.1 billion yen (S$13.3 million) to 318 former residents of the Odaka district in Fukushima, around 20 kilometres from the plant.
The sum is a tenth of what the plaintiffs had demanded, citing the financial hardship and psychological impact they suffered after the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima that was triggered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami.
Tepco had already agreed to pay each of the plaintiffs 8.5 million yen, but the ruling requires it to pay an additional 3.3 million yen to each of those affected, according to Isamu Oki, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.
Residents are technically free to return to Odaka, which the government has certified as decontaminated, but only a few dozen have gone home because of financial and health concerns, Oki told AFP.
“Especially those with small children are worried… while elderly people are unable to come back without any supporting family,” he added.
Junichiro Hironaka, who heads the legal team representing the residents, said Wednesday that the court’s decision showed it recognised “compensation for a lost hometown”.
But he said the additional damages awarded by the court were insufficient, suggesting the plaintiffs might appeal.
Tepco said it was reviewing the ruling before deciding how it would proceed.
Around 12,000 people who fled their homes for fear of radiation have filed dozens of lawsuits against the government and Tepco.
In March 2017, a court in the eastern city of Maebashi ruled that both the government and Tepco were responsible.
A massive undersea earthquake on March 11, 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan’s northeast coast, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing and sparking the Fukushima crisis, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
In June 2017, three former Tepco executives went on trial, the only people ever to face a criminal court in connection with the disaster. The hearing is continuing.
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TEPCO refused in 2002 to calculate possible tsunami hitting Fukushima: ex-gov’t official

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The No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on Nov. 21, 2017
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, refused in 2002 to calculate the potential effects of tsunami in case of an earthquake off Fukushima Prefecture when a now-defunct nuclear watchdog told the utility to conduct an evaluation, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
A former safety screening division official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) told the Mainichi Shimbun on Jan. 29 that TEPCO did not accept the agency’s request even though the latter tried to convince the utility after the government released a long-term assessment report that a major earthquake could hit off the Pacific coast including areas off Fukushima Prefecture, possibly triggering massive tsunami. This is the first time that exchanges between the then nuclear agency and TEPCO following the release of the government report have come to light.
In July 2002, the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion released the long-term assessment report saying that an earthquake similar to the 1896 Sanriku Earthquake could hit off the Pacific from the northern Sanriku to Boso areas. The official held a hearing on TEPCO the following month as to whether the report would affect safety measures at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
According to the official as well as the statement submitted by the government to the trial of a lawsuit filed by Fukushima nuclear evacuees against TEPCO and the state, NISA told the utility to calculate a possible earthquake-tsunami disaster off the coast from Fukushima to Ibaraki prefectures, pointing out that Tohoku Electric Power Co. had been considering conducting an assessment on areas quite far south. In response, TEPCO representatives showed reluctance, saying that the calculation would “take time and cost money” and that there was no reliable scientific basis in the assessment report. The TEPCO officials reportedly resisted for about 40 minutes on the matter. In the end, the agency accepted the utility’s decision to shelve the earthquake-tsunami estimate.
In 2006, NISA again requested TEPCO to prepare its nuclear plants for massive tsunami exceeding envisioned levels, but the company did not comply, before finally conducting a calculation in 2008. The utility concluded that waves up to a height of 15.7 meters could hit the Fukushima plant, but did not take measures according to the estimate.
The former nuclear agency official said as someone involved in the screening of earthquake resistant measures it was very unfortunate that the accident at the Fukushima plant occurred, but stopped short of commenting on the legitimacy of the agency’s handling of the matter, saying, “I can’t put it in words casually.”
The attorney representing Fukushima nuclear evacuees in the redress suit commented that the finding exposes the maliciousness of TEPCO, while also pointing to the responsibility of the central government. A TEPCO public relations official, meanwhile, said that the company would not comment on the matter because the trial was ongoing.

Gov’t scrapped proposed Fukushima tsunami simulation 9 yrs before crisis

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Tokyo – The government proposed to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. that a simulation of tsunami waves striking Fukushima Prefecture be conducted nine years before the 2011 catastrophe that crippled its nuclear plant, but decided not to after the company objected, a document from an ongoing compensation suit showed Monday.
When the government’s earthquake research unit unveiled a long-term assessment in July 2002 saying that massive tsunami waves could occur anywhere along the Pacific coast in northeastern Japan, a now-defunct nuclear agency told the Fukushima plant operator the following month that a simulation of possible tsunami damage was needed, an agency official’s statement submitted to the Chiba District Court showed.
But Tepco rejected the proposal on the basis of research by a seismologist, according to Shuji Kawahara, the official of the defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The statement was presented in a lawsuit filed by nuclear disaster evacuees demanding compensation from the government and Tepco. The trial, along with other similar lawsuits filed nationwide, is focused on whether the government and Tepco were able to foresee the huge tsunami triggered by the 2011 earthquake and take preventive measures beforehand.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, resulting in a blackout at the plant and a consequent loss of reactor cooling functions. The plant suffered multiple meltdowns and hydrogen blasts.
According to Kawahara’s statement, the agency accepted Tepco’s rejection because the long-term assessment did not sufficiently show that a large tsunami was a realistic threat to the plant’s operation. The company also said it would give consideration to tsunami measures in the future.
Kawahara defended the agency’s response as legitimate under nuclear safety regulations in force at the time.
Tepco said it would not comment on matters related to ongoing court proceedings.

72nd financial payment for Tepco: 2.7 billion dollars

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72nd financial payment for Tepco: more than 8,000 billion yen loaned without interest
Tepco announces that it has received the 72nd financial payment from the government support structure which gives it money for compensation: 293.5 billion yen (2.7 billion dollars at the current rate). This amount is about 10 times higher than the last time and this money is loaned without interest.
Tepco has already received a total of 8,032.1 billion yen (73.6 billion dollars at the current rate) if we take into account this payment and this will not be enough.

FUKU B.S.

Are we stupid enough to forget that Tepco has always been lying since day one and that for now 7 years ?
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Yesterday I was amazed to see a website which has been covering the Fukushima disaster for the past 7 years, suddenly for the first time complaining  about Tepco withholding some of the meltdown data collected during Tepco’s recent probe in Fukushima reactor 2.
Amazed because that particular website has been posting now for the past 7 years only reposts of Tepco’s official reports as if those were the holy truth, never before questioning Tepco’s data to be reliable or not…
Come on where have you been ? All the serious Fukushima watchers who followed closely this ongoing disaster since its beginning know one sure fact:
Tepco has always been lying, that since day one. Lying twisting the facts and numbers, lying by omission, sometimes photoshopping their released photos and editing their video footages.
Those Tepco’s released reports have always been just the sweetened B.S. version that Tepco feeds us, wants us to swallow hook and sinker.
Their damage control, hired advertising and P.R. company, Dentsu corporation, coaching them to write and schedule those B.S. reports to cover-up the hard facts and numbers and to cushion the unsettled ongoing disaster facts to the eyes of the general public, locally, nationwide and internationally.
The nuclear industry has always been a lying business, covering up the hard facts and lying to the public. In that Tepco is no different than the other corporations involved in that harmful business. But since Tepco has been lying abundantly non-stop for now 7 years, it has developed it to an art form level, and for that Tepco rightly deserves the Pinocchio award of the nuclear industry.
A reminder, there is no independent commission on location, all the data coming out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant site are what they agree to feed us, after being properly vetoed by Tepco, the IAEA, the Japanese government, and Dentsu. So all the main stream media articles have the same one and unique source : Tepco.
So any information released by Tepco should be considered tainted and biased.
Tepco cannot successfully filter the accumulated radioactive water on site but it does efficiently filter all informations coming out from there, diluting the truth with lies so as  to cover up the real gravity of the situation on location.
Right from the beginning Tepco always lied, and still does, and I believe that Tepco will not change its modus operandi.
Only a fool would fully believe those Tepco’s B.S. reports to be true, as if they were Holy Bible, and keep reposting them helping thus to build Tepco’s credibility.
That website has been wasting 7 years helping Tepco to spread its B.S.
Such time would have been more usefully spent if used to spread the voices of the Fukushima victims on location and of the Tohoku residents organizing themselves to measure the radiation that they have now to live with.
It took that blogger on that website 7 years to finally notice that Tepco was witholding data ? Come on, stop being a moron !

Is Japan ready to trust Tepco with nuclear power again?

The nuclear operator has been granted permission to restart two of its reactors on the Sea of Japan coast, revenues from which it needs to offset massive compensation payments stemming from the Fukushima disaster
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Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station.
At a quiet end-of-year meeting, Japan’s nuclear power regulators recently gave the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) official permission to restart two of its nuclear reactors on the Sea of Japan coast – reactors which have been idle for the better part of ten years.
This was not the first time the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) had approved a restart – it has okayed 12 reactors, owned by four utilities, since coming into being in 2013. But it was the first time the authorities had openly questioned a utility’s competence to operate a reactor – any reactor.
The authority added “eligibility” to its list of concerns – meaning Tepco’s eligibility to run a nuclear plant. “Tepco is different from other power companies,” said former chairman Shunichi Tanaka.
Tepco isn’t just any utility. It owned and operated the four reactors destroyed in the March 11, 2011 “triple disaster” of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima prefecture. It also owns seven undamaged reactors on the opposite side of Japan, which it desperately wants to begin producing power – and revenue – to offset its enormous liabilities.
The nuclear authority’s actions are the first approvals it has extended to operators of boiling water reactors, or BWRs – the same type of reactor that suffered multiple meltdowns in the Fukushima accident. BWRs also have some safety concerns that are unique to them. About half of Japan’s 40-odd currently-operable nuclear power plants are BWRs.
The seven Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plants on the Sea of Japan coast constitute the largest commercial nuclear power complex in the world. Each is capable of producing enough electricity to light up a small city. They were shut down after the 2007 earthquake and then shut down again after 3/11.
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Signs from an anti-nuclear protest against the Japanese government in Tokyo.
 
Tepco’s management is eager – to say the least – to get at least the two reactors (Units 6 and 7) approved and on-line in order to produce revenues that will offset the massive compensation payments stemming from the disaster, and to cover the cost of imported fossil fuels.
Returning at least two reactors to operations would yield about 200 billion yen (US$1.8 billion) in added revenues. It has been a part of the utility’s business plan almost from the time of the accident, without much expectation – until late last month – that it could be realized.
Tepco’s President Tomoaki Kobayakawa testified before the authority several times last summer, reassuring the commissioners of Tepco’s commitment to safety. He also said he would see the decommissioning of the Fukushima plants “through to the end.”
He turned the question of competence around by insisting that his utility needs the revenue from operating the two K-K plants so that it can fulfill its responsibilities to the Fukushima safety and decommissioning project.
“It seems Tepco’s response on competency is to shift the focus to ‘financial competency,’” said Caitlin Stronell of the Citizens Nuclear Information Center. In any event, the authority seemed persuaded enough to give a green light to a restart, despite the lingering fears from the Fukushima disaster.
Tepco says approximately 6,000 staff and contract workers are laboring at the Kashiwazaki plant, or almost as many workers as are employed in the decommissioning activities at Fukushima. Among other safety features, they have erected a 50 meter-high seawall to guard against future tsunamis.
Hydrogen re-combiners have been installed to prevent a repeat of the hydrogen explosions that rocked the Fukushima Daiichi units. They have also stored 20,000 tons of water in a nearby hilltop reservoir to provide cooling water using gravity, rather than diesel pumps, to keep cores from melting in any loss-of-coolant accident.
Tepco’s operations on the Sea of Japan were compromised in 2007, when the site was hit by the Chuetsu Earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale.
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That earthquake caused relatively little structural damage and never came close to a Fukushima-style meltdown. However, it was discovered that the severity of the quake exceeded the design criteria, which resulted in a lengthy shutdown for all seven reactors as Tepco struggled to meet stricter rules.
The utility was in the process of bringing three reactors back on-line when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in March 2011, putting the big seven out of operation once again and eventually shutting down all of Japan’s commercial reactors.
Successive governors of Niigata prefecture have taken a very cautious position on restarting any of the K-K plants. Three-term Governor Hirohiko Izumida always maintained that he would not approve any restart until the exact causes of the Fukushima disaster are fully known. His recently elected successor, Ryuichi Yomeyama, has the same policy.
This will continue to be an issue for Tepco, for in this area of policy, the national government follows the advice of the governor.

Fukushima Radiation Case Doesn’t Belong in US. Any conflicts of interest there?

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Posted on 6th Jan 2018 by Shaun McGee aka arclight2011

On the unfortunate news that the court case for the US nuclear victims from the USS Ronald Reagan which was contaminated by a radioactive plume from the Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster in 2011 has been rejected in the USA, I decided to look into the finances of the presiding judge (Judge Janis L Sammartino) who was overseeing the case in the courts on Friday 5 Jan 2018.

The latest financial disclosure I could find was from 2010;

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Source of screenshot; https://www.scribd.com/document/74646914/Janis-L-Sammartino-Financial-Disclosure-Report-for-Sammartino-Janis-L

Looking at the companies listed I decided to see if there was any connection to the nuclear industry with these companies. First I looked at MiTEK;

Apr 3, 2014 – MiTek Industries has acquired Ellis & Watts Global Industries, a designer and fabricator of HVAC products for nuclear and military customers. Chesterfield-based MiTek, a supplier of engineered products, software and equipment for the construction industry that’s owned by Berkshire Hathaway, said Batavia … http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/mitek-acquires-ohio-hvac-fabricator-ellis-watts/article_d94a3326-e9e2-5cef-893e-c92d064b6b8a.html

And the link to the company can be found here;

MiTek is comprised of more than 40 companies operating in nearly 100 countries globally, providing a broad array of products and services. Together, we deliver a powerful combination of engineered products and technologies to customers in the ever-evolving building industry. https://www.mii.com/Our-Business/

Secondly, I looked at Fiserv, an investment company and I found a link to Fiserv`s technology officer;

In 1999, Jim was asked to join GE as their first e-commerce attorney. Jack Welch had just announced that the “E in GE stands for E-commerce” and Jim thought that it would be a great challenge to participate in the “digital transformation” of the large multinational company. While at GE, he managed the legal and compliance aspects of over 500 “business digitization” projects, and took advantage of GE leadership and quality training courses. In 2003, with privacy issues becoming more prominent, Jim was named “Chief Privacy Leader” for GE, and led GE’s pioneering initiative to implement Binding Corporate Rules for the transfer of personal data from Europe, personally meeting with dozens of European data protection officials. Eventually, though, it became apparent that Jim would have to move his family away from Atlanta to continue with GE, and he began searching for opportunities closer to home.

In 2005, Atlanta’s CheckFree was looking for a Chief Privacy Officer and decided that Jim would be the perfect person for the role. In December 2007, CheckFree was acquired by Fiserv, Inc. and Jim became the Chief Privacy Officer of the combined organization. Among other duties, Jim provides privacy and regulatory compliance guidance for the Fiserv Enterprise Risk and Resilience program. Founded in 1984, Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV ) is a leading global technology provider serving the financial services industry , with over 500 products and service offerings. Fiserv had 2012 revenue of $4.48 Billion, has over 20,000 employees, and has over 16,000 clients in 106 countries, including relationships with all 100 of the top 100 U.S. banking institutions.  http://www.atlantatrend.org/news/99-news-april-2013/611-atlanta-spotlight-jim-jordan

And TEVA pharamaceutical industries which makes resin for nuclear waste containers. This company is in the process of being bought out because of financial difficulties.

Nov 5, 2017 – JERUSALEM, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Billionaire businessman Len Blavatnik is looking to buy a significant stake in debt-ridden Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, according to Israeli media reports. Two of Israel’s leading financial news outlets, Globes and The Marker, reported on Sunday that … https://www.reuters.com/article/teva-pharm-ind-ma/billionaire-blavatnik-weighs-big-share-purchase-in-teva-pharm-reports-idUSL5N1NB0AV

And it might be worth pointing out from a Guardian report on Len Blavatnik that this billionaire has some interesting buisness practises;

His charitable donations have been described as some of the most generous ever made in the UK, but unease about Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s philanthropy has grown after a leading political academic quit the University of Oxford. The Ukraine-born billionaire gave £75m to Oxford to …  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/03/len-blavatnik-oligarch-controversy-philanthropy-resignation-oxford-professor

It would be interesting to get an updated version of Judge Sammatino`s financial disclosures to confirm these connections still exist or when she divested from these companies. I leave the links and extracts above for any discerning journalist researcher or blogger to look into.

Fukushima Radiation Case Doesn’t Belong in US. Any conflicts of interest there?