Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Judge: TEPCO responsible for woman’s suicide after Fukushima nuclear accident

A district court judge in Japan ruled that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is responsible for a woman’s suicide following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The court ordered TEPCO to pay 49 million yen ($472,000) in compensation to the family of Hamako Watanabe, who fell into depression after she and her family were forced out of their home after the nuclear meltdown at the plant, according to Reuters. More than 150,000 people had to evacuate, and about a third of them are still in temporary housing.

TEPCO had already expected to pay more than $48 billion in compensation, and the government gave TEPCO a $12.8 billion bailout in 2012. The company posted a $4.3 billion profit in May.

The article said the court’s ruling could have major implications for TEPCO and compensation issues in nuclear power in the future. Another Fukushima resident is suing TEPCO over his inability to return home, and he said he expects a ruling next month from the same court.

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