Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (Tepco) said it has been granted a further JPY123.6bn ($1.1bn) to make the latest compensation payments, due by the end of next month, arising from the March 2011 Fukushima accident. The grant from the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) was its 50th request for funding - and was made to cover compensation payouts due by the end of April 2016.
Tepco said the payouts due to be paid by that time "had been estimated to exceed the sum of the compensation" it had received to date from the NDF (JPY5,820.4bn), and assistance received in accordance with a Japanese law on indemnification for nuclear damage compensation (JPY188.9bn). The NDF was established in September 2011. The government set aside JPY9,000bn in assistance, to be provided to the company through the NDF. Tepco repays the aid in small amounts.
Meanwhile, a special committee set up by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission to examine the national system for nuclear damage compensation has yet to decide on a liability cap. Currently, nuclear plant operators in Japan bear unlimited liability for compensation, but some experts have said a ceiling should be set for their responsibility. The discussions are proving difficult, as limiting the liability would raise the problem of how to compensate affected people and businesses for the damage in excess of the limit.