Japan's TEPCO to pay $49 billion to victims

Japan's TEPCO to pay $49 billion to victims. 44212.jpegVictim compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s nuclear accident may amount to 4 trillion yen ($49 billion), the Asahi newspaper reported, citing government estimates.

The total assumes that the utility raises electricity prices to help pay for the compensation, the report said, without citing where it obtained the information. Tepco will need to borrow additional money from a fund established by other utilities, the report said, according to Bloomberg.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the Parliament that a second batch of emergency spending would follow, depending on special debt.

Total expenditures could top ten trillion yen, according to DPJ lawmakers.

The March 11 magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 15,000 people and left over 10,000 missing across a swath of northeastern Japan were a further blow to a country with the world's largest public debt, RTT News reports.

The Fukushima plant was heavily damaged by the deadly earthquake and tsunami of March 11, and has since been releasing radioactive materials to the environment.

The worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from their houses, businesses and farms.

Officials hope to bring the plant to a cold shutdown by the year end, Peace FM Online reports.


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