Tokyo nuclear plant operator must compensate victims

This image shows an evacuee living in a partitioned 'room' at a gymnasium converted into a shelter in Kamaishi.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The Japanese government today ordered Tokyo Electric Power, or TEPCO, to pay families who were affected by the utility's crippled and radiation-leaking Fukushima nuclear plant.

The BBC's Roland Beurk is with us now from Tokyo with the latest. Hi Roland.

ROLAND BEURK: Hi Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: So how much will the victims get?

BEURK: The payment is $12,000 per household, per family. And the people who are going to get it are those whose home were within 12 miles of the plant. Those are people who were ordered to evacuate, and those whose homes are between 12 and 19 miles away from the plant. As that's what's being called here the "stay inside zone." But of course many of those people are in evacuations centers. They don't know if they'll ever be able to go home. They've not just lost where they live, they've lost their businesses and their jobs as well.

CHIOTAKIS: And how much will TEPCO be paying total, Roland?

BEURK: Well the total is about 50 billion yen, which is around $600 million, but this is really the tip of the iceberg. This is a company that faces enormous compensation bills in the coming months. One estimates has put it at around $24 billion.

CHIOTAKIS: How do you figure out the math on accidents like these? Is there a formula?

BEURK: I think the problem, and the reason why survivors are annoyed, is that so far there hasn't been any math. They're getting a flat payment, and I think their concern is that there's no sign at the moment that they can see that the math is being done.

CHIOTAKIS: The BBC's Roland Beurke in Tokyo, Roland thanks.

BEURK: Thanks Steve.

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