According to a survey carried out by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, as many as 1,539 residents in Fukushima Prefecture, location of the disaster stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, are reportedly suffering from stress related to the nuclear disaster that was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 2011. To date, bereaved relatives of people who have reportedly died as a result of stress, fatigue and aggravated health issues while living in evacuation communities and temporary housing have filed lawsuits against the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the aforementioned nuclear facility.
Over 100 people have reportedly died of stress from being displaced because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, now being named as possibly equal in disastrous effect to the Chernobyl incident in 1986. The relatives of these people have filed complaints, adding to the numerous legal cases are under way across Japan, as thousands of Fukushima residents are currently in the process of suing both the government and TEPCO. In August this year, a group of around 140 residents started a legal action and wants to claim 1 billion yen (over US$10 million) as compensation for the psychological stress caused by the nuclear disaster. They are claiming that the authorities failed to take adequate safety measures to protect the people. Earlier this year, a different group of 1,650 residents and evacuees filed lawsuits in district courts with similar claims, reflecting the stress that these people are suffering and the ongoing challenges they are facing, having lost lives and homes in the disaster.
Reports of these ongoing stress and challenges seem to be mirrored by the difficulties TEPCO is facing in decommissioning the molten down cores at the embattled facility. A series of highly-publicized leaks of contaminated water have come to pass in recent weeks, forcing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to intervene last week and launch an ambitious 47-billion-yen (over US$472 million) scheme to finally stop the leaks from the plant with the construction of a frozen underground wall. All of these are happening under the scrutiny of international entities, especially as Tokyo was just given the privilege of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics.
[via The Telegraph]