The Tokyo Electric Power Company, owners of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, has announced that it will pay out an estimated 88 billion yen ($1 billion) to people who left their homes in the wake of radiation leaks at the plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The number of people who receive such money is expected to be in the tens of thousands.
The payments will be compensation for not being able to return to their homes. Each displaced family will get up to 120,000 yen ($1,500) a month for the first six months and then 50,000 yen ($625) for the last six months of an expected yearlong compensation program. Also paid will be farmers and fishermen, many of whom are struggling to return to their livelihoods following the devastating tsunami.
At the plant itself, workers continue to struggle to bring the water treatment system back on line, after an initial attempt at restoration was halted after only a few hours.
The country continues to be beset by echoes of the original 9.0 earthquake, with a 6.7-magnitude aftershock rocking the northeastern part of Honshu, the main island, just today.