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At least 350 people affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown will file a class action lawsuit against the Japanese government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on the second anniversary of the disaster. Lawyers representing residents whose homes and farms were hit by radiation in the wake of the disaster said it was the largest suit on the issue filed against the government.
The plaintiffs will further seek some US$535 each in compensation from TEPCO for every month they have been displaced as a result of the accident.
They also plan to seek a court injunction that will require both the government and TEPCO to reduce radiation levels in the affected area to pre-disaster levels. The suit will be filed on March 11, the two-year anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Several other similar class-action suits against both the government and TEPCO will be filed with the Tokyo District Court on the same day.
"The government promoted nuclear power as a national policy and has been closely involved with it," lawyer Izutaro Managi told AAP news agency. "Being fully aware of the danger of losing power due to a tsunami, the government neglected its duty to prevent such an event," he said. "This is a suit to recover a Fukushima with neither radiation nor nuclear power," he continued.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami crashed into the power station and knocked out its cooling system leading to the meltdown of three reactor cores. Tens of thousands were forced to flee the area and many are still unable to return.
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