A new law has been enacted by the Diet to allow the current entity dealing with compensation for victims to now also manage much of the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi. They will also be tasked with using government funds for any decommissioning effort TEPCO balks at paying for. They will also have some authority to instruct TEPCO to do things.
The The Nuclear Damage Liability and Facilitation Fund could be ready to take on the additional role by summer.
“Under the revised law, a panel of experts and a division in charge of decommissioning issues will be set up within the fund to organize research projects and give instructions to Tepco.”
This new action by the government is quite huge in the context of dealing with the disaster. The government has been reluctant to take on aspects of the disaster at the plant, preferring to let TEPCO handle the problems and shoulder the blame. As things devolved further the government began being involved in isolated tasks related to the plant. In the last year they have tasked METI with some oversight of the technology needed to deal with the plant. They also funded IRID to act as a semi-independent research body to help come up with solutions to the complex problems at the plant. This new change signals an even larger role of government responsibility to deal with the disaster as TEPCO either can not or will not do it.
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