UN update, Fukushima, June 18, 2013

The United Nations has recently released a series of reports about Fukushima.  In one report the UN challenged TEPCO and Japan to do more about the disaster.

A United Nations expert who investigated the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 nuclear power plant disaster says the government and the operator of the facility should do more to help those affected by the catastrophe.

A report by special rapporteur Anand Grover, posted on the U.N. Human Rights Council’s website, says the government’s takeover of Tokyo Electric Power Co. allowed the utility to evade full responsibility for the nuclear disaster, the worst since Chernobyl…

Originally, seeking compensation involved a 60-page application form with 2,215 sections, the report said. Although the process has since been streamlined, the report said the government should address concerns over “TEPCO’s attempts to reduce compensation levels and delay settlement.”

The report also expresses concern over nuclear power plant workers, saying that many of them are “poor and some even homeless.” Despite a legal requirement to provide them with compulsory checkups, many hired through subcontractors lack proper or effective monitoring of their health.

In a second report The UN stated that:

VIENNA, 31 May 2013 (UN Information Service) – “Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers,” concluded the 60 th session of the Vienna-based United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

These reports seem to be mixed messages.   On the one hand, not enough has been done, and on the other hand there does not seem to be much of a problem.  Meanwhile, the workers that can are leaving.

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