Six Years For Total Loss On Fukushima Properties
TEPCO has admitted a time frame for total loss on property claims. In this NHK report they cite that after 6 years of non occupancy a house will be considered a total loss.
“The utility is to offer compensation based on how long the affected areas were designated as no-go zones. It will also assume that the value of the real estate will fall to zero 6 years after the accident.”
NHK has since pulled the story off the website, a cached copy still exists online. If this is correct it puts some context on efforts to reopen the evacuation zone. Parts of Tomioka were reopened last week for brief visits to do repair work but not residency. Parts of Namie were reopened this week under the same restrictions. Allowing people access to do maintenance work to their property would seem like a good move in case they can return home. Will these areas ever be safe to live in again and will it be safe to live so close to the disaster site? The underlying concern that the government will rush to declare areas safe even if they are not to beat the deadlines for total compensation exists. Will evacuees have to wait the 6 years before they can get a settlement? Will they be expected to wait until the government makes some permanent decisions before they can move on if they need assistance to do so?
The government has of course declared they will have Namie decontaminated and repaired in 3-4 years, just in time to beat the 6 year total loss deadline. The decontamination process has faced many challenges so far. Areas with lower levels or small hot spots have responded to clean up efforts. Areas with higher levels or ways for the environment to recontaminate the area have not been successfully cleaned up.
A number of evacuee deaths, mostly in older residents have been blamed on fatigue and stress. Some moved as many as 16 times in the last two years with the average number of moves being 7. Poor living conditions and frequent moves were cited as major contributing factors for the deaths.
Prenatal Chromosome Testing
Two companies in Japan will offer prenatal blood testing to look for chromosome damage. The testing process uses a loophole in the current system that will draw blood in Japan but send the sample overseas for testing. The tests would only be available at certain locations. The related medical assocation has raised concerns that the testing should include counseling services.
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