Edano: Tainted cement on Tepco tab


Industry minister Yukio Edano on Friday promised the mayor of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, that Tokyo Electric Power Co. will be ordered to pay compensation for damages stemming from radioactive cement used in local building projects.

Edano made the vow to Keiichi Miho when they met in Tokyo after the mayor called on the central government to ensure the redress and set up a radiation yardstick for building materials.

The pledge came after a high level of radiation was found in a condominium complex in Nihonmatsu whose foundation is made of concrete containing crushed stones collected from a quarry inside the evacuation zone near Tepco’s triple-meltdown Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Gravel and crushed stones from the quarry in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, were also found to have been used in work to reinforce the earthquake resistance of an elementary school and in the yard of a home in the city.

Miho said in a petition, “We request that all losses that relevant parties incurred, including the moving costs of residents, be compensated for under the responsibility of the state and Tokyo Electric.”

Edano responded that he will instruct Tepco to begin compensation procedures immediately.

The gravel had been shipped from the quarry sometime between the beginning of the nuclear plant crisis, which was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the government’s designation of the evacuation zone on April 22.