The Diet on Wednesday enacted a bill that allows Japan to join an international pact on financial liability for nuclear accidents.
The Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage requires parties to share part of the compensation in the event of a nuclear accident. The threshold, which the victim nation must pay, is around ¥47 billion. Above that total, co-signatories will step in to help.
Under the treaty, Japan will contribute up to ¥4 billion as its share of an international fund and could receive up to ¥7 billion to meet compensation demands in the event of a future nuclear accident.
The pact may also make it easier for foreign companies to offer technology to help decommission the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactors and to clean up radioactive fallout.
But the convention limits the responsibility of nuclear plant makers in an accident, drawing criticism that it would make it easier for Japanese manufacturers to export nuclear technology at a time when questions over the Fukushima triple meltdown remain unanswered.
So far, the United States, Argentina, Morocco, Romania and the United Arab Emirates are parties to the convention.
It will take effect when the total capacity of installed nuclear power generation among the signatory countries reaches 400,000 megawatts. Japan’s approval would help the pact reach that threshold.
Meanwhile, the Diet on Wednesday passed legislation that clarifies the central government’s plan to dispose of radioactive soil and other waste generated from decontamination work following the Fukushima disaster.
Under the law, radioactive waste will be permanently disposed of outside Fukushima Prefecture within 30 years. This was a condition set by the prefectural government when it agreed to grant interim storage for the waste inside the prefecture.
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