Local Governments’ Roles of the Compensation for Damage by the Tokai JCO Criticality Accident
The Tokai JCO criticality accident on September 30, 1999 was the first case to which The Law on Compensation for Nuclear Damage was applied. Although the Law on Compensation for Nuclear Damage formulates the outline of the institutional framework for nuclear third party liability together with operator’s insurance scheme, details of actual compensation procedure are not specified. By this reason, the compensation procedure in the Tokai accident had been executed without a concrete legal specification and a precedent.In spite of this situation, the compensation procedure with the accident led to an unexpectedly successful result. We observe the several reasons why the compensation procedure was implemented successfully despite the lack of concrete legal specification and a precedent. One of the reasons is that the local governments, Tokai Village and Ibaraki Prefecture, immediately took the leadership in implementing a temporary regime of compensation procedure without wasting time for waiting national government's directives. Upon practicing this compensation procedure, the local governments implemented the following steps.(1) Initial estimation of the amount and scope of damage.(2) Providing the criteria and heads of damage subject to compensation.(3) Unitary compensation procedure at the local levels.(4) Distribution of emergency payments for the victims.(5) Facilitating compensatory negotiation between the victims and JCO as arbitrator.However, some concerns are also pointed out about the fact that the local government directed the whole procedure without sufficient adjustment with the national government for compensation policy. Among all, in the compensation led by the local governments, it was difficult to guarantee fairness of compensation because victims who are influential on the local government such as industrial associations would have unfairly strong negotiation power in the compensatory negotiation, while the operator being responsible for the accident had completely lost their negotiation base.
|原子力損害賠償法||The Law on Compensation for Nuclear Damage|
|JCO臨界事故||The Tokai JCO criticality accident|