Tokyo Electric Power Facing $1.1 Billion in Mental Distress Claims

Tokyo Electric Power estimates it will have to pay 88 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in compensation for mental distress caused to people who were forced to leave their homes after the March quake and tsunami sparked a crisis at a nuclear plant.

The company also said it expects the costs of resolving the three-month-old crisis at Fukushima, north of Tokyo, to run 38 billion yen over previous estimates of 831.7 billion yen. The utility has already paid some provisional compensation to groups affected by the crisis.

More than 70,000 people lived inside the 20-km exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and most of them are thought to have evacuated.

Tokyo Electric Power, which in May announced a $15 billion loss, the worst ever for a Japanese non-financial firm, will reflect the additional charges either in its results for the current financial year to March 2012, or later.

The company has yet to give an earnings forecast for the current year.

($1 = 80.270 Japanese Yen)