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Evacuees demand compensation from Japan nuclear plant operator

An aerial view of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan.

April 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Angry Japanese residents, who live near the crippled nuclear plant, are demanding immediate compensation from the plant's owners.

The protest by about 20 small-business owners from communities near the plant reflects growing public frustration with Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The owners of the Fukushima plant have said they will pay residents who are unable to return home or work, but have not set a timetable for payments.

Measured radiation levels in the area have fluctuated since the quake and tsunami.

On Tuesday, for radioactive iodine, levels were 2,500 times the legal limit.

Radioactive isotopes have been detected in tap water, fish and vegetables far from the facility. Shipments of produce from 16 cities, towns and villages around Fukushima Dai-ichi have been banned.

On Wednesday, the government added wood-grown shiitake mushrooms raised outdoors to a list of vegetables banned for shipping to markets after high levels of radiation were detected.

Work on repairs and stopping leaks has been impeded by aftershocks, fires and other glitches in the improvised efforts to restore the plant's cooling systems.

Meanwhile, commercial flights have resumed to the coastal city of Sendai, the largest Japanese city to the epicenter of the March 11 earthquake.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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