Contaminated club loses ruling in Japanese court

FUKUSHIMA, Japan - So you think your club’s got problems? Consider the plight of Sunfield Nihonmatsu Golf Club in Japan.

The golf club, voluntarily closed since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated much of northern Japan in March, had filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. The club sought reimbursement for damage resulting from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, about 28 miles away, and removal of radioactive material.

The Tokyo District Court dismissed the lawsuit this week, according to a Majirox News report, despite acknowledging the club’s contention that the golf course is contaminated with radioactive material that spewed from the power plant.

“Since there is no established method to safely handle radioactive substances, conduct decontamination work or disposal of the radioactive material, the court cannot order TEPCO to remove radioactive material from the area,” Judge Masayuki Fukushima said in a statement, according to Majirox News.

According to evidence introduced at trial, the radioactivity at Sunfield Nihonmatsu Golf Club measured in a range considered safe for schools and outdoor activities, based on standards set by Japan’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

The golf club appealed the ruling to Tokyo’s High Court, Majirox News reported.

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