Residents sue to scrap Shika nuke reactors


People in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding that two reactors at the nuclear power station in the town of Shika be scrapped.

The crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant makes it clear that conventional views on the safety and risks of nuclear facilities are wrong, a petition signed by 120 residents in the two prefectures said.

A similar disaster at the Shika power station operated by Hokuriku Electric Power Co. would violate local residents’ rights to environmental and personal security, according to the petition filed with the Kanazawa District Court.

“Power companies are required to reduce the chance of a nuclear accident as close to zero as possible, because such an accident could cause significant damage,” said lawyer Masaaki Iwabuchi, head of the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Hokuriku Electric has woefully underestimated the chances of an inland earthquake striking the Shika plant, Iwabuchi said, adding the utility has also made erroneous assessments of the active faults running near the plant in Ishikawa Prefecture.

In 2006, the Kanazawa District Court ruled in favor of local residents’ demand that the plant’s No. 2 reactor be halted.

The ruling was overturned by the Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Court in 2009. Backing the high court, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the residents in 2010.

Oi restart on Sunday


One of the two reactors slated to be fired up again at the Oi nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture is expected to be restarted Sunday, according to Kansai Electric Power Co.

Work to restart reactor No. 3 has been largely progressing well, Kepco officials said Monday, noting that rods used to control nuclear fission will be pulled from the reactor core Sunday night.

The operator suggested earlier it would start the reactor between Sunday and next Tuesday.

In a related development, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency suggested it will not immediately disclose incidents involving some alarm activations at the coastal nuclear plant.