Fukui court rejects Kansai Electric appeal of reactor ruling

Bloomberg, AFP-JIJI

The Fukui District Court has rejected Kansai Electric Power Co.’s appeal of a ruling that prevents the utility from restarting two reactors at its Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture, according to Tadashi Matsuda, a representative for the plaintiffs who won the case.

The court dismissal was decided Monday but not announced to the media. A court official declined to comment when contacted Tuesday. Kansai Electric representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Fukui District Court issued an injunction in April preventing the utility from moving ahead with plans to restart the reactors.

The court said at the time that new safety regulations introduced following the Fukushima disaster of 2011 are still too lax to ensure the safety of the two reactors at the Takahama station.

Kansai Electric, the utility most dependent on nuclear power in Japan, had termed the ruling unacceptable.

The rejected appeal throws yet another roadblock in the utility’s path to resuming operations at its nuclear plants more than four years after the meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1.

The accident forced Japan’s entire fleet of reactors offline over the following months amid deepening public suspicion over the technology.

The central government says the economy needs nuclear power — a technology that once supplied more than a quarter of Japan’s electricity — to meet its energy demand.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has backed an industry push to return to nuclear power, with manufacturers complaining about the high cost of electricity produced from dollar-denominated fossil fuels.

  • Richard Solomon

    Strike two against Kansai Electric and the LDP! So now will they appeal to the Supreme Court? Or go to the Diet where the LDP has such a clear majority to pass some kind of legislation which will allow them to avoid these court rulings? Or will the LDP/Abe actually realize that nuclear power is not as safe as they claim it is?!?

    • Starviking

      Not really “Strike two” – this comes from the same court, a court which did not even let Kansai Electric present a defense in the case.

      That would be unacceptable in 99% of cases – but because the case concerns nuclear power, it seems that’s ok.

      I have to hope that a higher court not only overturns the ruling, but censures the judge concerned.

      Or will the LDP/Abe actually realize that nuclear power is not as safe as they claim it is

      Going by the ruling of a non-expert in any kind of scientific or engineering enterprise, who refused to hear expert testimony? I think not!