Kepco appeals injunction against Takahama reactors

Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. said Monday it has filed an objection against a court injunction on running two reactors at its Takahama nuclear plant. It wants the ban lifted.

The utility halted the No. 3 reactor at the plant in Fukui Prefecture on Thursday, a day after the Otsu District Court ordered the two units to be suspended over safety concerns.

The No. 4 unit at the nuclear complex, located on the Sea of Japan coast about 380 kilometers west of Tokyo, has been offline since an irregularity on Feb. 29 caused an automatic shutdown only three days after its restart.

In its ruling, the court cited “problematic points” in Kansai Electric’s planned responses for major accidents and “questions” about tsunami countermeasures and evacuation planning.

The judgment was the first of its kind affecting a live reactor and delivered a blow to the government’s push to return to nuclear power.

Japan started bringing reactors back online last year after the 2011 Fukushima crisis led to a nationwide shutdown of nuclear plants. The government aims to derive 20 to 22 percent of the country’s electricity from nuclear by 2030.

The No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama plant came back online on Jan. 29 and Feb. 26, respectively, following the restart of two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant last year.

In a separate case involving the two Takahama units, the Fukui District Court last April issued an injunction banning the company from rebooting the two units, citing insufficient safety measures against strong earthquakes and other dangers.

But the same court lifted the order in December, allowing the resumption of operations at both reactors. Plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Court, but dropped the appeal after the Otsu District Court issued the ruling.

  • Joffan

    I would think the NRA would also wish to appeal this ruling, because it should be the authority on nuclear safety, not the district courts.

    This may also be an indication that the NRA does not have a suitable mechanism to consider public concerns of the kind that led to this court case. I would far rather that the NRA takes the burden of these issues than allow the possibility for anti-nuclear activists to go “judge-shopping”.