National

Fresh suit filed in Fukui over plan to restart Kepco reactors

Kyodo

Opponents of reactor restarts on Friday filed for an injunction on plans to fire up four reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.

The suit, filed with Fukui District Court, seeks a freeze in moves to restart reactors 3 and 4 at the Takahama plant and Nos. 3 and 4 at the Oi plant on the coast of Fukui Prefecture.

It is the latest in a series of suits over nuclear-plant operations following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. In May, the Fukui District Court ruled the Oi units could not restart because insufficient measures were in place for disaster contingencies — a decision later appealed by Kansai Electric.

The latest lawsuit was brought by nine residents of Fukui, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, who argue that there is an “actual and looming risk” of a nuclear accident, given that the four reactors are getting closer to resuming operation.

The Takahama site’s two reactors are in the final phase of inspections by the new Nuclear Regulation Authority, which requires that all reactors be assessed according to tougher criteria imposed following the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

But a previous court case failed: Last month, the Shiga District Court rejected a demand that restarts be frozen at the four reactors, saying it is “unlikely” that the nuclear regulator would make hasty decisions in allowing restarts.