National / Crime & Legal

Kansai Electric files appeal against ruling on Takahama reactors

Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. on Thursday appealed against a district court ruling that upheld an injunction on the operation of two reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant.

After filing the appeal with the Osaka High Court, Kansai Electric said the Otsu District Court’s decision on Tuesday to reject its request to suspend the injunction was “totally unacceptable” because it was made despite a detailed explanation on the safety of the reactors at the Fukui Prefecture plant.

In the decision, the district court rejected the utility’s arguments, upholding the injunction it issued in March even though the No. 3 and 4 reactors had cleared a set of new safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The injunction, the first of its kind affecting operating reactors in Japan, dealt a blow to the government’s renewed push for nuclear power generation despite lingering safety concerns among the public.

In both decisions, issued in March and on Tuesday, the court said meeting the new nuclear safety regulations did not necessarily guarantee the safety of the two reactors and that Kansai Electric should provide further explanation.

“We will make an all-out effort to prove the safety of the two reactors so the (injunction) is rescinded soon,” Kansai Electric said in a statement.

Currently, only two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture are operating in Japan.

The Takahama plant’s Nos. 3 and 4 reactors were reactivated in January and February, respectively, after the Sendai reactors resumed operation.

But the injunction forced the No. 3 unit to be taken offline on March 10, while the No. 4 unit had already been suspended due to equipment trouble.

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