A district court on Wednesday rejected local residents' calls to halt the restart of a nuclear reactor in Miyagi Prefecture, ruling their concerns about flaws in emergency evacuation plans are not relevant as it cannot be assumed a serious accident is likely.

The Sendai District Court ruling came as Tohoku Electric Power aims to resume operations at the No. 2 unit of the Onagawa plant in February next year, becoming the first in the area hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami to restart.

"It cannot be assumed that a specific danger of an accident exists that leads to the abnormal release of radioactive materials," said presiding Judge Mitsuhiro Saito.