JAPAN | Residents’ group asks court to stop restart of Fukui Pref. nuke reactors

Posted on August 3, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 3 August 2011

OTSU — Residents in four prefectures have applied for a temporary court injunction against the restart of seven nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture, citing the Fukushima nuclear crisis as proof that national safety standards for nuclear plant design are faulty.

The injunction application was filed at the Otsu District Court on Aug. 2 by 168 residents of Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka and Fukui prefectures living between 20 and 110 kilometers from the Fukui reactors, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co. and currently shut down for regular safety inspections. Helping represent the citizens’ group is the company of former judge Kenichi Ido, who ordered the No. 2 reactor at Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s Shika nuclear plant shut down in 2006 when on the bench of the Kanazawa District Court.

According to the court filing, the residents are targeting the injunction at reactors 1 and 3 at the Mihama nuclear plant, reactors 1, 3 and 4 at the Oi plant, and reactors 1 and 4 at the Takahama nuclear station. The residents point out in the request that the reactors have deteriorated with age, and that any accident could contaminate Lake Biwa north of Kyoto with radioactive substances, causing inestimable damage to the health of the surrounding population.

The filing also asserts that “there is no need to consider” the long-term loss of power caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Plant. It furthermore states that if the government fails to create new safety standards based on the investigation into the Fukushima crisis, neither regular inspections nor operations at the Fukui reactors can recommence.

“If, for example, there was even a one percent risk of an accident, nuclear power plants would have to be shut down,” Ido told reporters after the filing.

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