Japanese court rules against n-plant over safety concerns

Tokyo, June 17 (IANS) In a fresh setback to Japan’s plans to reactivate nuclear plants that fulfil the new safety parameters, a court has rejected an appeal by the operator of the Takahama nuclear plant in western Japan against its order to deactivate the plant over safety concerns.

The court ruled in favour of a citizens’ group that had sued Kansai Electric, the plant’s operator, saying the plant posed a danger and must be closed, Efe news reported.

The Otsu district court said the ruling was issued on March 9 against the functioning of the plant’s Reactor 3, the only one that was operating at the time.

Kansai Electric Power had appealed against the verdict in the same court.

The March 9 court order cited concerns related to emergency devices in case of an accident at the plant, and also questioned the measures the plant had in place to counteract the effects of a possible tsunami and the evacuation plans.

This is the first time the legal system has ordered the closure of a nuclear plant greenlighted by the Japanese regulatory authority, which laid down new and stricter compulsory safety standards in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, which all nuclear plants of the country must now comply with in order to resume operations.

Currently only the Sendai plant in southwest Japan, the first to resume operations in the country after the two-year nuclear closure in the wake of the 2011 accident, is operational in the archipelago.

–IANS

py/vt

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