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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 29 - April 4  > High court reverses lower court ruling and gives go-ahead to Takahama NPP restart
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2017 March 29 - April 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

High court reverses lower court ruling and gives go-ahead to Takahama NPP restart

March 30, 2017
The Osaka High Court on March 28 reversed a lower court ruling and handed down a decision permitting the restart of reactors at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture.

In March last year, the Otsu District Court ordered the plant operator, KEPCO, to suspend the planned reactivation of Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahamna NPP due to concern over the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new safety standards. However, the high court praised the NRA standards for incorporating “the latest scientific and technical knowledge”.

The judgement this time could endorse a revival of the “safety myth” that there would be no problem if N-reactors meet the new standards. This is in sharp contrast to the lower court’s view that the public safety is not assured by the new standards.

The plaintiffs in court argued that they could not be properly evacuated in an emergency evacuation drill last summer which was held on the assumption of a serious accident at the Takahama NPP. The high court, however, regarded the local nuclear disaster evacuation plans as “effective and reasonable”. Regarding what the lower court stated that the cause of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown has not been clearly identified, the high court asserted that the cause “has basically been clarified”.

* * *

Following the high court decision, local residents who have been opposing the restart of the reactors made representations to the Fukui prefectural government, demanding that the governor not give permission for the Takahama NPP resumption. Governor Nishikawa Issei refused to meet with them and just said that the high court ruling is “appropriate”.

Local residents voiced their anger saying, “The governor refuses to listen to Fukui residents,” “The high court has ignored the need for more effective evacuation plans,” “I feel resentment at the governor’s remarks praising the high court decision as ‘appropriate’,” and “If things continue like this, another Fukushima disaster will surely ocure.

Past related article:
> Court disallows restart of two reactors at Takahama NPP [July 13, 2016]
> District court issues order stopping operations of Takahama NPP [March 10, 2016]
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