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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 21 - 27  > Local gov’ts should follow court order to keep Oi NPP offline: plaintiffs
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2014 May 21 - 27 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Local gov’ts should follow court order to keep Oi NPP offline: plaintiffs

May 23, 2014
Following the epoch-making court order that reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant (Fukui Prefecture) be kept offline, the plaintiffs’ group on May 22 visited the Fukui Prefectural and Oi Town government offices to call on them to not approve the restart of the reactors.

Vice head of the counsel for the plaintiffs Tsubota Yasuo and plaintiffs’ group leader Nakajima Tetsuen took part in the representation to the two offices. Japanese Communist Party member of the prefectural assembly Sato Masao was also present.

They pointed out that the Fukui District Court in its ruling cited the risk that the Oi NPP could suffer a severe accident in the event of a major earthquake and cause devastating damage to residents. The prefecture should officially express its disapproval of the plan to resume the NPP operation, provide support measures for local businesses relying on the NPP, and promote renewable energy generation, they stated.

An official in reply said that the Nuclear Regulation Authority is now screening the Oi NPP based on new safety standards and the prefecture will try to keep residents informed about safety issues.

The petitioners criticized the prefecture by saying, “You sound like you believe that the reactors’ safety will be ensured if the NRA carries out the screening.” The regulator conducts the screening based on the assumption that reactors can and should be restarted, and so the accident risks tend to be minimized, they stressed.

On the same day, they also went to the head office of the operator of the Oi plant, Kansai Electric Power Co., to demand that the utility refrain from appealing the district court decision. However, KEPCO took the case to the higher court in defiance of their request.
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