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2022 June 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

editorial  Sapporo District Court orders suspension of Tomari nuclear power plant

June 2, 2022
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Sapporo District Court on May 31 ordered the suspension of operations of all three reactors at the Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear power plant. The court ruled that the utility does not meet the tsunami-resistant safety standards, pointing out that personal rights of nearby residents could be infringed upon if an accident occurs.

The Kishida government, under the pretext of ensuring a stable energy supply, is intending to “make maximum use of nuclear power”, and is intent on going ahead with the reactivation of idled reactors.

The Tomari NPP operator in May 2012 took the three reactors offline and in July 2013 submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority an application to bring these reactors back online. The currently-inactivate reactors are still under NRA examination.

More than 600 residents in November 2011 filed a lawsuit demanding that operations of the Nos.1, 2, and 3 reactors at the NPP be banned and the plant be decommissioned by claiming that the plant’s safety measures are inadequate.

More than ten years have passed since they brought Hokkaido Electric Power Co. to court and the NRA examination began about nine years ago. However, the utility is still unable to prove the safety of its plant both in court and NRA screening. The power company should not only suspend the operation of the plant but also scrap the plant.

With Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s “maximum use of nuclear power” statement, the Liberal Democratic Party and the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party are calling for making NRA screening more efficient in order to speed up the resumption of suspended NPPs.

NRA Commissioner Fuketa Toyoshi does not hide his intent to respond to these parties’ demand for temporary easing of some restrictions. It is unacceptable to emasculate NRA examinations.

Past related article:
> 612 people file lawsuit for Tomari N-plant to be scrapped [November 12, 2011]

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