Court orders Japanese reactor to shut down, keep 2nd offline

TOKYO -- A court issued an unprecedented order Wednesday for a nuclear reactor in western Japan to stop operating and ordered a second one to stay offline.

See Full Article

The Otsu District Court that issued the injunction said the emergency response plans and equipment designs at the two reactors have not been sufficiently upgraded after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The order requires Kansai Electric Power Co. to shut down the No. 3 reactor and keep the No. 4 offline at the Takahama plant in Fukui prefecture, home to about a dozen reactors.

The two reactors restarted this year after a high court in December reversed an earlier injunction by another court. The No. 3 reactor, which uses a riskier plutonium-based MOX fuel, resumed operation in late January, while the No. 4 reactor had to be shut down late last month after operating just three days because of a series of technical problems.

Kansai Electric said it will abide by the decision and start the shutdown procedures for No. 3 reactor Thursday morning. The utility, meanwhile, said the decision was "disappointing" and planned to appeal.

The decision reflects Japan's divisive views on nuclear safety and leaves only two of the country's 43 reactors in operation.

Judge Yoshihiko Yamamoto said the operator has not fully explained how exactly it has upgraded safety features at the two Takahama reactors under the post-Fukushima safety standards. The utility has not fully explained its design philosophy, its measures to mitigate power loss and how to carry out evacuation plans in case of a severe accident and a massive tsunami, he said in the ruling.

The decision also shakes the credibility of the stricter safety requirements made after Fukushima. Wednesday's ruling supported concerns by residents and experts that the stricter standards still do not require utilities to have adequate evacuation plans before applying to restart reactors.

Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka declined to comment on the ruling, but defended the new requirements, which incorporated lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the government stands by the regulators' standards and that plans to restart Takahama and other reactors deemed safe are unchanged.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government wants to restart as many reactors as possible. It says nuclear energy should remain a key power source for Japan, which has few natural resources to fuel its economy.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs welcomed the ruling as "fair, calm and wise," raising questions over the utility's safety culture and the regulators' safety standards.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Jail for man who bit off part of fellow mourner's nose at drunken wake

    Canada News CTV News
    PICTOU, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man convicted of biting off part of a fellow mourner's nose in a drunken brawl at a wake has been sentenced to six months in jail. Randall Edwin MacLean was convicted of aggravated assault last October. Source
  • 'A feral cat is better off dead'; Hunter blasted over his war on felines

    World News Toronto Sun
    Sam Wood has been a proponent of hunting and killing invasive species, such as wild hogs, that can threaten the native ecosystems for years. His Facebook page is filled with photos showing the 48-year-old outdoorsman taking down sparrows and starlings, pigeons and rats. Source
  • Zoo: Live video of giraffe giving birth was labelled explicit

    World News Toronto Sun
    HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. - The owner of a New York zoo planning to live-stream a giraffe giving birth says the video feed was briefly removed from YouTube because animal rights activists labelled it sexually explicit. Animal Adventure Park started streaming video Wednesday of 15-year-old April in her enclosed pen at the zoo in Harpursville, 130 miles northwest of New York City. Source
  • South Korea blasting news of Kim Jong Nam's death across border

    World News Toronto Sun
    Hey, North Korea, have you heard the news? In case anyone from Kim Jong Un’s hermit nation hasn’t heard that Kim Jong Nam, the exiled half-brother of the despot, had been whacked, South Korea is making sure the news travels north. Source
  • Off-duty LAPD officer's fight with teens sets off protests

    World News CTV News
    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- An off-duty California officer who didn't want teens walking across his lawn fired his gun during a struggle with a 13-year-old boy and other youths, igniting unruly protests after video of the fight surfaced and two boys were arrested. Source
  • Conservative activist James O'Keefe has tapes accusing CNN of misrepresenting polling data

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK - Conservative activist James O’Keefe has released what he says are 119 hours of raw audio secretly recorded inside CNN’s Atlanta headquarters in 2009. The audio was recorded by what O’Keefe’s website, Project Veritas, describes as an anonymous source identified only as “Miss X. Source
  • Two-storey playhouse on the line in Calgary dad's bylaw appeal

    Canada News CTV News
    A Calgary father is worried he'll be forced to tear down a $5,000 play structure he built for his kids, less than a year after the city assured him it would be OK to build it. Source
  • Australian man jailed after beating kangaroo to death

    World News Toronto Sun
    Beating a kangaroo to death with a metal pole will cost one Australian man nearly a year of freedom. Craig House was jailed for 11 months after pleading guilty to the disgusting attack, even though he wasn’t the one to bash the ‘roo, according to Metro U.K. Source
  • Malaysia: North Korea embassy should assist about death of leader's exiled half brother Kim Jong Nam [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Malaysia’s police chief said Thursday investigators want to question a North Korean embassy official about the death of the exiled half brother of Pyongyang’s leader, saying he should co-operate if he has nothing to hide despite having diplomatic immunity. Source
  • Toronto police probing alleged anti-Muslim protest outside mosque

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police say they're investigating a complaint about a small anti-Muslim protest held outside a city mosque last week. Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu says police received a complaint this week about the incident, which took place last Friday. Source