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

  • Authorities: 3 dead in shooting outside a Walmart in Alabama

    World News CTV News
    TALLASSEE, Ala. -- A gunman crashed into a vehicle outside a Walmart store on Tuesday morning, opening fire and killing two women before taking his own life, authorities said. Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock said as an investigation unfolded that it appeared the shooter purposely rammed a car into another vehicle in the store parking lot before he opened fire. Source
  • Hudson's Bay, other stores pressured to dump Trump products, amid tariff tiff

    Canada News CBC News
    The recent tariff dispute between Canada and U.S. has sparked a renewed social media call to boycott stores carrying Trump family merchandise. However, the campaign may be fruitless, according to some business strategy experts. They say not only do boycotts not tend to work, but also, goods associated with the family of U.S. Source
  • Burton Cummings in good spirits after car accident in May

    Canada News CBC News
    Burton Cummings says he was lucky to walk away from a recent car accident, but mentally, it has left a scar on the Canadian music icon. The Winnipeg rocker and former Guess Who frontman was in good spirits in Toronto Monday night, offering an update on his health from the SOCAN Awards. Source
  • Body of missing PhD student found in Lake Ontario in Niagara region

    Canada News CTV News
    VAUGHAN, Ont. -- Police say a Toronto-area PhD student who went missing last month has been found dead in the Niagara region. Officers say local authorities found the body of Zabia Afzal, 30, in Lake Ontario on Friday. Source
  • Manitoba judge upholds former law that banned switching party

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba judge has rejected a claim that a law which prevented members of the legislature from switching party caucuses was unconstitutional. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Sheldon Lanchbery ruled that the legislature can set its own rules about caucus membership and the courts should not interfere. Source
  • Photographer shares rare look at child migrants at U.S-Mexico border

    World News CTV News
    A photojournalist who was denied access to a shelter for children of families illegally crossing the United States border ventured into Mexico in order to “find other ways to tell the story” and came back with raw, exclusive images of how the children are living. Source
  • Race begins today for new Assembly of First Nations national chief

    Canada News CBC News
    Experience usually helps when it comes to getting a job — except, it seems, when that job is at the helm of the Assembly of First Nations, where experience often seems more of a liability than an asset. Source
  • 'Ideological sex clubs': Alberta gay-straight alliance law faces court challenge

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta's law banning schools from telling parents when their children join a gay-straight alliance faces its first legal challenge. A Court of Queen's Bench judge in Medicine Hat, Alta., is to hear arguments Wednesday filed on behalf of 25 faith-based schools and others to put the law on hold pending a constitutional challenge. Source
  • I didn't consent, woman tells court martial of Halifax military cop

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A military officer has told a Halifax court martial she did not consent to sex with a military policeman charged with sexual assault. The woman had testified Monday she no idea how Sgt. Source
  • Parliamentary committee recommends European-style privacy laws for Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    The House of Commons committee investigating the Cambridge Analytica scandal is recommending significant changes to Canada's privacy laws, including new rules to govern the activities of political parties. In an interim report, the committee recommends that Canadian privacy laws be updated to offer data protections similar to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. Source