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

  • Ex-Gitmo detainee mysteriously surfaces in Morocco, deported to Uruguay

    World News CTV News
    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- The strange tale of a former Guantanamo Bay inmate who resettled in Uruguay, staged a hunger strike to leave and sparked a regional alarm when he went missing, took another unexpected twist when he was deported back from Morocco - even though officials here were unaware that he had ever left. Source
  • Afghan security scrutinized after suicide bomber kills 24

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- A Taliban suicide bomber killed 24 people in a horrific early morning assault in a neighbourhood where prominent politicians reside, causing residents and analysts to question the government's ability to protect Afghanistan's capital. Source
  • B.C. RCMP say missing grenade launcher has been found

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Mounties in British Columbia say a missing non-lethal grenade launcher has been found. The force released a plea Monday looking for anyone who had information about a missing 40-millimetre Abrams Airborne Less Lethal Multi-Launcher and some related ammunition. Source
  • Toronto-area police warn parents after release of woman who poisoned children

    Canada News CTV News
    BRAMPTON, Ont. - Police west of Toronto are warning parents that a woman convicted of deliberately poisoning four young children in her care has been released from prison. Peel regional police say Christine Allen, 36, was released Monday and will be living in the Charolais Boulevard area in Brampton, Ont. Source
  • McCain making dramatic Senate return for crucial health vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- John McCain will make a dramatic return to the Senate for a make-or-break vote on Republican health care legislation Tuesday just days after getting diagnosed with brain cancer, giving an emotional and arithmetical boost to his party's reeling effort to repeal Obamacare. Source
  • Statistics show spike in crime in Manitoba, Saskatchewan

    Canada News CTV News
    An annual Statistics Canada report shows that crime is falling in most parts of the country, but has spiked in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where local officials blame drugs. The Crime Severity Index found that overall police-reported crimes fell in most provinces and territories between 2015 and 2016, but went up by nine per cent in Saskatchewan and eight per cent in Manitoba. Source
  • Survivor in Texas immigrant-smuggling case says people cried, asked for water [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN ANTONIO — Adan Lara Vega said he was told the $5,500 he was being charged to be smuggled into the United States would include an air-conditioned truck ride. Instead, the 27-year-old Mexican labourer climbed with his friends into a pitch-black, metal tractor-trailer compartment that lacked ventilation — a deadly oven that would claim 10 lives. Source
  • Kushner tells Congress there was no collusion with Russia [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner denied Monday that he colluded with Russians in the course of President Donald Trump’s White House bid and declared he has “nothing to hide.” Behind closed doors, Kushner spoke to staff members of the House intelligence committee for nearly three hours at the Capitol, then made a brief public statement back at the White House. Source
  • Canadian Muay Thai fighter found dead in Thailand

    World News Toronto Sun
    A Canadian champion Muay Thai fighter has been found dead in his Phuket, Thailand home. Cops say the 27-year-old prizefighter — whom the Toronto Sun is not identifying pending notification of next of kin — was originally from Ottawa. Source
  • Thousands of wildfire evacuees return home in B.C. but 'unstable' conditions continue

    Canada News CBC News
    The current number of wildfire evacuees in B.C. is estimated at 20,300 — down from 45,000 on Friday. Emergency Management B.C.'s executive director Chris Duffy said the sharp drop is a result of evacuees from Cache Creek, Princeton, 100 Mile House and Lac La Hache returning to their homes. Source