Japanese court rejects lawsuit against reopening two n-plants

Tokyo, Nov 27 (IANS/EFE) A Japanese court Thursday rejected a class action lawsuit filed by residents of the western prefecture of Shiga against reactivating offline nuclear power plants in Takahama and Oi.

The ruling stated that once the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) confirms the compliance of new operating norms, the reactors will become functional again, according to the Kyodo news agency.

The new norms were introduced after the devastating accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant triggered by an earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2011.

Residents are against reopening the plants due to the possibility of earthquakes and tsunamis causing further nuclear accidents.

According to the plaintiffs, there are many geological faults around the reactors of the Kansai Electric Power Company’s (KEPCO) nuclear plants, increasing the chances of strong earthquakes.

The court took that argument into account but said the final decision over the safety of the plant would be made by the NRA.

KEPCO called the decision reasonable and said that both power plants would become functional again once NRA experts complete their inspection, a company representative told Kyodo.

Despite opposition from the public, earlier this month, the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima approved the first reopening of a nuclear plant after it was shut down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In the latest opinion polls conducted by Kyodo, 60 percent of respondents were against reopening Japanese nuclear plants, while 32 percent were in favour.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has included the reactivation of nuclear power plants in his political programme for the general elections to be held Dec 14.

–IANS/EFE

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Japanese court rejects lawsuit against reopening two n-plants
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