Nuclear reactors in western city of Takahama have been prevented by a Japanese court from restarting. The orders from the court came after local people raised safety concerns. The plant had earlier received approval from a nuclear watchdog from Japan.
Local residents from the court in Fukui Prefecture had filed a petition in the court saying that the plant cannot withstand a strong earthquake. After the 2011 Tsunami and earthquake disaster, all the 48 commercial reactors in Japan remain offline. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes from BBC said that the ruling was a big blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to restart the reactors.
Abe opined that the shutdown of the reactors is damaging the economy of the country and is forcing Japan to import fossil fuels to compensate for the power shortage. On the other hand the operators of the Takahama plant, Kansai Electric said that the plant has raised the safety standards mentioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority after the Fukushima.
But the court decided to accept the appeal filed by nine local residents who filed an injunction. The petition said that the company has been too optimistic assuming that no major earthquake would hit the region. The local residents also criticised the NRA safety standards as lacking rationality.
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