Japan court rejects bid against restart of two nuclear reactors
A Japanese court has rejected a bid by local activists to stop the restart of two reactors at a nuclear facility in southern Kagoshima Prefecture.
The district court of Kagoshima turned down the motion by the locals, who aimed to stop the restart of the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant.
The ruling comes just over a week after another court in Fukui in central Japan took the side of the activists and ordered a temporary halting of the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant.
The government had earlier announced that Tokyo backs the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision to restart all the four reactors.
“The government respects the decision made by the Nuclear Regulation Authority to resume plants that it considers meeting safety standards, while placing the top priority on safety over any other factor,” government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a regular press briefing.
Japan is facing public opposition to nuclear technology since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.
In March that year, the reactors at the Fukushima plant experienced a meltdown after a strong earthquake and an ensuing tsunami caused their cooling systems to break down, setting off the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident.
Many Fukushima area residents are still unable to return to their homes due to radiation, and scientists have warned that some areas around the plant may remain uninhabitable for decades or more.