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15 April, 2015

Kansai EP Appeals District Court Decision Halting Operation of Takahama-3 and -4

On April 14, after the decision by the Fukui District Court ordering a temporary injunction halting the operation of Units 3 and 4 at the Takahama Nuclear Power Station (PWRs, 870 MWe each), Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP) swiftly decided to initiate an appeal after reviewing the details of the judgment. Also, the power company released a comment announcing that it would continue striving its utmost to demonstrate and verify the safety of the reactors, so as to minimize the effects of the recent court decision on the procedure leading to their restart.

Takahama-3&4

In February of this year, Kansai EP had received a permit from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to change nuclear installations at the site, as it was determined that the two reactors conformed to new regulatory standards. Ever since a petition was filed with the Fukui District Court last December seeking an injunction to halt the reactors’ operation, the power company has been seeking its dismissal. At the same time, Kansai-EP has been demonstrating that the safety of the two units is secured based on scientific and professional grounds, including the explanations it has made at review meetings held by the NRA.

The two Takahama units are not the only reactors owned by Kansai EP facing a lawsuit. In May 2014, the same Fukui District Court handed down a judgment recognition a petition to halt operation of Ohi-3 & -4, with Kansai EP appealing the judgment the very next day.

At the April 14 session of the annual conference of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF), Akihiro Sawa of The 21st Century Public Policy Institute cited the problem of the “lack of regulatory transparency” surrounding nuclear power in Japan, speaking in reference to news reports of the two Takahama units. He added, “The risk of lawsuits is especially growing larger.”

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