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22 December, 2015

Fukui Governor Consents to Restarting Takahama NPPs

On December 22, Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture agreed to restarting the Takahama-3 and -4 Nuclear Power Plants, owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP). The governor praised the national government’s attitude, including the promotion of public understanding on nuclear power. Since the new regulatory standards were introduced in July 2013, this is the third instance where procedures to obtain local consent to restart NPPs have been completed, following those in Kagoshima and Ehime prefectures.

Takahama-3&4

Earlier, on the 20th, METI Minister Motoo Hayashi visited the Fukui prefectural offices and conveyed the national government’s intentions to hold symposiums and explanatory meetings on nuclear energy across the country, and asked the prefecture for its agreement to the restarts. Recognizing the government’s policy positively, Governor Nishikawa expressed his intention to “make a judgment so as to obtain the people’s confidence.”

The Takahama Town and Fukui Prefectural Assemblies had already agreed to restarting the two units. Now that Governor Nishikawa, too, has agreed, the necessary procedures for obtaining local consents have been completed. That said, however, the Fukui District Court on April 14 issued a temporary injunction blocking operation of the Takahama-3 and -4 NPPs. Unless that judgment is reversed, Kansai EP will not be able to restart the two units. On the 24th the Fukui District Court will render its decision on Kansai EP’s appeal filed against the injunction.

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