Japanese court approves restart of Genkai NPP units

20 June 2017

A Japanese district court on 13 June dismissed a request from some 230 residents for an injunction to stop the restart of Genkai 3&$, operated by  Kyushu Electric Power Co in Saga Prefecture.

The ruling comes as Kyushu prepares to restart the units after securing the consent of the Saga governor and the mayor of Genkai town. The units have cleared Nuclear Regulation Authority screenings under the more stringent safety standards introduced after the Fukushima accident. Judge Takeshi Tachikawa said the new safety standards are "reasonable" and that the court found "no issues" with the reactors' earthquake resistance or steps taken against serious accidents. Genkai 3&4, both 1180MWe pressurised water reactors, are expected to resume operation later this year after NRA has completed remaining safety inspections.

The ruling followed a series of court decisions rejecting similar suits to halt nuclear power plant operations. In March, the Osaka High Court revoked a lower court order to stop two reactors at the Takahama NPP in Fukui Prefecture, and the Hiroshima District Court dismissed a request by residents to order the closure of a nuclear reactor that was restarted last year at the Ikata NPP in Ehime Prefecture. To date five nuclear units have cleared NRA inspections  –  Kyushu's Sendai 1&2; Shikoku's Ikata 3; and, Kansai's Takahama 3&4. Another 19 reactors have applied to restart.

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