Court rules against restart of Tokyo area reactor

NHK -- Mar 19
A Japanese court has ruled that the only nuclear power plant in the Greater Tokyo area should not be restarted, citing insufficient safety measures in the event of a major earthquake.

The Tokai No.2 nuclear plant is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

The Mito District Court handed down its ruling on Thursday, stating that feasible evacuation plans are not in place for a major accident at the plant.

The case was brought in 2012 by a group of more than 200 residents in Ibaraki, Tokyo, and elsewhere. They argue that the plant should not be restarted because it could cause a serious accident if a major earthquake occurs.

The point of contention was the credibility of the projected maximum strength of an earthquake that could occur near the plant. Another issue was the validity of the evacuation plans that local governments are required to draw up.

The presiding judge, Maeda Eiko, ruled that there is nothing unreasonable about the earthquake projection.

She determined, however, that feasible evacuation plans have not been put in place, calling into question the preparedness for a major nuclear accident.

She pointed out that nearly one million people live within 30 kilometers of the plant, but only five of the 14 local governments in that area have worked out evacuation plans.

The Tokai No.2 plant is operated by the Japan Atomic Power Company. It has been offline since the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

- NHK

茨城県にある日本原子力発電東海第二原発の運転差し止めを住民らが求めた裁判で、水戸地裁は原発の運転を認めない判決を言い渡しました。 - ANNnewsCH