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A legal precedent that could stall Japan’s nuclear power restart

judge-1flag-japanOi ruling may fuel anti-nuclear push  Plaintiffs elated as district court prioritizes rights over profits Japan Times, BY ERIC JOHNSTON MAY 22, 2014 Wednesday’s court ruling blocking restarts of the No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi plant may embolden opponents of nuclear power nationwide.

It creates a legal precedent and could fuel resistance to restarts, throwing into question whether the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be able to push ahead with them as swiftly as planned.

The government earlier asserted that the ruling, by the Fukui District Court, would have no impact on its plans.

Kepco announced Thursday it has appealed the lower court’s decision to the Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Court. There, the case could take two or three years to be decided……….

Kepco came under intense criticism from the Fukui court, which said the utility had made optimistic safety projections with no clear evidence. But in a move that could have ramifications nationwide, the court also ruled that 166 plaintiffs living within a 250-km radius of the Oi plant faced concrete dangers from the operation of nuclear power stations.

That could open the door to lawsuits from anyone living within 250 km of a nuclear plant, if the Fukui court’s decision is used as the basis for a claim that other utilities, as well as the Nuclear Regulation Authority, have created inadequate safety measures to deal with the possibility of an accident.

The entire Kansai region, most of Chubu, including Nagoya, much of Chugoku, including Hiroshima, and roughly a third of Shikoku lies within 250 km of the Oi plant.

Plaintiffs were particularly happy the court ruling included language that said providing electricity via nuclear plants is a mere economic activity, and as such has a lower priority than personal rights……..ww.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/22/national/oi-ruling-may-fuel-anti-nuclear-push/#.U4PbrnJdWik

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May 26, 2014 - Posted by | Japan, Legal

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