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Court retracts NRA approval of safety measures at nuclear plan

Court retracts NRA approval of safety measures at nuclear plant, Asahi Shimbun, By TAKASHI ENDO/ Staff Writer, December 4, 2020  OSAKA--A district court struck down central government approval of safety measures at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, effectively rejecting tougher safety screening guidelines used by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The Osaka District Court on Dec. 4 sided with plaintiffs who argued that the safety guidelines underestimated the maximum possible movement generated by an earthquake around the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the plant, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.

However, the lawsuit filed by about 130 residents who live in Fukui and six neighboring prefectures did not seek a temporary injunction, so the two reactors can continue operating until the ruling is finalized.

The tougher safety standards were adopted after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011.

The lawsuit revolved around whether the basic earthquake ground motion figure used by Kansai Electric in its safety measures was appropriate.

Electric power companies that operate nuclear plants set their own basic earthquake ground motion figures. The NRA uses its screening guidelines to determine if the calculated figures are appropriate……..

The plaintiffs argued that this calculation method only produces an “average” for the quake scale, meaning that the safety measures are not based on the maximum strength of a possible earthquake in the area. …….

The court, however, accepted the plaintiffs’ case and ordered a retraction of the approval of the Oi plant’s safety measures.

The ruling was the fourth victory for resident plaintiffs seeking a temporary injunction or retraction of government approval. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13989665

December 4, 2020 - Posted by | Japan, Legal

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