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Sapporo District Court orders injunction against operation of Tomari Nuclear Power Plant, rejects request for decommissioning

Plaintiffs and supporters in front of the Sapporo District Court on the afternoon of May 31, 2022, after the ruling to halt the operation of the plant.

May 31, 2022
On May 31, the Sapporo District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by residents of the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant of Hokkaido Electric Power Company, demanding an injunction against the plant’s operation and its decommissioning.

 The case was brought by approximately 1,200 residents of the area surrounding the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant of Hokuden, demanding an injunction against the operation of Units 1 through 3, the removal of spent nuclear fuel, and the decommissioning of the plant on the grounds that the plant is not safe enough against earthquakes and tsunami.

 The case has been ongoing for more than 10 years, and arguments have been made as to whether there is an active fault line in the sea near the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant and whether tsunami countermeasures, such as seawalls, are sufficient.

 In the ruling on March 31, Judge Tetsuya Taniguchi of the Sapporo District Court ruled that “the defendant (Hokuden) has failed to explain with adequate data that there is no risk of liquefaction of the ground with regard to the seawall, and that it lacks safety against tsunami and is likely to infringe on the lives and personal rights (life and body) of residents in the vicinity,” and “the danger extends within 30 km of the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant. The court ruled that “since the danger is within a 30-kilometer radius of the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant, the operation of the plant should be enjoined in relation to the plaintiffs who live within the radius.

 The court dismissed the claim for removal of spent nuclear fuel, stating, “Although the danger is recognized, the plaintiffs are demanding removal of the spent fuel without limiting the destination of removal, and there is a possibility of violation of the personal rights of the residents of the destination area.” The court dismissed the claim on the grounds that “there is no danger” to the defendant. On the other hand, the court ruled that the defendant “must explain the lack of danger with reasonable data.

 The court dismissed the request for decommissioning of the plant on the grounds that “even if individual preventive measures such as shutting down the reactor are necessary, it is difficult to find concrete circumstances that would make such measures necessary until the plant is abolished.

 After the ruling, Hokkaido Electric Power commented, “Although we have explained the safety of the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant from a scientific and technical point of view based on the latest findings, we sincerely regret that our arguments have not been understood. We will promptly file an appeal.
https://www.uhb.jp/news/single.html?id=28578&fbclid=IwAR3i7r1omsmojtLOoTTliH2Qouj7cepCYSyhRwLM27vrcTzNtSSSW-w9BbM

June 7, 2022 - Posted by | Japan | , ,

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