A Japanese court has ordered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors due to safety issues.
The order, made by the Otsu District Court came on Wednesday just days before the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima atomic disaster
The reactors to be closed are Kansai Electric’s No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Takahama plant on the coast of Fukui prefecture.
The court sided with residents who had filed a lawsuit against the operation of the two reactors over safety reasons.
The Guardian reports:
The No 4 reactor was taken offline last month due to an unexpected technical glitch days after it restarted, while the No 3 reactor is currently operating.
Kansai Electric said it would respect the “extremely regrettable” decision and shut down operations, but would appeal.
“This court order is not something the company can accept,” it said in a statement. Television footage showed plaintiffs and local residents cheering and holding banners after the ruling.
“I’m so happy and praise the court’s courage,” said one person celebrating outside the courthouse.
The bid to restart Japan’s nuclear reactors has become entangled in a web of lawsuits amid fears about another Fukushima-style accident.
In December, another court sided with Kansai Electric by lifting a temporary injunction blocking the restart of the two reactors covered by Wednesday’s ruling.
The latest case was filed by residents in neighbouring Shiga prefecture, who argued that the reactors posed a risk to Lake Biwa, a key water source for the region.
An accident similar to Fukushima would contaminate the lake, they argued.