Court in Japan blocks plan to restart nuclear plant

Photo Credit: Phys.org

Ruling comes after over 1,000 people filed a petition citing safety concerns.

In a rare decision on a public petition, a court in Japan on Tuesday halted the proposed reopening of a nuclear power plant.

The Sapporo District Court in Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido island ordered that the Tomari nuclear power plant should remain offline, Kyodo News reported.

Citing safety concerns, over 1,000 people had filed a petition against Hokkaido Electric Power Company’s plan to restart all three reactors at the plant that have been idle since 2012.

While the court told the operator to “not resume operation of all three reactors,” it denied the petitioners’ request for the plant to be decommissioned, the report said.

Hokkaido Electric Power rejected the ruling and vowed to “promptly” file an appeal, it added.

Japan closed all of its nuclear power facilities after a powerful earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

The Tomari reactors were taken offline in May 2012 for routine maintenance, leaving Japan without any nuclear energy for the first time in more than 40 years.

-AA

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