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Court ruling against restarting the Tokyo District Reactor


A Japanese court ruled that the only nuclear power plant in the Tokyo metropolitan area will not be restarted, citing insufficient safety measures in the event of a major earthquake.

Tokai Nuclear Plant No. 2 is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

Mito District Court issued its ruling on Thursday, stating that possible evacuation plans were not in place in the event of a major accident at the plant.

The case was brought up in 2012 by a group of more than 200 residents in Ibaraki, Tokyo, and elsewhere. They argue that the plant should not be restarted as it could cause a serious accident in the event of a major earthquake.

The sticking point was the reliability of the maximum force expected for an earthquake that could occur near the factory. Another issue is the validity of the evacuation plans that local governments have to put in place.

The presiding judge, Maeda Eko, ruled that there was nothing unreasonable about bringing down the earthquake.

It decided, however, that possible evacuation plans had not been put into practice, raising questions about preparedness for a major nuclear accident.

She noted that nearly a million people live within 30 kilometers of the plant, but only five of the 14 local governments in that region have put in place evacuation plans.

Tokai Station No. 2 is operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Corporation. It has been offline since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.


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