Court stops restart of Tomari nuclear power plant

A court in Hokkaido, northern Japan, has refused to allow reactors at the Tomari nuclear power plant to be brought back online. It cited safety concerns as a reason.

About 1,200 local residents and their supporters have demanded a ban on operations at the plant's three reactors. They have also demanded that the reactors be decommissioned.

The proceedings have been going on for over a decade.
At issue is whether there are active faults around the plant and on its premises, and whether existing anti-tsunami measures are sufficient.

The plaintiffs claimed the plant's disaster prevention measures do not take into account tremors that could be caused by a massive earthquake, despite the existence of active faults.

They also pointed out that the breakwater currently in place is not effective against tsunamis.

At the Sapporo District Court on Tuesday, presiding judge Taniguchi Tetsuya told the plant's operator, Hokkaido Electric Power Company, not to restart the reactors.

But the judge dismissed the plaintiffs' call for the reactors to be scrapped and the spent nuclear fuel removed.

All three reactors have been offline since 2012, when the No.3 reactor was stopped, so that a regular inspection could be carried out.