Ruling to Halt Western Japan N-Reactor Reversed

Society

Hiroshima, March 18 (Jiji Press)--Hiroshima High Court reversed on Thursday its provisional order last year to halt the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s <9507> Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, accepting an appeal filed by the plant operator.

In the wake of the ruling, Shikoku Electric will accelerate anti-terror work at the plant to restart the reactor around end-October as planned.

Key issues in the lawsuit were a potential active fault near the plant and the risk linked to volcanic ash from a possible eruption at Mount Aso's caldera in Kumamoto Prefecture, some 130 kilometers from the plant.

Presiding Judge Kunihiko Yokomizo ruled that "there is nothing unreasonable in Shikoku Electric's claim that its detailed sonic probe has found no active faults near the plant," rejecting the argument by three petitioners that the power utility's probe was inaccurate and its result was incorrect.

On the issue of volcanic ash, the judge dismissed the petitioners' complaint, saying, "It cannot be acknowledged based on current scientific knowledge that the possibility of an eruption is specifically high."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press