A court issued an injunction Tuesday ordering two nuclear reactors in western Japan to stay offline, rejecting regulators’ safety approval for the facility ahead of their planned restart later this year.
The Fukui District Court ordered the operator, Kansai Electric Power Co., not to restart the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama plant in Fukui prefecture, which is home to about a dozen reactors.
The court criticized the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety standards for being too lax even with stricter requirements imposed following the Fukushima crisis after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
It said meeting the new standards does not guarantee the safety of the Takahama reactors.
In the wake of the crisis, all 48 reactors in Japan were taken offline for safety checks. None have gone back online except for another two reactors in Fukui for a brief period in 2012 and 2013.
A group of residents and their supporters requested the injunction, saying a massive earthquake exceeding the facility’s quake resistance standards could cause tremendous damage to the region, similar to the Fukushima crisis.
The first two reactors, in southern Japan, scheduled to go back online have also received regulatory approval and are making final preparations toward a planned restart in the summer. But there is also a separate injunction request before a court seeking to halt that.