The Fukui District Court has given a provisional ruling for the first time to ban re-operation at a nuclear power plant. Its decision means a harsh blow to Kansai Electric Power Co. which prepares to restart operation at the Takahama Station in coming autumn. The decision provides anti-nuclear activists with a chance to counter the Abe government which tries to resume nuclear power generation and encourage export of the dangerous technologies abroad.
LET’S TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COURT RULING TO COUNTER THE GOVERNMENT!
The Fukui District Court gave judgment to forbid operation at Takahama for the following reasons.
Why is Operation Banned?
Electric power companies in Japan have been allowed to build its power plants if they are competent to the basic earthquake ground motion, a standard calculated as the maximum value from the seismic statistics. This basic figure, however, has lost liability in both terms of industrial experiences across the nation and from the theoretical point of view.
The original level was set as 370 gal at the time of designing a plant. It was raised later to 550 gal for safety reasons, and further to 700 gal when the new standard was employed. Power stations, however, have been left intact, without being complemented with fundamental reinforcements. Only to raise figures of the ground motion - that cannot be accepted. The values represent a basis for safety against earthquakes.
The energy authorities have repeated to say that safety is assured thanks to a multiple protective structure. If a reactor itself, however, is unreliable in terms of seismic resistance, the protective facilities cannot work. It is too optimistic to expect that no bigger tremor will come to the Takahama stations that might exceed the basic earthquake ground motion. Even a shake less than 700 gal may damage reactor cores, if cooling function is spoiled.
The assumption is plausible, rather than catastrophe that might rarely happen. One more danger is nuclear fuel waste storage pool. A storage pool is not sealed off by tough facilities as those for a containment vessel, and therefore, if it is damaged, that will cause nationwide calamity. In addition, the new standard itself is too loose, lacking rationale. Even if a reactor clears the new standard, safety is not assured. These are the reasons the Court declared.
Right for Life First or Business Profits First
The Fukui District Court gave in May last year judgment to approve a plaintiffs’ claim to suspend operation at No.3 and No.4 reactors at Oi Station. Again it maintained to favor the constitutional right for life and livelihood. The court keeps a sincere judicial position to appreciate the right of people as more precious than anything else.
Nuclear mafia groups grumble as they prefer business profits to lives of people and their human rights. Kansai Electric Power Co., a parallel to Tokyo Electric Power Co. in eastern region of Japan, filed an objection against the district court. Their superior, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told: ‘nuclear power stations, if approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority as safe, can be re-operated’.
A faithful loyalty, Tanaka Shun’ichi, Chairman of the Authority, used to reply: ’though the plants meet the basic safety level against earthquakes, I refrain from telling they are safe’. After seeing Premier Abe’s difficult position, however, Chairman Tanaka told flatly: ‘I do not think it necessary to review the new basis for safety. The court’s decision does not affect on the Authority’s checks and decisions’. Nobody takes responsibility for safety ? a carefree stance. The Supreme Court, which used to support the nuclear mafia groups, cannot be reliable.
Presiding Judge Higuchi Hideaki, who favored people’s lives rather than profits of big business, has made a courageous provisional decision. His order will surely give confidence to anti-nuclear activists in staging more powerful campaigns.
April 28, 2015