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» [Mainichi Newspaper] Voices after the ruling regarding the restart of Oi nuclear power plant


The Fukui District Court’s decision that ruled against restarting the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO)’s Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture has delighted the residents who brought the case to the court.

Some 200 people — including the plaintiffs of the lawsuit and their supporters — erupted in cheers at the court after one of the plaintiffs held up a sheet of paper bearing a message, “Justice is alive,” after the court handed down the landmark ruling on May 21.

The district court’s ruling discussed the enormous damage brought about by the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster and declared that extremely high levels of safety and credibility are sought after for nuclear power stations. The ruling lambasted the safety measures currently in place, stating, “They are vulnerable and only work out under optimistic prospects.”

Miki Murai, a 34-year-old illustrator from Fukui and one of the plaintiffs in the suit, said, “The ruling has reassured us that justice still has a conscience. We’d be too embarrassed to turn our faces toward people in Fukushima if nuclear reactors were restarted in Fukui while we are aware of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I hope the ruling will serve as a breakthrough.”
In the meantime, the ruling saw mixed reactions among residents of the town of Oi, Fukui Prefecture, where the Oi nuclear plant is situated. “The ruling is inconceivable. My company’s future has become completely invisible,” said the president of an equipment company in the town that receives orders related to the Oi nuclear plant from KEPCO.

“I hope KEPCO will appeal the ruling, but I’m also worried about the possibility of the trial being prolonged. With no clear prospects for the future, local businesses will find themselves receiving fewer orders,” the president said. “As it directly concerns the livelihood of our employees, I want KEPCO to restart the reactors at any cost.”

A man in his 50s who runs a private inn in Oi said, “The ruling is going into depth while the central government has demonstrated its commitment to reactor reactivation. The verdict gives the impression that the courts have started to evaluate (the danger of nuclear plants), which is shocking to our local community.”
<Media Report>
‘Justice is alive’: Jubilant plaintiffs, supporters hail ruling against reactor restarts (Mainichi Newspaper)

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