Greenpeace: Legal fight to stop Takahama 1&2 nuclear reactors formally begins
RELEASE ENERGY 2016.07.13

Greenpeace: Legal fight to stop Takahama 1&2 nuclear reactors formally begins

Nagoya, 13 July 2016 _ Today, the legal battle to stop the restart of the KEPCO’s aging Takahama 1&2 reactors will formally begin with the first hearing before the Nagoya District Court. The case argues that Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority has failed in its regulatory responsibility to protect public safety, putting millions of lives and livelihoods throughout the Kansai region at unacceptable risk.

In particular, the case argues that these reactors are too old to operate due to aging related degradation and wear, which has not been adequately assessed.

“The fact that the NRA has given a 20 year license extension to the Takahama 1&2 reactors is a gross failure on the part of the regulator to fulfill its responsibility to the public. Most people would not drive a vintage car from 1974 or ’75, at full speed 24 hours a day. They understand that machines wear out and models become obsolete. Yet this is exactly what KEPCO is planning to do with these Takahama reactors, despite that fact nuclear reactors are subject to a whole host of other issues beyond regular wear and tear. The constant irradiation over years and decades can deteriorate the metal of critical reactor equipment, making it more fragile and potentially susceptible to catastrophic failure,” said Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Japan.

On 20 June, the NRA gave the Takahama 1&2 reactors a lifetime extension of 20 years, knowing full well that the reactors do not meet post-Fukushima seismic standards.

Today, the court will be hearing testimony from some of the plaintiffs in the case, explaining why they have joined. This is a particularly courageous action, given that KEPCO has previously threatened to go after individual plaintiffs for damages if the reactors are shut down.

In solidarity with the lawyers and plaintiffs, over 1,600 Greenpeace supporters sent their Facebook profile photo to be printed on a banner of solidarity. Greenpeace staff brought the banner to the Nagoya court before the hearing began with the message that people from across Japan are standing with them on this day and that, together, we can win the fight to shut the Takahama 1&2 reactors down.

“The majority of the people of Japan still oppose nuclear energy, over five years after the beginning of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. And, the ongoing and unjustifiable support the nuclear industry is receiving from those that claim to regulate it clearly demonstrate that the public’s safety concerns are well-founded. Rather than enforcing the law, which would have required shutdown of these reactors on July 7th, the NRA has been aiding and abetting KEPCO in getting around it. This extends far beyond negligence on the part of the regulator. It is outright malfeasance,” said Ulrich.

Two Greenpeace staff have joined the lawsuit along with other plaintiffs.

Currently, two other reactors at the Takahama plant _ units 3&4 _ are shut down on court order due to outstanding safety issues that would make their operation a violation of citizens’ constitutionally protected human rights. On 12 June 2016, the Otsu District Court rejected KEPCO’s appeal of the injunction, and thereby assuring that the reactors will remain shut down.

Contacts:

Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan: kendra.ulrich@greenpeace.org 090 6478 5408

Chisato Jono, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Japan: chisato.jono@greenpeace.org 080 6558 4446

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