Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Japan high court rules nuclear reactors can restart

A Japanese appeals court Tuesday ruled that a pair of nuclear reactors halted by a lower court order can be restarted, in a victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's energy policy.

Japan shut down all of its reactors after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011, relying on imported fossil fuels to power its economy. Due to public opposition, only a handful have since been restarted.

But Abe has repeatedly said that resource-poor Japan, the world's third-largest economy, needs nuclear power and has pushed to get reactors back into operation despite public anxiety.

In Tuesday's decision the Osaka High Court in western Japan struck down an injunction by a lower court that had forced the two reactors to shut down over safety concerns.

At issue were the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui prefecture, some 350 kilometers (215 miles) west of Tokyo.

A lower court in a city adjacent to Fukui ordered Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) in March last year to suspend their operation, spurring the utility to appeal to the Osaka High Court.

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