In a historic ruling described as a “wake-up call” for both the nuclear industry and the Japanese government, a district court on Wednesday ordered the shutdown of Takahaka Nuclear Plant in western Japan—a decision that was welcomed by residents and local officials who said the plant posed health and safety risks.
The order, coming just days before the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, will bring the number of operating nuclear reactors in Japan down to two. According to news outlets, it is the first injunction issued in Japan to halt a nuclear plant that is currently operational.
“It’s a clear message that nuclear power has no place in Japan’s energy future.”
—Hisayo Takada, Greenpeace Japan
The Japan Times reports:
Plaintiffs and local residents reportedly cheered and held banners after the ruling. “I’m so happy and praise the court’s courage,” said one person celebrating outside the courthouse.
“This is a wake-up call for nuclear industry and the government,” Reuters quoted Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, a former Japanese government official and chief climate change negotiator, as saying. “They can no longer take for granted that the judiciary will follow the old ways.”
And Hisayo Takada, deputy program director at Greenpeace Japan, added in a statement: “This is a landmark victory for people living in the shadow of shut-down reactors across Japan and a devastating blow against the nuclear industry and the policies of the Abe government. It’s a clear message that nuclear power has no place in Japan’s energy future.”
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