The Kensai Electric Power Company in Japan said it would begin shutdown operations for the online Takahama nuclear power plant Unit 3 in order to comply with a court order issued Wednesday. The shutdown process would commence on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. and be completed within 12 hours, the company said.
Kensai also called the court order “deplorable,” and said it would review the technical aspects of the court order and then work to reverse the decision, which was made by the Otsu district court in response to a petition filed by 29 residents of the Shiga prefecture, according to the World Nuclear Association.
The injunction was issued by Judge Yoshihiko Yamamoto, who declared, essentially, that safety of the plant could not be guaranteed, despite enhanced safety measures mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority in the wake of the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear generating station.
In a statement, Kensai said, “It is extremely deplorable that our (technical) assertion was not understood well by the court, which we can hardly accept.” The company said it would make an “all-out effort” to appeal the court decision.
As of Wednesday, Unit 3 at the plant, restarted in late January, was online, while Unit 4, which was restarted in February, was offline. Unit 4 shut down three days after its long-awaited restart. Technicians are assessing why that shutdown occurred, which the company has called a “main transformer/generator internal failure.”
Kensai had been given the go-ahead for safety enhancements in February 2015 after shutdowns in 2013 that were part of a country-wide moratorium on nuclear power as a reaction to the events of March 2011. Approval meant that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority agreed that the plant was safe for operations. The enhancements would only make the plant safer.
Permission for moving forward on safety enhancements for Units 3 and 4 were in place by August and October of 2015, respectively.
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