Kansai Electric Power Company has been denied permission to restart Takahama 3&4 by the Fukui District Court, but says it plans to appeal.
The court issued an injunction against operation of Takahama 3&4, both 870MW pressurised water reactors, in response to a petition filed by nine local residents in December.
In February the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) determined that the two reactors conformed to new regulatory standards, and Kansai Electric received approval to restart Takahama 3&4 from the municipality in March. It also needs approval from the prefectural government and a to pass a final inspection by NRA.
Restart had been targeted for 2015, but will not be possible until the court ruling is overturned. Kansai Electric said it will "move swiftly" to submit an appeal and to substantiate the safety of the two units.
In May 2014, the same Fukui District Court ruled against the restart of Ohi 3&4, also operated by Kansai Electric, which appealed the judgment the very next day.
The risk of lawsuits in Japan is growing larger, said Akihiro Sawa of The 21st Century Public Policy Institute in an April 2014 session at the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF) annual conference. The lack of regulatory transparency surrounding nuclear power remains a problem in the country, he said.