The Miyazaki branch of Japan's Fukuoka High Court has ruled that the reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai NPP should be allowed to stay online. Residents argued that Kyushu Electric had underestimated the scale of the potential earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that could hit the region, and said government safety standards were inadequate. They plan to appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court, Jiji Press reported.
In April 2015, the Kagoshima Kyushu district court had ruled that the two reactors should be allowed to restart under the post-Fukushima safety regulations. Unit 1 was restarted in August and unit 2 in October. Local residents then appealed against that ruling requesting an injunction to suspend operation of the reactors. restarted at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear power plant.
The government is looking to bring all of the nation's 48 reactors idled for safety checks and in the wake of the Fukushima multiple meltdowns back online, and aims to be producing 20% of Jappan's electricity from nuclear power by 2030, despite mounting public opposition. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that Nuclear Regulation Authority's (NRA's) new safety standards were "the world's toughest" and the government had no intention of changing its stance on restarting reactors.
However public protests continue. In March, the Otsu District Court ordered Kansai Electric Power Co to halt the operation of two reactors (units 3 and 4) which had restarted at its Takahama NPP in Fukui Prefecture. Kansai Electric is contesting the ruling, but meanwhile the Takahama reactors must legally remain shuttered until the injunction is overturned.