TOKYO, April 16 A Japanese court rejected a
petition to close down the country's only two operating nuclear
reactors, in the country's first legal ruling on atomic power
since the Fukushima disaster a little over two years ago.
Anti-nuclear advocates had sought to have the reactors at
Kansai Electric Power's Ohi plant in western Japan shut
down because seismologists suspect parts of the station sit
above an active faultline, which would be against Japanese law
on nuclear siting.
The injunction on Ohi was rejected by the court on Tuesday,
Kansai Electric spokesman Akihiro Aoike said by phone.
The Fukushima disaster, the worst nuclear accident in the
world in a quarter century, prompted the gradual shutdown of all
Japan's nuclear reactors until there were none left operating in
May 2012, leaving the country without atomic power for the first
time since 1970.
Japan has faced a soaring fuel bill as power companies
ramped up purchases of gas, oil and coal to make up for atomic
power, which accounted for 30 percent of the country's
electricity supply before the disaster.
A government decision last June to restart the Ohi reactors
galvanized the country's previously dormant anti-nuclear
movement, sparking the biggest demonstrations in decades. Media
surveys have shown a majority of Japanese want to abandon atomic
energy by 2030, if not sooner.
The country's new nuclear regulator is still investigating
whether the suspected fault under the station is active.
(Reporting by Risa Maeda and Mari Saito; Editing by Aaron
Sheldrick and Richard Pullin)