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Plaintiffs to sue Gov't over Hamaoka plant

Residents demanding decommissioning of Hamaoka nuke plant to sue national gov't



OMAEZAKI, Shizuoka -- A group of residents here taking part in a lawsuit demanding Chubu Electric Power Co. decommission the Hamaoka nuclear plant are poised to additionally sue the central government over the case.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- 181 residents living near the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture -- decided on Nov. 12 to additionally file the case against the government with the Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka District Court by the end of January next year.

While similar lawsuits have been pending at the Tokyo High Court and the Shizuoka District Court, it is the first time for plaintiffs to sue the central government over the issue.

"The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster has highlighted the risk of the Hamaoka nuclear plant, whose operation has been substantially supported by the national government," said Tadakazu Shiozawa, a member of the defense counsel for the plaintiffs.

Shiozawa said he will assert that the government has an obligation to permanently shut down the Hamaoka plant because the facility poses the potential risk of infringing on the right to the pursuit of happiness stipulated under the Constitution and the personal right under the Civil Code.

The case was first filed by residents living mainly in western Shizuoka Prefecture in May 2011. The planned suit will be the fifth filed over the case.

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