12 Juillet 2012
July 12, 2012
NIIGATA -- Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees demanded at a court here that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) shut down its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant permanently, saying the utility is not qualified to run nuclear reactors.
Three plaintiffs, including two nuclear crisis evacuees, made the demand on July 12 during the first round of oral proceedings at the Niigata District Court in a lawsuit filed by 132 people from six prefectures, including 13 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs demand TEPCO -- operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant -- permanently shut down all seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in the city of Kashiwazaki and the village of Kariwa, Niigata Prefecture. The plaintiffs filed the suit to block any move to reactivate the idled reactors. TEPCO countered with a written reply urging the court to reject the suit.
The lawsuit is the first to seek the shutdown of a nuclear reactor operated by TEPCO since the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.
"We will never countenance TEPCO operating nuclear reactors after (the utility) has so badly contaminated our hometowns, and has yet to clean them up," the three plaintiffs at the July 12 hearing stated, adding, "Nuclear plants, which can cause unpredictable damage, must not be constructed. (TEPCO) should realize that it is going to pass this bitter legacy on to the future."
Describing the Fukushima nuclear crisis as a "man-made disaster," the plaintiffs said in the suit, "(TEPCO) has neither the qualifications nor capability to operate and manage nuclear plants." Because of such factors as the weakness of the earth beneath the plant, the plaintiffs argued that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was "built in an extremely dangerous place."