High court orders first reactor shutdown
NHK -- Dec 14
For the first time, a Japanese high court has ordered the operator of a nuclear plant not to restart a reactor.

The Hiroshima High Court issued the injunction on Wednesday. It ordered Shikoku Electric Power Company not to restart the No. 3 reactor at its Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. It's currently offline for regular inspections.

The decision reverses a lower court order in March. Residents had sued to have the reactor shut down, citing the threat of a serious accident.

The latest lawsuit considered whether Shikoku Electric had properly assessed the risk to the plant posed by the largest possible earthquake and eruptions of nearby volcanoes.

Presiding Judge Tomoyuki Nonoue said the likelihood wasn't small that the nuclear plant would be affected by pyroclastic flows from an eruption of Mount Aso on the neighboring island of Kyushu. He found fault with the plant's location. He added that the operator had underestimated the amount of volcanic cinder and ash that would fall on the plant.

He concluded that the Nuclear Regulation Authority's judgment that the plant had met the requirements needed for a restart was flawed. He noted that the NRA hadn't properly assessed the risk that residents faced from various dangers such as volcanoes.

Under the injunction, the reactor will remain shut down until September 30th of next year.

News source: NHK
Jan 19
Shining night clouds were observed in skies over wide areas of western Japan after a rocket lifted off from southern Japan early on Thursday. (NHK)
Jan 19
The Environment Ministry said Wednesday that a highly pathogenic, H5N6-type avian influenza virus was detected in a dead northern goshawk found earlier this month at a park in Tokyo’s Ota Ward. (Japan Times)
Jan 18
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, successfully launched on Thursday its third Epsilon small rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite. (Jiji)
Jan 18
Researchers have confirmed that there is a glacier in the Kakunezato snowy valley in Kashimayarigatake, a 2,889-meter mountain straddling the central Japan prefectures of Nagano and Toyama, it was learned on Wednesday. (Jiji)
Jan 16
A woman in her 60s in Fukuoka Prefecture died in 2016 after being infected with Corynebacterium ulcerans, becoming the first victim of the zoonotic disease in Japan, health ministry officials said Monday. (Jiji)
Jan 16
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Monday it will postpone the Wednesday launch of its third Epsilon solid-fuel rocket due to expected bad weather. (Japan Times)
Jan 11
Officials in Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, say dead birds found at a local poultry farm have tested positive for bird flu in a preliminary check. (NHK)
Jan 09
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will start developing a new high-efficiency radar system in fiscal 2018 to monitor space debris as small as about 10 centimeters, as part of its efforts to avoid collisions between debris and artificial satellites, according to sources. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 06
Japan reported in 2017 over 5,000 syphilis patients for the first time since comparable data became available in 1999, with the number rising particularly among women in their 20s, data by a national research center showed Friday. (Japan Today)
Jan 06
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday that there was a miscalculation behind its emergency warning on the day of a strong earthquake off the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture, which was followed by no major quake. (Jiji)