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Takahama Nuclear Plants 3 and 4 reopen for commercial use, Japan

Two of Kansai Electric Company's nuclear reactors, Takahama 3 and Takahama 4 are now in operation for commercial use, after a high court injunction was lifted.


After the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011, all 48 operable nuclear plants in Japan were shut down. Since then, five nuclear plants have been reopened, two of which are in Takahama. KEPCO (Kansai Electric Power Company) reopened the Takahama number 4 reactor in May 2017, and Takahama 3 in June 2017 [2][1]. The three other nuclear plants currently in operation are Sendai 1 and 2 in Kagoshima prefecture (operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company) and Ikata 3 in Ehime prefecture (operated by Shikoku Electric Power Company) [1]. Apart from the 5 reactors that have been reopened so far, there are currently 21 nuclear reactors that have filed for restart according to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum [5].  Since March 2016 both Takahama 3 and 4 have been out of operation due to a high court injunction, which was lifted this year when the Osaka high court deemed the plants safe enough to resume operation [3][1]. This court ruling has sparked criticism from various groups of people. According to Greenpeace, it is no surprise that the high court has allowed the reopening of Takahama 3 and 4 [4]. This is in large part due to Japan being a very nuclear power friendly country, even post Fukushima, as exemplified by Prime Minister Abe who stated that Japan “cannot do without” nuclear power back in 2016 [6].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Takahama Nuclear Plants 3 and 4 reopen for commercial use, Japan
State or province:Ōi District, Fukui Prefecture
Location of conflict:Takahama
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. ( KEPCO) is an electric utility of Kansai region, Japan (including the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto megalopolis).

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Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:17/05/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) from Japan
Relevant government actors:Osaka High Court
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Greenpeace Japan
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There has been resistance from local population and from Greenpeace, but the project was still approved by the high court of Osaka.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Cetus News, Kansai Electric restarts reactor at its Takahama plant in Fukui
[click to view]

[6] Abe says Japan ‘cannot do without’ nuclear power, 10 March 2016
[click to view]

[2] Johnston, Eric, Kepco restarts second Takahama reactor as Greenpeace warns of French MOX fuel shipment, The Japan Times, 6 June 2017
[click to view]

[3] Nuclear Energy Institute, News and Media: Japan Nuclear Update
[click to view]

[4] Hurst, Daniel, Victory for Japanese nuclear industry as high court quashes injunction, The Guardian, 28 March 2017.
[click to view]

Press Release: Takahama Plutonium Fuel Shipment Exposes Risks and Failure of Japanese Nuclear Policy, Greenpeace Japan, 5 July 2017.
[click to view]

[8] MOX fuel shipment arrives in Japan, Nuclear Engineering International, 21 September 2017.
[click to view]

[5] List of nuclear power plants in Japan, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[7] Video- Japan: Protesters rally against reopening of Takahama nuclear power plant, 29 March 2017.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Mariko Takedomi Karlsson, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
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