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 . 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) . 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 . 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 . 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 . 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 .
Greenpeace is particularly concerned about the shipment of MOX fuel (uranium-plutonium mixed oxide) which was shipped from France and arrived in Takahama on 21 September 2017 with the plan of being used in its reactor in 2018 . Anti-nuclear power protesters and activists have become increasingly vocal post Fukushima. When it was announced that the Takahama plants were being reopened, locals gathered outside Prime Minister Abe’s office in Tokyo to protest nuclear power .