[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Japan court backs nuclear plant
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Protesters at the Rokkasho plant
Locals worry about the effects of a quake on the plant
A legal challenge brought by Japanese people living near a uranium enrichment plant in an attempt to get it shut down has failed.

Locals living near the plant in Rokkasho claimed the government carried out inadequate safety checks before giving the plant a licence.

But a high court judge has ruled that an earlier decision by a lower court, rejecting their claims, should stand.

Fifty-two nuclear power plants supply more than a third of Japan's energy.

The facility at Rokkasho, northern Japan, was one of the first commercially operated plants in the country to produce enriched uranium for nuclear power generation. It started operating 14 years ago.

This lawsuit was first filed three years before the facility opened. People living nearby complained the government should not have given it a safety licence.

They said it was vulnerable to large earthquakes or to plane crashes.

The legal arguments have continued ever since. Most recently the courts were told that the plant was designed to withstand tremors with a seismic intensity of five or more, but it was possible that earthquakes far greater could occur near the facility.

A judge however ruled that the government's safety examination had been flawless.

His decision has now been upheld by the higher court and the residents' efforts to have the plant closed rejected.




SEE ALSO:
Japan's shaky nuclear record
24 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Water leak at Japan nuclear plant
12 Apr 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan court orders reactor closed
24 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Blaze at Japanese nuclear plant
22 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Accident at Japan nuclear plant
09 Aug 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Fire alarm at Japan nuclear plant
04 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan restarts nuclear reactor
07 May 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Power shortages threat to Tokyo
15 Apr 03 |  Asia-Pacific


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific