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Residents to file petition for Ikata plant injunction following Kumamoto quake

Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter in November 2015. The No. 3 reactor is seen in the foreground. (Mainichi)

MATSUYAMA -- A group of plaintiffs suing Shikoku Electric Power Co. to stop the operation of currently idled reactors No. 1, 2 and 3 at the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant in Ehime Prefecture is set to file a petition for a provisional injunction to halt the reactivation process of the No. 3 reactor following the deadly Kumamoto earthquakes.

    The No. 3 reactor at the Ikata plant has passed safety screenings by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The plaintiffs decided on May 17 to file the petition with the Matsuyama District Court, after judging that there was heightened urgency for such action in light of the recent series of earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas in the Kyushu region -- an island west of Ehime Prefecture.

    The Median Tectonic Line fault belt -- Japan's largest-class fault zone -- runs near the Ikata plant. As earthquakes continue to occur in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures in Kyushu, the plaintiffs say they have determined that the risk of tremors simultaneously occurring in the fault complex has increased.

    The group sued Shikoku Electric in the Matsuyama District Court in 2011, but had until now refrained from filing for a provisional injunction out of concern that it could slow down court procedures for the lawsuit.

    Meanwhile, three residents from the city of Hiroshima also filed a separate petition with the Hiroshima District Court in March this year for a provisional injunction to halt the reactivation process of the Ikata Plant's No. 3 reactor.

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