The case lawyers discuss Fukui District Court's landmark ruling against restarting two Kansai reactors
Kazuhiro Kasahara & Hiroshi Shimada
Lawyers for "Fukui Court Ruling on Ohi Reactors"
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation
The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe of 2011, the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986, delivered a huge blow to the public perception of atomic power as a clean and safe source of energy, shattering the so-called "safety myth" built up over decades in Japan.
Now the country's courts are starting to take a harder stance on nuclear energy after decades of rebuffing legal attempts by citizen groups and activists to shut down atomic plants. On May 21st, the Fukui District Court ruled against the restart of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Ohi station.
It was the first time since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, that a court has ruled against the restart of nuclear units and the decision is a direct challenge to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's stated intention to reboot idled reactors should they pass new safety guidelines.
The ruling included a scathing indictment of the nuclear industry's risk management practices and called into question the scientific basis for establishing the extent to which Ohi station is susceptible to earthquakes, a judgement that has implications for all atomic plants in Japan.
The Fukui court also took the unusual step of grounding its decision in citizens' "right to life," overriding economic arguments about stable electricity supply and the high cost of fossil fuel replacements for nuclear energy put forward by Kansai Electric during the hearings.
The decision may well be struck down by a higher court on appeal, but for now the Fukui District Court has set an important precedent, and we are fortunate to be able to offer the chance to hear the views of the two leading lawyers involved in this landmark legal case.
Come and listen to lawyers Kazuhiro Kasahara and Hiroshi Shimada discuss the ruling by the Fukui court, its implications for the future of nuclear power and human rights in general in Japan and the outlook for Kansai Electric's appeal to a higher court to throw it out.
Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.
Professional Activities Committee
Hiroshi Shimada Kazuhiro Kasahara