Group Intro: “Decommission the Shika Nuclear Power Plant!” Lawsuit Plaintiff Group

By Kitano Susumu, Chief of the plaintiff group


We, the “Decommission the Shika Nuclear Power Plant!” Lawsuit Plaintiff Group, are committed to the lawsuit filed to terminate the operation of Shika Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 2, located on the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture. The group consists of 125 plaintiffs in total, including five who evacuated to Ishikawa from Fukushima. We cooperate with about 2,000 supporters. We filed this suit in June 2012, the year after 2011, when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster began. The starting point of the lawsuit was the determination of many local residents that the tragedy of Fukushima must not occur in Noto.To our regret, this lawsuit is still continuing. One major reason for this stagnation is that the court does not try to examine the dangers of Shika NPP independently; the court shrugs off its responsibility by following the policy of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

It was under such circumstances that the Noto Peninsula Earthquake occurred on New Year’s Day this year. The area has been devastated due to the severe quakes, tsunami, fires, and large-scale earth slides. More than 200 people were killed due mainly to the collapse of residences, and tens and thousands of people who lost their houses are still being forced to live in evacuation housing today. On the other hand, many voices are reaching this area from around the nation, saying that the worst case was thankfully prevented: the Suzu nuclear plant was planned to operate close to the seismic center of the earthquake, but the plan was withdrawn because of opposition from the local population. In addition, the Shika NPP has been out of service for 12 years and the decay heat of the spent nuclear fuel has thus diminished, thereby preventing another earthquake-caused nuclear disaster like the one in Fukushima.

We cannot take this good fortune for granted, however. There is no guarantee that another earthquake will not occur. Experts say that this recent earthquake produced new strains around the nearby faults, making another earthquake more likely than before. Several active faults run nearby the Shika NPP, which may cause an earthquake as strong as or stronger than the recent one. Can the Shika NPP resist another severe earthquake?

Another fact that gives us great concern is the total failure of the evacuation plan. We have learned from this experience that when an immense earthquake like the one at the New Year occurs, residents cannot evacuate, and many houses collapse, making it impossible for residents to stay indoors. If the earthquake had caused a nuclear accident, people would have been exposed to radiation. Support from across the nation would not have reached the area, isolating Noto without any help, potentially causing a more serious disaster than Fukushima.

Even after the earthquake, the Shika NPP operator, Hokuriku Electric Power Company, has done nothing to change its policy of restarting the NPP. To win the lawsuit, we plan to strengthen our campaigns based on the lessons of the earthquake, and outside the court we would like to cooperate with many citizens to spread the message that the Shika NPP must be decommissioned.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You may also like...