Safe reaction

Published: Sunday 30 April 2006

Even as fire-fighters battled to control a recent fire at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui, Japan, a Japanese court for the first time ordered the suspension of another operating nuclear reactor due to safety concerns.

The Kanazawa district court has ordered to stop operations in the number two reactor of Hokuriku Electric Power plant in the Ishikawa prefecture. "It is feared that local residents may get exposed to radiation if an accident occurs due to a quake that is larger than what the power company estimates," judge Kenichi Ido said.

About 130 residents had filed the lawsuit, fearing for their safety if an earthquake strikes. Japan lies at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes.

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