The ruling by the Otsu district court – the first to force the shutdown of reactors switched on under stricter safety rules adopted after the 2011 disaster – is a blow to plans by the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to bring back #nuclear power.
The No 4 reactor was taken offline last month due to an unexpected technical glitch days after it restarted, while the No 3 reactor is currently operating.
“This court order is not something the company can accept,” it said in a statement. Television footage showed plaintiffs and local residents cheering and holding banners after the ruling.
In December, another court sided with Kansai Electric by lifting a temporary injunction blocking the restart of the two reactors covered by Wednesday’s ruling.
The order, made just days before the fifth anniversary of the atomic disaster, would bring the number of operating reactors in Japan down to two. Dozens were shut in the wake of Fukushima, the worst nuclear accident in a generation.