The Sapporo District Court in a trial in which residents in the vicinity of the Tomari Nuclear Power Station of Hokkaido Electric Power Company in Tomari Village, Hokkaido, claimed that "the safety against tsunamis and earthquakes was insufficient" and demanded that the nuclear power plant be decommissioned. Will hand down the judgment on the 31st.

About 1,200 residents of Hokkaido Electric Power Company's Tomari Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 to 3 have filed complaints that they are "insufficient in safety" and banned their operation and demanded that they be decommissioned. ..

In the hearing for more than 10 years, the issues were whether there were active faults around the nuclear power plant and on the premises, and whether tsunami countermeasures were taken sufficiently.

While the plaintiff insisted that "there is an active fault that causes a large earthquake, but we do not anticipate its shaking, and the tsunami cannot be prevented by the current tide embankment," the electric power company denies the existence of the active fault. In addition, he insisted that the tsunami was "safe."

The judgment of this case will be handed down at the Sapporo District Court at 3:00 pm on the 31st.

The Tomari Nuclear Power Plant has been out of operation for 10 years since Unit 3 stopped power generation in 2012 due to regular inspections.

The review by the NRA has been prolonged and there is no prospect of restarting.

Under these circumstances, it will be interesting to see how the court decides on the safety of the Tomari nuclear power plant.

The main issue of the trial is

At the trial, the main issues were whether there were active faults in and around the site of the nuclear power plant, whether tsunami countermeasures were sufficient, and the danger of spent nuclear fuel in the reactor building.

Of these, the issues regarding active faults can be divided into two categories: "submarine active faults" and "on-site faults."

[Presence / absence of active faults on the seafloor] The

first was whether there were active faults on the seafloor off the northwest coast of the Shakotan Peninsula around the nuclear power plant that would cause a large earthquake.

The plaintiffs claimed that "there is an active fault of about 100 km that causes an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the seabed, which is only 15 km away from the nuclear power plant, and we do not anticipate the shaking of the earthquake caused by such a fault." ..

On the other hand, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company said, "It is unlikely that an active submarine fault exists, but in order to ensure safety, we assume that it exists and evaluate the safety, even if an earthquake occurs. We conclude that the impact is small. "

[Activity of on-site faults] The

second was whether or not there were active faults on the site of the nuclear power plant.

The plaintiffs alleged that "there are multiple active faults on the premises, and we do not anticipate the shaking of the earthquake caused by these faults."

On the other hand, the electric power company insisted that "none of the faults on the site are active faults."

[Tsunami countermeasures]

Regarding tsunami countermeasures, the safety of seawalls was disputed.

The plaintiff said, "The new tide embankment built after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may sink the supporting ground due to liquefaction caused by the earthquake and cannot prevent the inflow of tsunami. Hokuden says that it will build a new tide embankment. It is not specific when and what kind of facility will be built. "

The electric power company insisted, "When we made a judgment on the ground of the seawall, we evaluated that the ground as a whole did not liquefy. We plan to build a new seawall to ensure further safety."

[Danger of spent nuclear fuel]

Regarding the spent nuclear fuel stored in the building, the plaintiff said, "Although it is dangerous because it contains a large amount of radioactive material, the safety of the building itself is not maintained, and the radioactive material is diffused by earthquakes and tsunamis. There is a risk of it. "

In response, the electric power company insisted, "Since a certain period of time has passed after use, it has been cooled for a long period of time, reducing the risk and managing it safely."

The background of the trial

In November 2011, about half a year after the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, more than 600 people, including residents of the area around the Tomari nuclear power plant, filed a trial in the Sapporo District Court.

In November, the number of plaintiffs increased by more than 600 to more than 1,200, with the addition of people from all over Hokkaido such as Sapporo City and Honshu as well as the surrounding areas.

Regarding the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant, Hokkaido Electric Power Company applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an examination for restart in 2013, and the trial will proceed in parallel with the examination.

Since the Hokkaido Electric Power Company waited for the progress of the examination in the trial and developed the allegation, the trial will be prolonged as the examination is prolonged.

Then, in January, the electric power company indicated its intention to submit a written allegation about the fault on the premises in writing the following month, but the presiding judge discontinued the argument saying that the trial was ripe, and the trial lasted for more than 10 years. Will be sentenced.

Continued to be out of service for over 10 years

The Hokkaido Electric Power Company and Tomari Nuclear Power Station have three units: Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3.

The output of Units 1 and 2 is 579,000 kW, respectively, and that of Unit 3 is 912,000 kW, which occupies almost a quarter of the power generation facilities of Hokkaido Electric Power Company, which is the largest power plant in Hokkaido.

The Tomari Nuclear Power Plant has been out of operation for more than 10 years since Unit 3 stopped power generation for regular inspections in May 2012.

There is no prospect of restart

Regarding the Tomari Nuclear Power Station, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc., along with the four nuclear power plants of the Kansai, Shikoku, and Kyushu electric power companies, received the enforcement of new regulatory standards for nuclear power plants in 2013, when the operation was stopped. , For the first time in Japan, applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a review for restart.

While all other nuclear power plants have completed the examination and are restarting, the Tomari nuclear power plant is still under examination.

The reason why it takes time is that Hokkaido Electric Power Company could not easily show a convincing material that denies "active faults" for the faults on the site, and the evaluation was not decided.

Only in July last year, the Regulatory Commission concluded that this fault was "not an active fault," and the review made some progress.

However, even after that, the impact assessment of the earthquake, tsunami, and volcano was delayed due to the shortage of human resources on the company side, and there is no prospect of restarting.

Last month, it was an unusual situation in which Toyoshi Fuketa, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, complained, "I want you to spare no effort in investing in the expansion of human resources necessary for examination."