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Japan's nuclear energy policy remains in disarray after court ruling

The No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear power plant

TOKYO   Five years after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that caused reactors to melt down at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Japan's nuclear energy policy remains in disarray.

     On March 9, the Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture ordered Kansai Electric Power to halt the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, after taking issue with the power company's safety protocols regarding earthquakes and tsunamis. The order is the first of its kind suspending the operation of a reactor in service in Japan and has raised questions about who among the many stakeholders -- utilities, the central government, local authorities, regulators, residents and courts -- has the power to start or stop them. 

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