COURT REFUSAL

A lawsuit filed by residents demanding the permanent closure of Japan's only fast-breeder nuclear reactor was rejected by a court in the Fukui Prefecture, situated 350 km west of Tokyo, Japan. Designed to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumes, the reactor has been closed since December 1995 after the leakage of around three tonnes of liquid sodium from its cooling system. In his ruling, Judge Yoshihiko Iwata said, "Considering even the sodium leakage, the fast-breeder reactor poses no danger to residents.' The ruling comes against a background of increasing public outcry against nuclear energy following a series of accidents in recent months.

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