Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complexREUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power (

A Japanese court has blocked Kansai Electric Power from restarting its nuclear reactors at the Takahama facility after local residents complained about the safety measures at the nuclear plant.

Reuters, citing plaintiffs, reported that the court has issued an injunction to halt the restart of Takahama number three and number four nuclear reactors.

Kansai Electric Power received all required approvals from Japan's nuclear regulator for the reactors on the coast of Fukui prefecture in western Japan, and they were expected to be restarted later in 2015.

Nevertheless, the local residents were worried about the safety of the reactors, given the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which led to the melt-down of the Fukushima nuclear facility. Following the disaster, Japan has shut down all of its nuclear plants, forcing the country to depend on imports for most of its energy needs.

The government led by Shinzo Abe wanted to restart nuclear plants, as it claimed that the nuclear reactors were crucial for the growth of the country's economy. Kansai Electric's nuclear reactors were some of the first to be restarted.

However, local residents argued that restart plans underestimate earthquake risks, fail to meet tougher safety standards and lack credible evacuation measures.

A ruling on a similar injunction against a Kyushu Electric Power plant in southern Japan is scheduled for 22 April.