In a surprise ruling that is likely to delay efforts to restart nuclear power generation nationwide, the Otsu District Court on Wednesday issued a provisional injunction ordering Kansai Electric Power Co. to shut down its No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Takahama facility in Fukui Prefecture.

While Kepco is expected to appeal the ruling, company officials said at a news conference that was hastily called after the decision that they would begin operations to shut down the No. 3 reactor on Thursday morning, and expected to complete the process by the evening.

The No. 3 reactor was restarted in January, and the No. 4, which had been scheduled to restart last month, was delayed due to technical problems.

“There are doubts remaining about both the tsunami response and the evacuation plan,” the ruling said.

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