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Japan Approves Restart of 2 Nuclear Reactors

  • VOA News

FILE - An employee of Kyushu Electric Power Co walks in front of reactor buildings at the company's Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture.

FILE - An employee of Kyushu Electric Power Co walks in front of reactor buildings at the company's Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture.

Japan's nuclear regulator has given final approval to restart two reactors shut down following the Fukushima nuclear meltdown three years ago.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday that the Sendai power plant in southwestern Japan could reopen, although local approval is still needed.

Some activists say the plant is not safe because of nearby volcanoes, though regulators have said the danger from this is minimal.

It would be the first of Japan's nuclear plants to restart under stricter standards following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Japan switched off its nuclear reactors for maintenance after the Fukushima accident crippled the plant and exposed the surrounding area to radiation. Since then, Japanese citizens have faced higher energy prices as the nation switched its dependence to fossil fuels.

Oopposition to nuclear energy in Japan remains strong, with repeated protests staged in front of the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been pushing to get Japan's nuclear plants running again.

Nuclear energy once supplied more than a quarter of the power in resource-starved Japan.

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