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Tuesday
Oct282014

Japan edges back towards nuclear power with vote to restart reactors

Legislators in Satsumasendai agree to restart Sendai plant, first to win approval since Fukushima earthquake disaster of 2011

Japan has moved closer to a return to nuclear power, more than three years after the Fukushima disaster, after a town in the country’s south-west voted to approve two reactors coming back online.

Nineteen of 26 assembly members in Satsumasendai, located 600 miles south-west of Tokyo, voted in favour of restarting the Sendai nuclear power plant. Four voted against and three abstained.

The vote does not mean the reactors, the first to win approval to restart since the introduction of stringent new safety requirements, will go back online immediately.

The plant, operated by Kyushu Electric Power, must pass operational safety checks, and officials in Kagoshima prefecture, where the town is located, also have to give their consent. That means the plant’s two reactors are unlikely to be restarted until next year, officials said.


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