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Japan Approves Two Reactor Restarts, More Seen Ahead via The New York Times

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan on Saturday approved the resumption of nuclear power operations at two reactors despite mass public opposition, the first to come back on line after they were all shut down following the Fukushima crisis.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, his popularity ratings sagging, had backed the restarts for some time. He announced the government’s decision at a meeting with key ministers, giving the go-ahead to two reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co at Ohi in western Japan.

The decision, despite public concerns over safety after the big earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant, could open the door to more restarts among Japan’s 50 nuclear power reactors.

[...]

But the decision risks a backlash from a public deeply concerned about nuclear safety. As many as 10,000 demonstrators gathered outside Noda’s office on Friday night amid a heavy police presence to denounce the restarts, urging the premier to step down and shouting “Lives matter more than the economy.”

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