Sendai nuclear plant gets first restart OK via The Japan Times

Bringing Japan a step closer to restarting suspended nuclear power operations, reactors 1 and 2 at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture on Wednesday became the first to meet strict new safety standards imposed after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The seal of approval was included in a report released by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. But the watchdog’s official approval will come after a month of public comment on the report.

It is still unclear when exactly the utility will return to service. After passing the NRA safety test, the Sendai plant is likely to be the first among the nation’s 48 idled commercial power plants to be returned to service. But Kyushu Electric Co. still faces further hurdles — including the need to obtain backing from local municipalities and the governor of Kagoshima Prefecture — before the reactors can be fired up.

While the Sendai reactors now move to the front of the line to be rebooted, 17 others at different plants nationwide are still being evaluated or waiting to be examined.

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