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Sendai nuclear power plant receives regulatory OK to restart

Sendai nuclear power plant Japan approved to restart Nuclear Regulation Authority

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Wednesday gave its approval for the dual-unit Sendai nuclear power plant to restart.

NRA officials said plant operator Kyushu Electric Power Co. showed that the plant met all safety requirements in order to restart the Sendai plant, according to Reuters. However, the plant still needs to pass operational safety checks and win the approval of the local government where the plant is sited. If it gains all of the approvals, the plant could restart in early 2015, the article said.

The government is reportedly pushing utilities to close reactors that are 40 years old and older to help appease public distrust that has grown since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, the article said. Nearly a quarter of the 48 reactors in Japan are 40 years and older. Post-Fukushima rules say reactors must be decommissioned after 40 years of operation, but licenses can be extended an additional 20 years if they can pass more stringent and expensive safety regulations.

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