Despite the health and safety concerns of local residents, Japan's Sendai nuclear power station on Wednesday was granted final regulatory approval to restart its operations, meaning it is now poised to be the first such facility to reopen since the industry was halted nation-wide following the Fukushima meltdown in 2011.
Asia One reports that Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday approved "operational safety programs for the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear power plant," meaning all necessary permits have now been granted.
The publication explains that the Sendai plant, which is located in the Kagoshima Prefecture, "now needs to pass two procedures before restart: an inspection before start-up, in which the NRA inspectors examine facilities, and a safety inspection in which the inspectors check whether the plant's operation and management systems are compiled as operational safety programs stipulate."
Both procedures are already underway, and Kyushu Electric Power Co., which runs the facility, says it hopes to restart the No. 1 reactor as early as July.
Residents had formally petitioned to block the restart of the plant but their efforts were rejected by the Kagoshima District Court in April.
The restart is moving forward despite majority opposition in Japan to a resumption of the country's nuclear industry.