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Japan’s regulator approves restart for nuclear reactor closest to epicenter of 2011 quake

Japan’s regulator approves restart for nuclear reactor closest to epicenter of 2011 quake

Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power said on Wednesday that it has won initial regulatory approval to restart a reactor at its Onagawa power plant. Onagawa was the closest among Japan’s nuclear stations to the epicenter of the 9-magnitude quake in March 2011, Reuters said.

The station was swamped by the tsunami, but survived with its cooling system intact, saving its reactors from the threat of meltdowns similar to those that occurred at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi station to the south.

Tohoku Electric said it has received the first green light from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart the No. 2 reactor at Onagawa, subject to a public consultation period.

Further approvals will be required before the restart, including the consent of local authorities, which is not guaranteed.