Japan moves closer to restarting nuclear reactors

Japan is one step closer to restarting nuclear reactors for the first time since the adoption of stricter safety standards.

The Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture cleared a major hurdle with the provisional approval Wednesday of safety measures implemented by Kyushu Electric Power Company.

Units one and two are among 19 reactors undergoing checks by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Their operator says it has spent 1.3 billion dollars to upgrade the plant’s resistance against earthquakes and tsunami.

The regulators’ endorsement opens the way to restarting the plant as early as this fall.

But public opinion remains divided over the future of nuclear power.

Demonstrators gathered in Tokyo to protest the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision.

In the city of Satsumasendai, residents are also divided.

Some critics point out that more needs to be done to ensure the safe evacuation of residents in an emergency.