Japan nuclear plant approved for meeting safety requirements, paving the way for restart

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A nuclear power plant in southern Japan has won regulators' approval for meeting safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first reactor to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority formally approved an inspection report Wednesday for the Sendai Nuclear Power Station's two reactors. The NRA concluded that the reactors were in compliance with new regulations designed to avoid major damage during disasters such as the massive tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Five authority commissioners unanimously endorsed approval of the inspection report, following a 30-day review of it.

The authority has no say over a restart, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will put all reactors deemed safe back online.