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Saga assembly OK’s restart of 2 Genkai N-reactors

Jiji PressSAGA (Jiji Press) — The Saga prefectural assembly on Thursday voted to accept the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai nuclear power station in the prefecture.

Following the decision by majority vote, Saga Gov. Yoshinori Yamaguchi said he will make his final judgment as early as this month on whether his prefecture should approve the restart.

The mayor and the town assembly of Genkai, the host municipality of the power plant, have already given the green light. Local government procedures needed for reactivating the reactors will finish if the governor approves.

The resolution to accept the Genkai reactor restart was introduced mainly by members of the Liberal Democratic Party, which holds a majority in the assembly.

Two other assembly groups, including members of the Japanese Communist Party, submitted a resolution to call on Yamaguchi not to jump to a hasty decision.

Other assembly members, including those of the Democratic Party, handed in another resolution approving the restart of the reactors.

But both were rejected.

In January, the Nuclear Regulation Authority judged that the two reactors meet the country’s new safety standards, put in place after the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

The Saga government has held briefing sessions for residents on the restart at five locations in the prefecture. Yamaguchi has sought opinions from all heads of the municipalities in his prefecture.

In the neighboring prefectures of Fukuoka and Nagasaki, part of which lie in areas within 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant, the central government and others have finished similar sessions for local residents.

Yamaguchi called on the prefectural assembly to make its decision on the restart under those circumstances.

“I’ll take the resolution seriously,” Yamaguchi told reporters after the assembly session, noting that the assembly represents Saga residents.

Asked when he will make a decision on the restart, Yamaguchi said he is likely to do so within April after inspecting the plant and meeting with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.Speech

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