In a vote of 26 to 4, city assembly members of the town of Satsumasendai voted to restart the two-reactor Kyushu Electric Power Co. plant. This would make it the first nuclear power plant in Japan to be restarted more than 3 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi catastrophe.
The vote came amid protests and petitions from residents of neighboring towns. Although reopening the plant would provide jobs and government subsidies, there remain concerns about safety issues and inadequacy of existing evacuation plans.
Despite the approval by local officials, a restart of the Sendai plant is not likely to happen until next year, pending new operational safety checks.