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Japan's Tepco edges toward approval for restarting reactors

Regulator leans toward OK, but local opposition to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa remains

Tepco's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the world's biggest, has been dormant since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown prompted rigorous safety reviews.

TOKYO -- Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority took a step closer Wednesday to letting Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings turn back on two reactors at the world's largest nuclear power plant, granting qualified approval of the company's safety efforts, though intense local opposition makes a restart anytime soon unlikely.

The watchdog may issue an effective go-ahead as soon as next Wednesday, with a formal approval expected sometime in autumn following a chance for the public to speak out.

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