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Reactors' safety approval is good sign for Tepco turnaround

Restarting key nuclear plant could nearly double profit

Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama remains leery of restarting nuclear reactors in his prefecture.

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings is one step closer to a financial recovery after Japan's nuclear regulator said Wednesday that two nuclear power reactors expected to be major earners are safe to restart.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station in Niigata Prefecture is Tepco's first nuclear facility to clear tougher safety standards adopted by Japan in 2013 to prevent a repeat of meltdowns at the utility's Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011. The Nuclear Regulation Authority will grant formal safety approval of the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors there following 30 days of public comment. Bringing the massive facility back online is at the heart of Tepco's plan to improve earnings and come up with the 16 trillion yen ($141 billion) it owes toward recovery from the Fukushima disaster.

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