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Japan's Sendai nuclear plant gets all-clear to restart despite volcanic eruption concerns

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The municipal assembly of the Japanese town Satsumasendai has approved the plan for restarting the Sendai nuclear plant.

This marks a step towards reviving the nuclear industry, which has been lying idle since the Fakushima disaster in 2011.

The approval comes even after tremors have been reported at nearby Mount Ioyama volcano, which has raised concerns of a probable nuclear disaster.

Reuters quotes a city assembly member as saying that 19 out of 26 members voted in favour of the restart. Only four were against it, while three abstained from casting their votes.

Owned by Kyushu Electric Power, the Sendai plant houses two nuclear reactor units.

"Tremors have been reported at nearby Mount Ioyama volcano, which has raised concerns of a probable nuclear disaster."

With a 100,000 population, Satsumasendai has long been dependent on the nuclear facility for power and jobs. The decision to restart the plant has been facing criticisms and concerns in the country, following the Fukushima disaster. Further operational safety checks will need to be carried out before the plant starts operation starts operation, however.

Importing expensive fossil fuels for power generation has become a expensive proposition for the country, which previously relied on atomic power to meet 30% of its power requirements.

Kyushu Electric's other nuclear plant had been under fire earlier this week, according to Kyodo News.