Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s (TEPCO) plan to restart the defunct Fukushima nuclear power plant has an increased chance of being implemented after the prefecture governor, who has campaigned against its reopening, decided against running for re-election, according to a new report by Bloomberg. TEPCO shares rose as much as 12 percent Wednesday morning – the largest price jump since May 2015, presumably in reaction to the announcement. Niigata prefecture governor Hirohiko Izumida said he would not pursue a bid for a fourth term for the October 16th elections, according to a personal statement posted on his fan page. The governor has long opposed plans to return the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant – the largest of its kind in the world – to production. Japanese laws do not require that utility companies obtain the approval of local leaders before commencing operations, but it is the expected practice. Izumida has previously demanded that TEPCO conduct further investigations into the causes of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 before proposing plans to restart any of the firm’s reactors.
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