The logo of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is displayed at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo (AFP Photo/KAZUHIRO NOGI) More

Tokyo (AFP) – The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant cleared a major regulatory hurdle Wednesday to restart two reactors in Japan, its first since the 2011 tsunami sparked the worst atomic accident in decades.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority gave Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) preliminary approval to restart the two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, one of the world’s biggest and the largest in Japan.

The plant, in the central Japan prefecture of Niigata, has been idle since the disaster as have been many other nuclear power plants in Japan.

Triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March 2011,

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