"TOKYO — Japan is on the verge of returning to atomic power after a local mayor on Thursday gave his approval to restart a pair of reactors, idled in the wake of last year's nuclear accident.
The nuclear restart could come as soon as this weekend, Japanese media reported. It would mark a controversial victory for the central government, which has spent months arguing that Japan needs nuclear power to sustain its fragile economy.
Before the nuclear crisis — a triple-meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that displaced some 100,000 — Japan was among the world's most nuclear-reliant countries. But its 50 working reactors have steadily come offline because of safety concerns and routine maintenance tests, with authorities in host communities blocking efforts to bring them back online."