Shares in Tokyo Electric Power Company lifted 2.8 per cent on Thursday after reports Japanese regulators may be edging closer to permitting the restart of a major nuclear power plant.

The seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility were among the 50 shut down after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. In September 2013, Tepco applied to restart two of the plant’s reactors but the company has yet to clear the necessary regulatory hurdles.

Tepco in June submitted a fresh application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which is located in Niigata on Japan’s biggest island and is the world’s largest nuclear generating site.

While officials on Wednesday signalled they may approve the application, the market reaction appears somewhat premature as Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama remains firmly in opposition to a restart.

Nikkei quoted Mr Yoneyama as saying yesterday he had “absolutely no intention of approving a restart” until further inspections – which could take several years to complete.

Tepco shares traded as high as Y450 in Tokyo on Thursday, up 3.4 per cent from Y435 on Wednesday. Japan’s Topix index was up 0.4 per cent Thursday.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa

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