The town assembly of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, which hosts Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear power plant, will decide by March 20 whether to approve the restart of the plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors, which recently cleared central government inspections.

The decision by the assembly, which is generally seen as pro-nuclear, will be based on whether five basic conditions the prefecture requested of the central government in mid-February are met to their satisfaction. These include central government explanations to local residents on the importance of the reactors, the safety measures being taken, and a plan for dealing with midterm storage of the spent nuclear fuel they produce.

The prefectural government also wants to know how big nuclear's role in the overall energy mix will be, how the lessons of the Fukushima meltdowns will be applied to Takahama, and what kind of assistance other local governments hosting nuclear power plants will receive for employment and economic issues when plants are decommissioned.