The Yamaguchi Prefectural Government on Wednesday renewed a license for Chugoku Electric Power Co. to reclaim land for a new nuclear power plant in the western prefecture, surprising and angering local residents opposed to the project.

Whether to extend the expired license for landfill work in the coastal town of Kaminoseki for the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Station had been a pending issue after the eruption of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011 led to the work being halted.

The local government, however, decided to grant permission, saying that the plant is positioned "within the country's energy policy."