TOKYO (TR) – Only three of Japan’s nuclear reactors remain in operation after Chugoku Electric Power Co. shut its No. 2 reactor at its Shimane nuclear plant for scheduled maintenance Friday, Reuters said.
Just 6.4 percent of the nation’s total nuclear power capacity is now in use after the 820-megawatt reactor went offline, according to Reuters. Japan, which is the world’s third biggest nuclear power user, has a total of 54 commercial nuclear reactors nationwide.
The government has prevented reactors shut down for routine maintenance prior to the March 11, earthquake and tsunami from restarting due to safety fears. Japanese regulation requires all reactors to shut down for mandatory maintenance every 13 months and all reactors are now required to undergo stress testing.
Government officials have remained hesitant to authorize the restarting of reactors as a result of the nuclear meltdown caused by the quake at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility, which is still leaking radiation. Reuters said it remains unclear when nuclear regulatory officials or the government will approve stress test reports or give the go head to restart the shuttered reactors.