All national dailies reported that the Japan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) rejected on Wednesday requests filed by the Kansai, Shikoku, and Kyushu electric power companies for extensions of their five-year deadlines for completely enforcing measures against terrorist attacks. The papers projected that the operation of the utilities’ nuclear reactors will be stopped beginning next March unless they complete by the deadlines such steps as the construction of facilities that can manage reactor operations remotely. The dailies projected that a total of nine atomic reactors operated by the three utilities will probably be shut down as a result.
The dailies wrote that as the nuclear watchdog decided to enforce the regulations strictly, the utility firms will be forced to conduct reviews of their existing plans for the resumption of their nuclear reactors. Their current business projections will also be affected since they are partly based on the reactors’ continued operation. Asahi added that the NRA decision dealt a blow to METI, which is a proponent of nuclear energy and put together the current GOJ plan to increase nuclear energy to account for around 20% of the nation’s total energy output by FY2030.