Following the shut down of Chubu nuclear power plant in Hamaoka, central Japan on Monday, the shares of Chubu Electric saw a steep decline in the market.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan had asked the Chubu plant authorities on Friday to halt the operations until new safety measures were put in place at three controversial reactors in Hamaoka.
After a special board meeting on Monday, Chubu electric power has decided to shut down the nuclear power plant.
We understand that the prime minister's request is based on concerns over nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident,” said Akihisa Mizuno, president of Chubu Electric, at a news conference.
Hamaoka plant, which is 120 miles (200 km) south of Tokyo, is in the Shizuoka prefecture. Five reactors inside this plant are reportedly located just above two main subterranean faults. Any earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 or above could prove disastrous for the region.
The government has decided to shut down these plants after an evaluation of 54 reactors for their vulnerability to earthquakes and tsunamis, following the March 11 disaster.
It is accounted that around 79,800 people live within 6-mile (10-kilometer) radius of the Hamaoka plant.
The stocks of Chubu fell as much as 14 percent on Monday. The plants provide more than one-third of Japan's electricity needs and shutting down is likely to aggravate power shortages.
A shut down of the three reactors which account for more than 10 percent of Chubu's power supply may also disrupt Toyota Motors and other manufacturing companies in the vicinity.
There is no concrete sea barrier around the Hamaoka plant, but there are sand hills around the plant which are up to 50 feet (15 meters) high. This is enough to defend a tsunami wave of around 26 feet (8 meters) high, officials said.
The government has estimated that it may take two years for the necessary safety measures to be implemented in the Hamaoka plant.