Still recovering from the devastating earthquake and looming nuclear crisis, Japan is taking preventive measures to avoid similar problems from hitting the earthquake prone country in the future.
Responding to a request last week by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Chubu Electric announced today that it will shutter three nuclear reactors while it builds a seawall and improves other tsunami defenses there.
We decided at today's final extraordinary board meeting to suspend operation of the No. 4 and 5 reactors and postpone restarting of the No. 3 reactor, said Chubu Electric Power Co. President Akihisa Mizuno.
The plant's non-operating No. 1 and No. 2 reactors were slated for decommission before the disaster.
After the shutdowns, 37.6 percent of Japan's total nuclear power generation capacity, or
18,406 megawatts, will remain in operation, according to Reuters.
Japan's nine utilities and a wholesaler have 54 nuclear power generators for commercial use, with a total generating capacity of 48,960 megawatts.
The government's decision came after evaluating Japan's 54 reactors for quake and tsunami vulnerability after the March 11 disasters that crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan.
Kan welcomed the decision, saying the government will make utmost efforts to avoid power shortages .
The Hamaoka plant lacks a concrete sea barrier now, and instead relies on sand hills between the ocean and the plant.
The company said the reactors would be shut down after preparations are made, but it did not specify a target date. The government earlier estimated the improvements could take two years.