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AKIPRESS.COM - The restart of Japan's nuclear power plants is facing another setback and may be delayed until 2015, according to GMA News.
Kyushu Electric Power's two-reactor Sendai plant, located about 1,000 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, is likely to be the first nuclear plant to be allowed to restart under new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.
The Sendai plant cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority's initial safety hurdle last month, but the utility was supposed to hand in additional, detailed paperwork on specific safety features at the site and how they planned to construct them.
Kyushu Electric Power said documentation issues meant final deliberations on the restart would be pushed back by the regulator, delaying the restart until after winter.
A company's spokeswoman said that the company does not have a timeline for starting up the reactors and confirmed that submission of additional documents may be delayed until late September or even October.
Even after final approval by the nuclear regulator, Japan has said it will defer any final decision on restarting reactors to the local prefecture and host community where the plants are based.
All 48 of Japan's nuclear reactors were gradually taken offline and remain idled after an earthquake and tsunami set off a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March, 2011. Their shutdown has forced utilities to import record amounts of liquefied natural gas and coal to run power stations.
Japan's electric utilities have racked up more than $34 billion in losses in the three years since the disaster.