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TOKYO (Reuters) - Six of Japan's regional electricity monopolies have included plans to restart 20 reactors by September 2015 in applications for rate hikes that have to be signed off by the country's industry ministry.
Industry observers say the assumptions are ambitious, as the country's new nuclear regulator, set up after the Fukushima disaster of March 2011, has said its review of Japan's nuclear fleet may take more than three years. The regulator has also said its standards will be the toughest in the world.
All but two of Japan's 50 reactors are idled after the crisis, which highlighted lax oversight of the industry.
The utilities are Tokyo Electric Power Co, Kansai Electric Power Co, Kyushu Electric Power Co, Shikoku Electric Power Co, Tohoku Electric Power Co and Hokkaido Electric Power Co.
Chubu Electric Power Co is building anti-tsunami defenses and installing safety equipment on its sole Hamaoka station and says it may apply for restarts before March 2015. The other two listed nuclear operators haven't laid out plans to reboot their idled reactors.
Kansai Electric's Ohi No.3 and No.4 reactors are the only ones in operation and both are due to be idled in September for routine maintenance followed by safety checks.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has said it will take about six months to carry out checks on individual reactors, but will simultaneously review similar model units at the same station. The authority will deploy three groups of inspectors for the safey checks.
The table below lists the utilities and their assumed restart dates, based on documents submitted to the industry ministry's rate hike panel and company announcements.
Tokyo Electric's rate hike request was approved last July, while Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric were given the go ahead in April this year. The others are still being reviewed.
Utility Reactor Capacity Restart Tokyo Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 1 1,100 MW B April 2013
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 7 1,356 MW B May 2013
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 5 1,100 MW B Oct 2013
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 6 1,356 MW B Dec 2013
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 3 1,100 MW B July 2014
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 4 1,100 MW B Feb 2015
Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 2 1,100 MW B Sept 2015 Kansai Takahama No. 3 870 MW P July 2013
Takahama No. 4 870 MW P July 2013
Ohi No. 3 1,180 MW P Nov 2013
Ohi No. 4 1,180 MW P Dec 2013 Kyushu Sendai No. 1 890 MW P July 2013
Sendai No. 2 890 MW P July 2013
Genkai No. 4 1,180 MW P Dec 2013
Genkai No. 3 1,180 MW P Jan 2014 Shikoku Ikata No. 3 890 MW P July 2013 Hokkaido Tomari No. 1 579 MW P Dec 2013
Tomari No. 2 579 MW P Jan 2014
Tomari No. 3 912 MW P June 2014 Tohoku Higashidori No. 1 1,100 MW B July 2015
NOTE: "B" stands for boiling water reactor and "P" for pressurised water reactor.
Reporting by Risa Maeda; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Michael Urquhart