Photo/IllutrationTohoku Electric Power Co. has decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Half of companies in the nuclear industry doubt the government’s goal of having nuclear power account for 20 to 22 percent of Japan’s energy supply by fiscal 2030, according to a survey.

The reasons for their skepticism relate mainly to difficulties restarting or building reactors under stricter safety measures taken after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

The survey was conducted in June and July by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, whose members include electric power companies that operate nuclear plants.

The forum contacted 365 companies in the nuclear industry, such as equipment manufacturers, and received responses from 254, or 70 percent.

According to the results, 50 percent of the companies said the government’s nuclear energy goal for fiscal 2030 is “unachievable,” compared with only 10 percent that said it is “achievable.” Forty percent said the attainability is “unknown.”

An estimated 30 reactors must be operating to reach the target, but the resumption of reactor operations has been slow since all of them were shut down after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“Only nine reactors were restarted in the more than seven years after the accident in Fukushima,” Akio Takahashi, president of the forum and former senior official at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said at a news conference. “I guess respondents think it’s difficult (to achieve the goal) given the current pace (of the restarts).”

Tougher nuclear safety standards were set after the Fukushima disaster, forcing utilities to spend more on upgrading their reactors or keeping aging units operational.

Asked why they thought the government’s nuclear goal was unrealistic, 48 percent of the companies said, “There are no plans in sight to build or replace nuclear reactors.”

Thirty-three percent cited the delays in restarting idle reactors, while 16 percent said, “No progress can be seen in regaining trust from the public.”