Japanese utilities are due to submit the results of first-stage stress tests for at least one of their reactors to the nuclear watchdog by the end of this month, the country's new trade minister said on Monday.
Tokyo ordered Japan's power utilities to carry out simulations to test how well prepared were their reactors to withstand the impact of extreme events such as a strong earthquake or a tsunami.
Yoshio Hachiro also told reporters that reactors idled for inspections and maintenance should get approval from local authorities and return online before next April.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and resulted in a huge radiation leak, heightened public concerns about safety and kept reactors shut for maintenance from restarting.
Nuclear power provided only 15 percent of Japan's electricity in July, down from around 30 percent before the world's worst radiation crisis in 25 years.