On Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said TEPCO's two reactors in northern Japan met new and stricter safety standards.
The authority unanimously approved the draft certificate for reactors number 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, marking the first step in the process toward restarting them. Portions of the plant's reactors were damaged in a 2007 earthquake.
Much of the Japanese public is opposed to granting TEPCO permission to once again operate reactors, and rightfully so.
TEPCO was blamed for safety lapses in the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster after a major earthquake in March of 2011, and the tsunami that followed damaged the power supply and cooling system of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, resulting in an unprecedented nuclear accident.