Until quite recently, landing a job at Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's largest and most powerful electric utility, meant a lifetime of steady employment and generous paychecks, a status envied and often likened to that of a civil servant.

But those days are gone.

Placed under heavy public scrutiny in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant since the March 11 quake and tsunami, Tepco has been struggling to figure out how it can survive one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.