The Nuclear Regulation Authority on July 8 will begin enforcing new safety standards at atomic power stations, more than two years after Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 plant experienced three reactor core meltdowns.

Hoping they become the world's highest safety standards, the new rules reflect what regulators have learned from the Fukushima crisis, which was triggered by the March 11, 2011, mega-quake and monster tsunami.

Utilities are meanwhile hoping that the regulators will be lenient with reactor restarts as long as they agree to upgrade their plants to the new safety regime over time.