Two nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture received a safety clearance from the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Thursday, marking a major step in efforts by Kansai Electric Power Co. to commence restarts this year.

It is the second time the NRA has granted a green light to potential restarts under tough, new safety standards. It earlier cleared two reactors at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima.

Although the new regulator said the Takahama No. 3 and 4 reactors meet operational safety requirements, two prefectures nearby fear how they would be affected by an accident and are demanding a say in whether to bring the plant back to life.