Two Tepco reactors were cleared for restarts by the government's nuclear watchdog on Wednesday, becoming the first run by the operator of the crippled Fukushima power plant to formally pass stricter safety standards imposed after the 2011 crisis.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday endorsed safety measures for the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station in Niigata Prefecture. The move was announced at a meeting that was open to the public, with some members of the audience shouting their disapproval.

Despite Wednesday's development, the process of reactivating the reactors straddling the municipalities of Kashiwazaki and Kariwa in Niigata on the Sea of Japan coast could still take several more years as local governments need to give their consent.