Fukushima Nuclear Site Finally Stabilised, says Japan's Prime Minister

9 Months and 5 Days Later...

Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has announced that the Fukushima nuclear site finally stabilised, 280 days after the earthquake and tsunami that damaged it, along with a large part of Japan. Even though a "cold shutdown" has been achieve, it will still take a long time - probably decades, maybe up to 40 years - to fully dismantle the plant because of very strict safety procedures.

There is still a 12 miles (20 kilometers) exclusion zone around the plant.

"The nuclear reactors have reached a state of cold shutdown and therefore we can now confirm that we have come to the end of the accident phase of the actual reactors," Mr Noda told a news conference.

"We are now moving from trying to stabilise the nuclear reactors to decommissioning them.

"The Japanese government promises to clarify the roadmap from here and do our utmost, while ensuring we operate the nuclear reactors as safely as possible, to decommission them."

'Thank you' to the Fukushima Rescue Workers

I'd like to congratulate and thank all of the workers and engineers who have been working on containing this disaster since the earthquake and tsunami. They've been working tirelessly in difficult conditions, and they deserve our gratitude. The situation could certainly have been better - a more modern plant design or a higher anti-tsunami wall might have avoided the whole thing - but it could also have been worse, and that's thanks to a lot of individuals making big sacrifices.


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