16 Dec '11, 1am

Japan set to declare Fukushima plant shutdown

TOKYO: Japan on Friday looked set to announce it had finally tamed leaking atomic reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power station, nine months after one of the world's worst nuclear crises began. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was expected to tell a disaster-weary public that all reactors at the plant were in a state of cold shutdown. The government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) have long targeted the year's end for the milestone. The announcement will be followed by fresh steps towards decommissioning the reactors, a process that is expected to take more than three decades. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was severely damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that smashed into Japan on March 11. Waves up to 14 metres (46 feet) high swamped the reactors' cooling systems, sparking meltdowns, explosions and the release of huge amounts...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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