Fukushima Daiichi Reactor ‘Cold Shutdown’, Spent Fuel Stabilization Expected by End of 2011
September 20, 2011
VIENNA, NHK~Japan’s minister in charge of the nuclear disaster says reactors at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant will be cooled to below 100 degrees Celsius by the end of 2011.
Goshi Hosono spoke at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual ministerial meeting on Monday.
Hosono said that decontaminated water has been successfully used to cool down the troubled nuclear reactors, bringing the temperature close to 100 degrees Celsius. He also said spent nuclear fuel pools have been cooled in a stable manner.
Hosono also said the spent nuclear fuel has been steadily cooled and will fall below 100 degrees by the end of this year, instead of early next year as initially predicted.
When the reactors and spent fuel have been cooled below 100 degrees, radiation emissions can be kept very low.
The minister also said Japan will work with the IAEA to remove radioactive materials from areas near Fukushima Daiichi.
He explained the plan to separate the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, saying it will be merged with the Cabinet Office’s Nuclear Safety Commission to create a nuclear safety agency under the Environment Ministry by next April.
Here’s NHK World anchor Catherine Kobayashi bringing news of Minister Hosono’s bold announcement on her Tuesday morning (8 am JST) newscast.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 07:00 +0900 (JST)