Japan Announces 9-Month Deadline to Tame Nuclear Crisis

World | April 17, 2011, Sunday // 11:48|  views

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, (L), and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan prior to their talks at Kan's official residence in Tokyo. Photo by BGNES

The crisis at the earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan would be under control within nine months, the NPP operator announced Sunday.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Asia's largest utility, is quoted saying at a news conference in Tokyo that they would need up to nine months to bring the power plant to ''cold shutdown''.

TEPCO inform they aim to reduce radiation leaks in three months and to cool the reactors within an extra three to six months along with plans to cover the reactor building, which was hit on March 11 by the 9-point magnitude in the Richter scale earthquake and the following 10-meter tsunami.

Katsumata explained the plan would allow the tens of thousands of families, evacuated from the area around the facility, to return home as soon as possible.

"We sincerely apologize for causing troubles," he stated. "We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening."

Japan's government had ordered TEPCO to come up with a timetable to end the leaks of radiation.

The US, represented by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, pledged to support Japan's reconstruction efforts. Clinton held Sunday a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, at Kan's residence in Tokyo.

According to TEPCO, there could be fresh radiation leaks since radiation levels in the sea near reactor 2 rose to 6 500 times the legal limit on Friday, up from 1,100 times a day earlier.

Nearly 14 000 people died and another 14 000 are still missing in the aftermath of the disaster.

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Tags: Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Japanese, Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, Fukushima, Fukushima Daiichi, NPP, nuclear, crisis, radiation, leaks, TEPCO


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