December 16th, 2011
03:38 AM ET

Japan marks nuclear reactors milestone

Japan's Prime Minister said Friday that a "cold shutdown" has been achieved at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a symbolic milestone that means the plant's crippled reactors have stayed at temperatures below the boiling point for some time.

The announcement is a turning point in the crisis but experts say it will take years - perhaps decades - to fully clean up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The plume of radioactive particles that spewed from Fukushima Daiichi - where reactor cooling systems failed in the aftermath of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami in March - displaced about 80,000 people who lived within a 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) radius of the plant, as well as residents of one village as far as 40 kilometers to the northwest. The government has yet to determine when those evacuated can return to their homes.

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Filed under: World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio Prefecture) "Right Wing Insanity"

    It's none of my business anyways, but a cold shutdown? Below boiing point? What's that...211.9 degF.? No Strontium-90?...AMAZING!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    A beautiful picture of j a p an from the hubble scope of them glowing green

    December 16, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT ( EXTREME PURPLE KUSH SMOKER )

    i hate the ja-paneese.. they make cra-ppy cars...

    December 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jenni

    CHING CHONG CHING RFLMOA

    December 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenni

      dis gOT ME HUngry 4 rice 4 sum reason lol

      December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |