Japan's Fukushima Daiichi reactor finally contained

Nine months after a massive earthquake devastated a large portion of Japan and crippled the region's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced that the nuclear reactors have been contained, according to The New York Times.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a meltdown after the tsunami that hit Japan's eastern coast knocked out the plant's power systems and critical backups.

"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," Noda told the press, according to the BBC.

The containment of the reactors progressed in halting steps as engineers continually upgraded the threat presented by the plant. Eventually TEPCO, the nuclear plant's owners resorted to using seawater to cool the reactors and were forced to release some of the contaminated water back into the ocean.

However, TEPCO's engineers have managed to stabilize the reactors and put them into a position to begin decommissioning the plant. The BBC reports that this process is expected to take around 40 years.

Further information on the recent Japanese nuclear crisis can be found at PennEnergy's Research area

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