NEW YORK -- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to the international community on Sept. 22 to achieve cold shutdown by the end of this year at the damaged reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Noda's statement comes days after Goshi Hosono, the state minister in charge of the Fukushima nuclear accident, made a similar promise at a meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
This means the Japanese government will move up its goal by several weeks to achieve cold shutdown, which would involve maintaining reactor temperatures at under 100 degrees and preventing the release of additional radioactive materials.
"We will make every effort to achieve a state of cold shutdown at the reactors within this year," Noda said at a high-level United Nations meeting on nuclear energy safety.
While he stressed that the nuclear accident was moving toward a resolution, Noda's comments at the U.N. meeting will be taken as a promise to the international community.
"We will release all information about the accident in a prompt and accurate manner to the international community," Noda said.
He also indicated that Japan will continue to export nuclear power plant technology with heightened safety features to newly emerging nations.
"We will respond to the interests of nations deciding whether or not to use nuclear energy," he added.
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