London Telegraph 
December 16, 2011
The Japanese government has declared reactors at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant to be in a state of “cold shutdown”, meaning that nine months after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl has now been stabilised.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a nuclear taskforce meeting that the crippled Fukushima reactors “have reached a state of cold shutdown to the point where the accident is now under control”, Jiji Press reported.
Stabilisation of the reactors, whose molten cores spewed radioactive particles into the air and sea, marks the end of what the government has dubbed “Step Two” of the clean-up of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.
The focus of recovery efforts is now expected to move onto the decommissioning of the damaged units, amid warnings that this process could take decades.