From Japan times online – Friday, July 15th, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Thursday began injecting nitrogen into the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant’s reactor 3 to reduce the risk of further hydrogen explosions, a significant step forward in the effort to contain the nuclear crisis that started March 11. The outlook is for the Fukushima plant to be on target for January cold shutdown.
If successful, Tepco will complete its goal of injecting the inert gas into all three crippled reactors by mid-July, indicating that bringing the crisis under control is basically on track. Tepco has already started operating a new system to circulate water around the three reactors to cool the nuclear fuel inside.
Under a road map outlined by Tepco and the government, stabilizing the crippled reactors by mid-July is the first step toward achieving a cold shutdown by January at the latest.