IAEA Says Fukushima Reactors Are "Essentially Stable" as Other Reactors May Come Back Online

Six months after Japan's Fukushima reactors suffered a level 7 meltdown, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has declared that the reactors are "essentially stable."

Japanese trade minister Yukio Edano also announced today that after being shut down for stress tests in the wake of the Fukushima incident, other nuclear reactors may restart once their safety has been confirmed and their local communities have given them the green light.

Tepco is still working to bring the three damaged Fukushima reactors to a "cold shutdown" by January. Cold shutdown uses cold water to cool the fuel rods under 100 degrees Celsius, which stops the fuel from reheating. On Tuesday, they accomplished it on the second of the three reactors.

This is great news for Japan, which has made an incredible recovery and restoration effort over the past six months, but still faces an arduous amount of work. Still, it's got to be a considerable relief to be one step closer to being able to close the book on the threat from the Fukushima reactors. [Scientific American, The Hindu, IBTimes]