Prime Minister Noda and TEPCO have declared “cold shutdown” but nobody believes it. Members of Noda’s own political party have called it fiction. A member of Noda’s cabinet cited an attempt to reassure other countries as the reason for the declaration. Experts from Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute and National Safety Commission have individually told the media the claim is doubtful. The US media isn’t buying it. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal both expressed doubt about the reality of Noda’s claim. Even mayors of the nearby towns don’t believe it. The mayors of Minamisoma and Namie both doubt the “all safe” claim of the national government. Maybe a better question would be who does believe there is a “cold shutdown”?
Even the minister in charge of the disaster is waffling on cold shutdown. Minister Hosono recently said that they don’t know where the fuel is but he is sure it is being cooled. He provided no basis for this claim.