TOKYO, May 16 (Saba) -- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday the ongoing nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may be brought under control within about six to nine months as laid out in a timetable released by the plant operator last month, despite recent finding that a nuclear fuel meltdown at one of its reactors, according to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
"I believe we can proceed without changing the timeframe set by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)," Kan told a Lower House Budget Committee on Monday.
"TEPCO is set to reveal a revised schedule for dealing with the crisis on Tuesday, and the government will also release its own road map for stabilizing the crisis tomorrow," said premier.
TEPCO announced on April 17 a two-step roadmap for ending the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years within about six to nine months.
Kan's remarks came a day after the utility confirmed a meltdown of the No. 1 reactor core occurred after 16 hours after the March 11 magnitude-9.0 quake and tsunami struck the plant, 230 km north of Tokyo.
The twin natural disaster knocked out the plants vital cooling systems, resulting in explosions, fires and radiation leakage.
While radiation leakage has already declined, the cumulative effect has had a growing impact on nearby areas. On Sunday, residents who live outside the 20 km radius from the Fukushima plant began evacuation as the government has widened the exclusion zone due to long-term accumulated radiation exposure risks.