Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Friday that his country plans to declare a tsunami-hit nuclear power plant is stable by the end of the year as planned.

Mr. Noda said Friday that temperatures of the three melted reactor cores have fallen below the boiling point. And radiation leaks from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have significantly subsided since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that set off the crisis.

Those are the two key conditions to achieve what Japanese nuclear officials call “cold shutdown.” That status is a milestone in the effort to stabilize and eventually close the plant.

Some nuclear experts question the claim because the nuclear fuel’s conditions and locations are little known.

Officials have said a formal announcement is expected around Dec. 16.

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