The government expects that several months may be required before radioactive particles stop being released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, its top spokesman said Sunday.
''If we apply methods considered to be normal, I believe that it will be something like that,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference, when asked whether at least several months would be required before the plant crippled by the devastating March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami is brought under control.
''While it may not be feasible, we have been asking for other possibilities to be explored to shorten that period,'' Edano said, noting that the government and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., are considering multiple approaches to halting the nuclear crisis.
Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, said earlier in the day that the government has set a target of ''several months'' for the release of radioactive substances from the plant to be stopped.
''What will follow that stage is the goal of stabilizing the plant by installing a perfect cooling mechanism for the reactors,'' Hosono told a live Fuji TV news program.