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2011年7月18日 (月)

脱原発への道筋―高リスク炉から順次、廃炉へ

2011/07/15
--The Asahi Shuimbun, July 13
EDITORIAL/ Seeking a society without nuclear power generation: Nuclear-phase out roadmap needed soon
脱原発への道筋―高リスク炉から順次、廃炉へ〈社説特集〉2011年7月13日21時44分

Editor's Note:

This is the second of a five-part editorial series proposing ways for Japan to achieve a society that does not depend on nuclear power generation for its energy supply.

* * *

The basic principle for phasing out nuclear power generation should be shutting down old reactors that have reached the end of their planned life span without building new ones.
 原発の段階的削減をどういう手順で進めるか――。

 「新たな原子炉はつくらない」「古いものは閉めていく」

 それが基本シナリオだろう。

The No. 1 reactor of the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., is already 40 years old.
 事故を起こした福島第一原発1号機は運転開始から40年が経つ。

It was the third oldest of all the reactors that were in operation in Japan.
稼働していた原子炉では日本で3番目に古い。

As for the two older reactors--the No. 1 reactor at Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture and the No. 1 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in the same prefecture--the government has approved a 10-year extension of their service life.
 もっと古い日本原子力発電の敦賀1号機(福井県)と関西電力の美浜1号機(同)は国が10年間の延長を認めているが、

Given that both are located close to an active fault, the two reactors should be decommissioned swiftly.
いずれも活断層に近いことも考慮すれば、廃炉を急ぐべきだ。

Fortunately, old reactors are small in capacity.
 幸い、初期の原発は出力が小さく、

That means closing them when they reach 40 would not make a big dent in Japan's total power generation.
40年で停止しても電力供給が大きな影響を受けるわけではない。

Assuming that the Fukushima No. 1 plant will be scrapped, if all reactors are shut down after 40 years of operation, total power generation capacity of the nuclear power plants in Japan will fall by 20 percent in 2021 and by 50 percent in 2029.
 福島第一の廃炉を前提に、全原発が40年で運転を停止していくと、原発の総発電能力が今より20%減るのは2021年、50%減るのは29年、

It will not be until the end of 2049 that all existing reactors go out of service.
最終的に原発がすべて止まるのは49年末という計算になる。

This will be too slow progress toward a nuclear-free future.
 しかし、これではあまりに遅々とした歩みである。

What should be done swiftly is to work out new safety standards and disaster prevention plans based on the lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
 まず急ぐべきは、今回の事故を教訓とした新たな安全基準や防災計画の設定だ。

These standards and plans should not be used for the construction of a new reactor.
これは新たな原発建設に適用するのではなく、

They should be used as criteria for determining the fates of existing reactors.
既存原発を「仕分け」する尺度となる。

Reactors judged to be technologically difficult to reinforce or too costly to be economically viable should be closed even if they have yet to reach the end of their life spans.
この基準に照らして補強が技術的に難しかったり、コストが見合わなかったりする原発は前倒しで廃炉にしていく。

What kind of criteria would be needed?
 では、どのような基準が求められるのか。

The criteria for the strength of the equipment and facilities of atomic power stations should be renewed in line with ongoing discussions at the government's Central Disaster Prevention Council to make sure the plants will be able to withstand the most destructive earthquake and tsunami that could possibly happen from a scientific point of view.
 原発の設備機器や施設全体の頑強さについては、中央防災会議が進めている議論に沿って、科学的に考え得る最大級の地震による揺れと津波に備える形に一新する必要がある。

It is also important to establish an effective crisis management system to minimize damage when an accident occurs.
 ハード面の壁が破られたとき、被害を最小限に抑えるソフト面も重要だ。

The current system must be redesigned fundamentally from the viewpoint of how to get a grasp of what is happening and how to respond to the situation when multiple problems arise simultaneously at a nuclear power plant.
施設で同時多発的に問題が発生した場合、どうやって事態を把握し、どんな対応をとるのか。

The disaster prevention system also needs to be revamped totally.
危機管理態勢を根底から練り直すことが欠かせない。

In most past nuclear accidents, the evacuation zone was a 10-km radius around the plant.
 防災対策も同様だ。これまで原発からおおむね半径10キロ以内が避難区域の対象だったが、

The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, however, caused damage in areas more than 30 km away from the site.
今回は30キロを超える地域にも被害が及んでいる。

Expanding the evacuation zone sharply increases the number of people and local governments affected.
範囲を広げると、居住人口や関係自治体が一気に増える。

It is necessary to assess carefully the viability of any plan for such large-scale evacuation.
それでも避難が可能なのか、冷静に見極めなければならない。

Considering all these factors, it would be wise to decommission the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, operated by Chubu Electric Power Co.
These reactors have been shut down in response to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's request.
 以上のことを考えれば、菅直人首相の要請を受けて運転を停止した中部電力の浜岡原発(静岡県)3、4、5号機は、このまま廃炉にするのが賢明だ。

In addition to the fact that the plant is located in an area believed to have a high risk of being hit by a major earthquake, the enormous economic and social damage a serious accident at the facility would cause clearly argues for decommissioning the reactors.
大地震が起きる可能性が極めて高い立地に加え、事故が発生した際の経済的、社会的影響が大きすぎる。

The history of nuclear power development in Japan shows, however, that new safety standards and plans tend to be eviscerated through actual implementation.
 基準や計画が改まっても、実際の運用で骨抜きにされてきたのが、過去の原子力の歴史だった。

Electric power companies have been generally very selective in publishing the information they have about geological conditions and possible tsunami, holding back inconvenient facts.
電力会社は地質や津波などの情報を握っていながら、都合のよいものしか出さない。

In order to break through the wall of uncooperativeness, it is vital to create an effective system for critical assessments of the safety of nuclear power plants by independent experts.
 こうしたご都合主義を排除するには、専門的な立場から批判的に安全性をチェックする仕組みが不可欠だ。

For one, the ability of the Nuclear Safety Commission, which has failed to perform its expected functions in responding to the Fukushima disaster, needs to be enhanced significantly.
Experts in seismology and other relevant areas other than nuclear energy should be added to the panel, and the panel should be given legal powers concerning regular safety checks of reactors.
 今回の事故で機能を果たせなかった原子力安全委員会は、地震学など原子力以外の専門家もメンバーに加えるとともに、原発の定期検査についても法的権限を与えて関与させる。

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency should be separated from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has been promoting nuclear power generation, and refashioned into a tactical unit of the new Nuclear Safety Commission similar in function to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
 原子力安全・保安院は、原発を推進してきた経済産業省から分離し、新たな原子力安全委員会の実動部隊として位置づける。米原子力規制委員会(NRC)などが参考になろう。

These newly enhanced regulatory and supervisory organizations would be in charge of developing new safety standards and making decisions concerning the operation and decommissioning of reactors.
 こうして態勢を強化した新たな規制・監督機関が安全基準の策定や原発の運転・廃炉のチェックを担っていく。

Another key organizational issue that needs to be considered is who should be responsible for operating nuclear power plants.
Should the electric utilities keep running these facilities as they are now?
 組織面では、原発の運営をこれまで通り電力各社に委ねるか、

Or should the government take over the operations by nationalizing the facilities?
国営化するか、

Or should a new entity be created for the business?
専業1社に集約するかといった点も、検討しなくてはならない。

As reactors are closed, the local governments around the facilities will face the challenge of finding new sources of revenue and jobs.
 原発の廃止にともない、立地自治体の再生も課題となる。

There are serious concerns within the local communities about falls in revenue and job losses that would be caused by plant closures.
原発による歳入が減り、雇用が失われることへの懸念は大きい。

The process of decommissioning a reactor, however, will take 20 to 30 years.
ただ、廃炉完了までには20年から30年はかかる。

During that time, the central government should work with the affected prefectures and municipalities to map out a new future for the local communities not dependent on nuclear facilities.
その間、原発に依存しない地域づくりに、周辺自治体とともに取り組んでほしい。

With regard to the immediate issue of restarting reactors after regular safety checks, the decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis by using the new safety standards.
 当面の問題として、定期検査を終えた原発の運転再開は、新たな安全基準に照らして、個別に判断していくことが本来の姿だ。

The industry ministry acted in a rash and careless manner when it declared all the offline reactors safe in June to ensure swift resumption of their operations.
 経産省による6月の安全宣言は、いかにも拙速だった。

The announced plans for new "stress tests" to assess the safety of reactors caused great confusion because of Kan's lack of strategic thinking.
新たに実施するストレステスト(耐性評価)は、菅首相の戦略のなさから大きな混乱を招いたが、

But such tests are necessary for securing the safety of reactors.
安全確保の面からは必要な手順だろう。

They must not be mere rituals to restart the reactors.
アリバイづくりのテストであってはならない。

What the government needs to do is to scrutinize the specific safety conditions of individual reactors, such as their ages and distances from active faults, to identify the reactors with dangerously large risks.
 政府に求められるのは、原子炉の古さや活断層との距離など原発それぞれが抱える問題を精査し、リスクの大きい原発を個々に仕分けしていく作業である。

At the very least, the government should not approve the restarting of reactors that have been in service for 40 years or longer.
少なくとも、40年を経過した原発の再稼働は認めるべきではない。

As for the reactors that have been judged to be adequately safe through these procedures, the government should allow them to start running again only after winning sufficient support from the local communities.
 そのうえで、相当程度の安全が確保された原発は、地元の十分な理解を得て再稼働させていくのが筋道だ。

In order to phase out nuclear power generation to move the nation toward a clean-energy future while tackling all these challenges, it is important to find new energy sources for the period of transition.
 こうした課題をこなしながら脱原発を進めるには、移行期のエネルギーが重要になる。

That's because it will be some time before renewable energy sources become mainstream.
自然エネルギーが普及するには、まだ時間がかかるからだ。

One promising candidate is natural gas.
 期待されるのは天然ガスである。

Power generation using natural gas emits carbon dioxide.
二酸化炭素は出るものの、

But breakthroughs in electricity production technology in recent years have reduced the amount of CO2 emissions from a natural gas power plant to about 40 percent of the emissions from a coal-burning plant.
最近の発電技術の革新で、排出量は石炭の4割程度まで減ったといわれる。

Natural gas could be used for micro-power generation for individual households and buildings, and exhaust heat could be used to supply hot water.
 家庭やビルごとに発電できるうえ、排熱は給湯などに利用できる。

A natural gas power plant causes less waste of energy than a nuclear power plant that has to throw away the produced heat.
熱を捨てるしかない原発に比べると、無駄が少ない。

Global natural gas supply is gaining in stability thanks in large part to increasing use of shale gas, or natural gas produced from shale, or a rock formed by the consolidation of clay, mud and the like and found deep underground.
It is now possible to tap shale gas reserves in the United States, while large-scale projects to develop shale gas deposits are under way in Russia and Australia.
米国で地下の深い岩層に含まれるシェールガスの採掘が可能になったほか、ロシアやオーストラリアで大規模開発が進むなど、供給の安定性が高まっているのも強みだ。

Depending totally on renewable energy sources as alternatives to atomic energy would not promote the efforts to reduce the nation's dependence on nuclear power.
 原発か、自然エネルギーか、という二者択一では、結果的に脱原発が進まない。

It is necessary to consider tapping a wide range of energy sources.
さまざまなエネルギー源への目配りが必要だろう。

Political momentum is also important for pushing the nation toward a nuclear-free future.
 政治的な回路という視点も大事だ。

Behind Germany's recent decision to close all of its nuclear power plants is the history of the political movement echoing antinuclear sentiment among the public that has been led by environmentalist parties like the Greens since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
 ドイツの脱原発の背景には、緑の党などの環境政党が1986年のチェルノブイリ事故を契機とした反原発の民意をくみ上げてきた歴史がある。

In Japan as well, there have been movements against the construction of new nuclear power plants and strong public reactions to the Chernobyl accident.
 ところが、日本では原発立地への反対運動があり、やはりチェルノブイリ事故の衝撃がありながら、

But nuclear power generation has never become a major political issue in this country.
ついぞ政治的な争点にはならないままだった。

The Fukushima disaster, however, has provoked calls for reconsidering the nuclear energy policy within the Japanese political community.
 今回の事故で、日本の政界にも原発見直しの動きが出てきた。

We hope the government will hammer out and announce a detailed and reliable road map for the nuclear phase-out by the next general election.
次の総選挙までに、脱原発の道筋をきちんと構築して提示してもらいたい。

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