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2011年7月 9日 (土)

原発再稼働混乱 首相は電力「危機」を直視せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 9, 2011)
Restart N-plants safely; shut down Kan govt swiftly
原発再稼働混乱 首相は電力「危機」を直視せよ(7月8日付・読売社説)

The chaotic situation surrounding the issue of restarting nuclear reactors that were suspended for regular inspections has moved to a deeper dimension under the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
 菅政権の下で原子力発電所の再稼働問題が混迷を深めている。

It has now become more likely that every single nuclear reactor in Japan will be suspended within a year, causing a severe power shortage. This is an alarming situation for the nation.
1年以内に全原発が停止し、深刻な電力不足に陥ることも現実味を帯びてきた。憂慮すべき事態だ。

Developments in Genkaicho, Saga Prefecture, show the direction events are taking. Genkaicho Mayor Hideo Kishimoto on Thursday officially withdrew his previously declared approval for Kyushu Electric Power Co. to restart two reactors at its Genkai nuclear power plant.
 九州電力玄海原発(佐賀県)を巡り、地元の岸本英雄玄海町長がいったん表明した「再稼働の了承」を正式に撤回した。

He nullified his former decision because Kan has abruptly stated the safety of nuclear reactors cannot be confirmed until so-called stress tests are performed on the reactors and because the prime minister contradicted a "safety declaration" that had earlier been announced by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda.
 菅首相がストレステスト(耐性検査)を行うまで安全は確認できないと唐突に発言し、海江田経済産業相の「安全宣言」を否定したためだ。

The mayor is openly angry about the government's inconsistent responses to the issue, saying, "I can't trust the central government."
政府のちぐはぐな対応に、町長は「国を信用できない」と怒りを露(あら)わにしている。

Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa has asked the central government to show a united position on the safety of nuclear reactors.
 古川康佐賀県知事は、原発の安全に関する統一見解を政府に求めた。

Inevitably, the confidence of local governments in the central government is now completely battered.
地元自治体の政府への信頼は地に墜(お)ちたと見ざるを得ない。

===

Kaieda stabbed in the back

The responsibility for inviting all the confusion unmistakably rests with Kan himself.
 混乱を招いた責任は、首相にある。

In principle, he is in a position to bring the situation under control.
本来なら、事態の収拾を図らねばならない立場だ。

However, can we expect him to do it?
だが、首相にそれを期待できるだろうか。

Kan previously had repeated he would let suspended reactors be restarted after regular inspections confirmed their safety.
 首相はこれまで「安全性が確認された原発は稼働させる」と述べてきた。

Based on this stance, Kaieda had been asking the local governments concerned to allow the restart of the reactors at the Genkai plant.
それに従って海江田氏も玄海原発の再稼働を地元に働きかけてきた。

However, Kan suddenly changed his stance, saying new safety standards were necessary.
 ところが、首相は安全確保には新基準が必要と方針を変えた。

For Kaieda, it was like he had been stabbed in the back by his friend.
He told a Diet session Thursday that he "would take [his] share of responsibility on the issue sooner or later," suggesting the possibility of resignation.
 後ろから弾を撃たれた形の海江田氏は「いずれ、私も責任を取る」と述べ、辞任の可能性にも言及した。

He must now feel he cannot go along with the self-righteous prime minister any longer.
独善的な首相にはついて行けないとの思いだろう。

We understand the necessity of stress tests to ensure the safety of nuclear reactors.
 安全確保のためのストレステストの必要性はわかる。

However, Kan must realize that a test on a reactor requires several months at least.
だが、少なくとも数か月かかるという。

It means the restart of the Genkai plant's reactors will not begin in August, when the demand for electricity will sharply rise.
玄海原発の運転再開は電力需要が急増する8月には間に合わない。

In addition, the restart of reactors at other nuclear power stations will face difficulties.
他の原発の再稼働も、困難になる。

Currently there are 17 reactors commercially operating. Five of them will be suspended one after another in July or August for regular inspections.
 営業運転中の原発は全国で17基あるが、このうち5基が7月と8月に検査で停止する。

The supply capacity of the five reactors combined is 5 million kilowatts, almost equivalent to that of Hokuriku Electric Power Co. In other words, the capacity equivalent of an entire power company will be lost.
北陸電力1社分に匹敵する500万キロ・ワットの電力供給が失われる計算だ。

===

An ever-worsening situation

For Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., whose large-lot customers are currently obliged to save electricity under a government ordinance, balancing supply and demand will be like a high-wire act.
 電力制限している東京電力や東北電力の需給は綱渡りとなる。

It is possible the two companies will have to implement rolling blackouts.
計画停電の可能性もある。

If the prime minister does not recognize this critical situation, he is unbelievably irresponsible.
 首相が、危機的な状況を認識していないのなら、あまりに無責任だ。

He has pinned his hopes on a special measures bill designed to promote renewable energy sources. But his top priority should be to settle the immediate problem at hand.
自然エネルギーの普及を目指す「再生可能エネルギー特別措置法案」への執着もいいが、目の前の問題解決が先だろう。

"I don't flatter myself that I'm the best prime minister ever, but I mustn't shirk my responsibility," Kan said during a Diet session about reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and bringing the nuclear crisis under control.
 首相は、「私が最高の首相だとはうぬぼれてはいないが、責任から逃れるわけにいかない」と述べている。

We wonder how a person who raises big issues without taking any positive action on his own can make such a statement.
課題を掲げるだけで、自らは積極的に動こうとしない人物の言葉とは思えない。

Under this prime minister, the Japanese economy only keeps heading deeper and deeper into a slump.
 この首相の下では、日本経済は沈んでいくばかりだ。

Everyone in the political world should find a way to bring an end to the Kan administration as soon as possible.
菅政権に一刻も早く終止符を打つ手立てを政界全体で考えるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2011)
(2011年7月8日01時18分  読売新聞)

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