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2012年9月 9日 (日)

「原発ゼロ」提言 現実を直視できない民主党

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 9, 2012)
DPJ's zero-nuclear energy proposal unrealistic
「原発ゼロ」提言 現実を直視できない民主党(9月8日付・読売社説)

As a ruling party, the Democratic Party of Japan is beyond irresponsible in setting a policy course seeking zero nuclear power generation after hasty and inadequate discussion.
 拙速な議論で「原子力発電ゼロ」の方針を打ち出すのは、政権党としてあまりに無責任だ。

The DPJ has drawn up a proposal for future energy measures that will aim for zero reliance on nuclear power in the 2030s.
 民主党が「2030年代に原発稼働ゼロ」を目指すエネルギー政策の提言をまとめた。

The proposal does not allow the government to construct new nuclear power stations and requires it to strictly adhere to a new regulation of shutting down reactors after 40 years of operation. However, the proposal lacks specific measures to overcome the possible negative impact on the economy, such as high costs and increased unemployment.
 原発の新増設は認めず、運転開始から40年での廃炉を厳格に適用するという。だが、高コストや失業増大など経済への悪影響を克服するための具体策は乏しい。問題だらけの内容だ。

The proposal is full of problems.

The DPJ made a hasty decision to include the 2030s target for achieving zero reliance in the proposal in the final stage of party discussions on the matter.
 「原発ゼロ」を30年代に実現するという期限についても、党内の議論の終盤で強引に盛り込む乱暴な決め方だった。

With an eye to its manifesto for the next House of Representatives election, the DPJ apparently thought stating its position to seek zero reliance would benefit the party in the election. We see this as pure demagoguery.
 衆院選のマニフェスト(政権公約)を意識し、「原発ゼロ」を鮮明にした方が選挙に有利だと考えたのだろう。大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)そのものだ。

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Enormous costs

According to estimates by the government's Energy and Environment Council, the nation would face enormous costs to completely end its dependence on nuclear power. The council has projected 50 trillion yen would be needed to expand the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power while energy-saving investments would cost the nation 100 trillion yen under the zero percent nuclear power scenario.
 太陽光など再生可能エネルギー拡大に50兆円、省エネ達成に100兆円――。政府のエネルギー・環境会議が示した「原発ゼロ」のコストは膨大である。

As a result, electricity charges would be raised. Regular households would likely see their monthly utility bills jump from the current maximum of 17,000 yen to 32,000 yen. Furthermore, increases in production costs would accelerate the hollowing-out of industry, forcing people out of jobs.
 電気代が上昇し、標準家庭の光熱費は、現在の月1万7000円が3万2000円に跳ね上がる。生産コスト増で産業空洞化が加速し、失業は急増するだろう。

Both the business community and the government are aware of the seriousness of the possible negative impact from zero reliance on nuclear energy.
 「原発ゼロ」がもたらす悪影響の重大さは、経済界だけでなく政府も認めている。

However, the DPJ appears to have turned a blind eye to such "inconvenient truth." The party failed to work out concrete measures in the proposal. Instead, it has left the task to the government, only saying in the proposal the government "needs to utilize all policy resources" to denuclearize the nation.
 しかし、民主党はこうした「不都合な真実」に目をつぶった。提言で明確な打開策を示さず、「政策的に強力な支援を行う必要がある」などとし、政府に対応を“丸投げ”しただけである。

There has also been strong concern that setting the timing for achieving zero reliance would cause a decline in the number of young people seeking careers in nuclear-related fields, making it difficult for the nation to nurture capable experts.
 「原発ゼロ」の時期を明示した場合、原子力の技術者などを目指す若者が激減し、肝心の人材が育たなくなる恐れが強い。

If that happens, the government would be unable to fulfill the important tasks of enhancing the safety of nuclear reactors and establishing technologies to shut down reactors in light of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Japan could lose its international credibility.
 福島の事故を受けた原発の安全性向上や廃炉技術の確立など、重要な責務を果たせなくなり、日本の国際的な信用も失墜しよう。

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Realistic strategy needed

The government also would find it more difficult to obtain understanding from local people for restarting nuclear reactors. If Aomori Prefecture, which had accepted spent nuclear fuel from nuclear facilities nationwide under the national nuclear fuel cycle policy, decides to reject spent fuel, restarting reactors across the nation would become more difficult.
 原発再稼働へ地元の理解も得られにくくなる。政府の核燃料サイクル政策を前提に、各地の原発から使用済み核燃料を受け入れてきた青森県が、協力を拒否する事態となれば、全国の原発を動かすことは一段と困難になる。

Currently, the nation faces an additional cost of more than 3 trillion yen a year for thermal power generation to make up for lost nuclear energy. Unless nuclear reactors are reactivated, utility companies other than Tokyo Electric Power Co. would also be forced to sharply raise electricity rates.
 現在、原発を代替する火力発電の燃料費は、年3兆円以上も余計にかかっている。再稼働できないと、東電以外の電力会社も大幅な料金値上げを回避できまい。

The government plans to decide on its new energy strategy as early as next week. Without being bound by the DPJ's proposal, which apparently looks to the lower house election, the government should present to the public a realistic energy plan that will continue to utilize nuclear energy in the mid- and long term.
 政府は来週にも、新たなエネルギー戦略を決める予定だ。選挙目当ての民主党提言にとらわれず、政府は中長期的に原発の活用を続けていく現実的なエネルギー政策を示すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 8, 2012)
(2012年9月8日01時45分  読売新聞)

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