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2012年10月23日 (火)

新潟県知事選 柏崎再稼働に向き合う契機に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 23, 2012)
Niigata election result offers chance to restart nuclear plant
新潟県知事選 柏崎再稼働に向き合う契機に(10月22日付・読売社説)

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture, which hosts the idled Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, was elected for the third time Sunday.
 東京電力柏崎刈羽原子力発電所を抱える新潟県で、泉田裕彦知事が3選を果たした。

The central government, the Niigata prefectural government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the nuclear plant, will now be tested on how they can take advantage of this occasion to put in place an environment to reactivate the nuclear plant. This issue will have a huge impact on Japan's energy policies and economic problems.
 これを機に、いかに柏崎刈羽原発の再稼働の環境を整えるかが、政府と県、東電に問われている。日本全体のエネルギー政策や経済問題にも大きく影響を及ぼす問題だからだ。

In the gubernatorial election, Izumida, the incumbent candidate supported by the five ruling and opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party, defeated two other candidates. One of them, fielded by the Japanese Communist Party, pledged to decommission the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant and work to abolish all of Japan's nuclear plants.
 知事選では民主、自民など与野党5党相乗りの現職・泉田氏が、「廃炉」「原発ゼロ」を掲げる共産党候補ら2人を破った。

While Izumida opposed the immediate decommissioning of the nuclear plant, he pledged not to make a snap decision to start discussions on reactivating the plant. During the campaign, he stressed the need to thoroughly investigate the crisis at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant before discussing whether to reactivate the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
 泉田氏は、柏崎刈羽原発の即時廃炉に反対し、「見切り発車的な運転再開議論は行わない」と公約した。選挙戦では、再稼働議論の前に福島原発事故の徹底的な検証が必要だ、と主張した。

Izumida has already started the prefecture's own investigation into the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture. We appreciate his efforts to do everything possible to prevent a recurrence of a nuclear accident as a governor responsible for the safety of his prefecture's residents.
 泉田氏は、新潟県独自の事故検証作業を始めている。県民の安全に責任を負う知事として、事故の再発防止に万全を尽くそうとする姿勢は理解できる。

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NRA has authority, expertise

However, it is the central government's Nuclear Regulation Authority that has the authority and expertise to assess the safety of nuclear plants. If the NRA considers there is no problem in restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, local governments hosting the plant will have to respect this judgment.
 だが、原発の安全性を判断する権限と専門的知見を持つのは、政府の原子力規制委員会である。規制委が再稼働に問題はないと判断すれば、地元自治体もそれを尊重せざるを得ないだろう。

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is a key facility for TEPCO and accounts for 12 percent of the company's generation capacity. All of its seven reactors were suspended by March with no prospect in sight to begin procedures to reactivate them.
 柏崎刈羽原発は、東電全体の発電能力の12%を占める基幹施設である。今年3月までに7基すべての運転が停止し、再稼働への手続きのメドも立っていない。

TEPCO is planning to put its accounts in the black and lower electricity charges in the near future on the condition the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant's reactors are restarted sequentially from next spring.
 東電は既に、柏崎刈羽原発を来春以降は順次動かすことを前提にして、近い将来の決算黒字化や電力料金値下げを計画している。

If the reactors' operations are not resumed, the electricity supply system for the Tokyo metropolitan area will become unstable and negatively affect company production and the livelihood of the people.
 このまま再稼働できないと、首都圏への安定的な電力供給体制が揺らぎ、企業の生産活動や市民生活に悪影響を与えよう。

There also is a possibility TEPCO will be forced to hike its electricity charges again because of a further increase in fuel costs for thermal power generation. The utility's investment plan, which is essential for supplying power, could be affected.
 火力発電用の燃料費が増え、料金の再値上げに追い込まれる可能性がある。電力供給に不可欠な投資計画にも支障が出かねない。

We hope Izumida will continue to pay due consideration not only to the situation in his own prefecture but also to the above factors.
 泉田氏には、地元の事情だけでなく、こうした点にも、引き続き配慮してもらいたい。

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Govt, TEPCO owe explanation

Meanwhile, TEPCO has to make a greater effort to eradicate the fears of local residents over the safety of the nuclear plant. In addition, the firm must carefully explain in detail why the reactors need to be restarted.
 東電は安全性への懸念払拭に努めるとともに、再稼働の必要性を丁寧に説明する必要がある。

The central government should not thrust all the responsibility on TEPCO, while remaining on the sidelines. It should work with the utility and do its utmost to persuade local residents of the necessity of reactivating nuclear reactors.
 政府も、東電に責任を押しつけて傍観することは許されない。東電と連携し、安全性が確認された原発は活用する方向で、地元の説得に全力を挙げるべきだ。

In Niigata Prefecture, a group of residents is campaigning for the formulation of an ordinance on a municipal referendum that would decide whether or not the reactors should be restarted. The group carrying out the signature-collecting drive is expected to ask the governor directly for formulation of the ordinance by the end of this year.
 新潟県では、再稼働の是非に関する住民投票の条例制定を求める動きが進んでいる。署名活動を行っている住民団体は、年内にも知事に直接請求する見通しだ。

However, it is extremely problematic that the judgment of residents in one region will be allowed to affect the reactivation of nuclear power plants. We do not think a municipal referendum is the proper way to decide on restarting nuclear plants.
 だが、一部地方の住民の判断だけで再稼働が左右されるのは極めて問題だ。やはり、原発再稼働問題は住民投票になじまない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 22, 2012)
(2012年10月22日01時19分  読売新聞)

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