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2013年6月22日 (土)

原発新基準 効率的で柔軟な審査が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 21, 2013
NRA must be flexible in applying safety standards to each N-reactor
原発新基準 効率的で柔軟な審査が必要だ(6月20日付・読売社説)

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided on new safety standards for nuclear power plants. The regulatory panel must confirm in an efficient way the safety of nuclear power reactors, which have been idle for a long period of time, toward the restart of their operation.
 原子力規制委員会が原子力発電所の新たな規制基準を決めた。長期間停止している原発の再稼働へ向け、安全性を効率的に確認すべきだ。

The new standards will be enforced from July 8 after they were approved by the government at a Cabinet meeting. Five electric power companies including Kansai Electric Power Co. have expressed an intent to apply to have 14 nuclear reactors examined with the aim of restarting their operation.
 新基準は、閣議決定を経て7月8日に施行される。関西電力など5社が、計14基の原発の審査を申請する意向を示している。

The nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant began when unexpectedly huge tsunami hit the plant, causing an inability to cool its reactors. As a result, a vast amount of radioactive material leaked from the reactors. The regulatory committee took this lesson to create the new safety standards.
 東京電力福島第一原発事故では想定外の大津波が襲来し、原子炉の冷却ができなくなった。その結果、大量の放射能が漏出した。新基準は、これを教訓とした。

Under the new standards, the regulatory authority calls for taking into consideration natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from broader perspectives than they were previously. The standards also require the reinforcement of water pumping and power source equipment, which are indispensable for cooling nuclear reactors at times of severe incidents.
 津波や地震、火山噴火などの自然災害を従来より幅広く考慮するよう求めた。重大事故時に、原子炉の冷却に欠かせない注水・電源設備を強化することも定めた。

Standards have some flaws

It is indeed necessary to repair weak points in safety measures, which became apparent after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis.
 事故で顕在化した安全対策の綻びを繕うことは必要だ。

However, there are also problematic points in the new standards. Investigations on active faults under and around the grounds of nuclear power stations are one such example. The new standards require research on any signs of fault activity up to 400,000 years ago. The former standards required research covering 120,000 to 130,000 years ago.
 しかし、新基準には問題点もある。例えば、原発の敷地内外の活断層調査だ。最大で40万年前まで遡って有無を評価させる。旧基準では12万~13万年前だった。

Even if a fault is ancient, if it is located right under important nuclear power plant facilities and judged as active, it will be difficult to restart reactors there.
 太古の断層であっても、原発の重要施設の真下にあり、活断層と判断されれば再稼働は困難だ。

Yet, judging whether faults are active is very difficult. There could be cases of misjudgment. We think it would be more practical to consider some technological countermeasures to prevent a severe accident that may be caused by an active fault, rather than seeking zero risk.
 ただ、その判断は難しい。誤認も起き得る。ゼロリスクを求めるより、活断層による重大事故を防ぐため、工学的な対策を検討する方が現実的なのではないか。

The NRA included, as much as it could, in the new standards requirements related to severe accident countermeasures. Some people criticized that too much emphasis was placed on hardware.
 重大事故対策の設備を考えられる限り列挙したことにも、ハード偏重との指摘がある。

It is understandable that some power company officials criticized the standards as excessive regulatory measures designed to prevent them from restarting reactors.
 電力会社から、原発を動かさないための過剰規制という声が出ているのも、うなずける。

We want the NRA, in examining safety countermeasures at nuclear power plants, to evaluate the effectiveness of safety measures based on each power station's circumstances. We think it is necessary for the regulatory committee to take a flexible stance, such as approving certain facilities even if they do not conform to the new standards if they can ensure sufficient safety features of such facilities.
 今後の審査で規制委に求められるのは、各原発の実情に応じ、対策の実効性を評価することだ。基準に挙げた設備と違っても、十分な性能が確保できるなら認めるなど、柔軟な対応が必要だろう。

Old plants face difficulties

The regulatory panel has decided to allow a five-year grace period for putting in place some safety equipment, as it judged other devices can ensure reactor safety for the time being.
 既に規制委は、一部の安全設備について、他の機器で当面の安全は確保できるとして、設置を5年間猶予する方針を決めている。

At the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of KEPCO's Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, which are the country's only nuclear reactors currently operating, the NRA will conduct the work to confirm the conformity of the plant's safety features with the new standards through on-site inspections and other procedures. The possibility of approving the continuation of the operations of the reactors has now been reportedly increasing.
 国内で唯一稼働している関電大飯原発3、4号機では、現地調査などで新基準との適合性を確認する作業を進め、運転継続を認める可能性が高まっている。

We would like the NRA to thoroughly pursue rational responses such as this.
 規制委には、こうした合理的な対応に徹してもらいたい。

Implementing the new safety standards will require power companies a huge amount of money. According to a power industry estimate, it will easily surpass 1 trillion yen for the industry as a whole to meet the new standards. In particular, it is not easy to recover costs at nuclear reactors more than 30 years old after they are repaired and reinforced. There are likely some cases in which power companies will choose to scrap reactors.
 新基準への対応には巨費を要する。電力業界の試算では、1兆円を大きく上回る。特に建設から30年以上が過ぎた古い原子炉では、改修・補強してもコスト回収は容易でない。電力会社が廃炉を選択するケースも出るだろう。

Sharing the burden of decommissioning costs of abandoned reactors as well as measures to dispose of nuclear waste are also important subjects to be discussed hereafter between power companies and the government.
 廃炉の費用負担や、廃棄物対策なども、電力会社と政府の今後の重要な検討課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2013)
(2013年6月20日01時28分  読売新聞)

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