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2013年7月10日 (水)

原発再稼働申請 安全確認は公正で効率的に

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 10, 2013
Nuclear plant safety must be confirmed fairly, efficiently
原発再稼働申請 安全確認は公正で効率的に(7月9日付・読売社説)

The true worth of the Nuclear Regulation Authority is being put to the test.
 原子力規制委員会の真価が問われよう。

New regulation standards for nuclear power plants, which had been compiled based on lessons from the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, took effect Monday.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故を教訓とした原発の新規制基準が8日、施行された。

Following the enforcement of these new standards, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. filed applications with the NRA for 10 of their idled reactors at five plants to undergo safety checks, a procedure to obtain approval for restarting the reactors.
 これに伴い、北海道、関西、四国、九州の電力4社が5原発10基の再稼働に向け、安全審査を規制委に申請した。

The new guidelines have significantly increased steps to help prevent a serious problem at a nuclear plant from becoming even worse. The assessment of the impact of earthquakes and tsunami has been bolstered.
 新基準は、万が一の重大トラブルの際に事態の悪化を食い止める手段を大幅に増やした。地震・津波の影響評価も強化した。

Each reactor has many components that need to be inspected, so checking just one unit will reportedly take more than six months. Moreover, several reactors will be checked simultaneously, so the nuclear watchdog will need to conduct its work efficiently.
 点検する項目は多く、1基に半年以上を要するという。しかも複数の原発を同時に審査する。規制委には、効率性も求められる。

New rules not perfect

The new standards, however, still have some shortcomings.
 新基準には課題も残る。

To prepare for possible difficulties keeping a reactor cool, the new guidelines call for installing a filter-equipped exhaust system to reduce pressure inside the reactor and setting up an emergency measures center. Other steps include building new seawalls and watertight doors.
Some critics say these measures rely too much on safety standards for the plants’ “hardware.” Safety must be checked comprehensively, including such “software” factors as operators’ ability to cope with and respond to an emergency.
 原子炉冷却が困難な時に内部の圧力を下げるフィルター付き排気設備や緊急時対策所、防潮堤、防水扉などの新設を求めたが、ハード偏重との批判がある。運転員の緊急時対応能力といったソフト面も加味し、総合判断すべきだ。

A grace period of five years has been set for building some facilities and installing equipment at the plants because improvements have been made in safety arrangements, including the deployment of vehicle-mounted electricity generators. Such a realistic approach will be crucial also in the safety check process.
 一部の設備については、設置を5年間猶予した。各原発で既に電源車などが配備され、安全性が向上したためだ。審査でも、こうした現実的な対応が欠かせない。

The assessment of the potential impact of earthquakes and tsunami on the nuclear plants also is likely to face rough going. The NRA has taken a blatantly biased approach in hastily concluding that topographic strains under some facilities are active faults. Its checks must be based on scientific facts.
 地震・津波の影響評価は難航しそうだ。規制委は、これまでも地形の歪(ひず)みを活断層と速断するなど偏りが目立つ。審査は、科学的な根拠に立脚せねばならない。

Moreover, the NRA has often lacked fairness in making decisions, as it did not give utilities a sufficient opportunity to rebut its assessment of the faults. To ensure the safety screening goes smoothly, the NRA must shed its self-righteous mind-set and hold constructive and repeated dialogue with the utilities.
 さらに、活断層評価で電力会社側に十分な反論の機会を与えないなど、規制委は、しばしば公正さを欠いてきた。安全審査を円滑に進めるには、「独善」を排し、電力会社と建設的な対話を重ねることが不可欠である。

Niigata gov. not bending

Almost all of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been sitting idle for more than one year. Operating thermal power plants to fill the power shortage has cost an additional 4 trillion yen a year. This has led to a series of power rate increases, which has seriously affected the national economy as a whole, including businesses and households.
 ほとんどの原発が1年以上、停止したままだ。代替する火力発電所の追加燃料費は年4兆円に上る。電気料金値上げも相次ぎ、企業や家計など日本経済全体に深刻な影響が広がっている。

We believe nuclear reactors must be restarted as early as possible once they have been confirmed safe to operate.
 安全を確認できた原発は、早期に再稼働する必要がある。

TEPCO did not apply for safety checks on its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture. This is because Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida had strongly opposed the utility’s plan to apply, saying it “disregarded local opinion.”
 東京電力は柏崎刈羽原発(新潟県)の申請を見送った。東電の審査申請の方針に対して、新潟県の泉田裕彦知事が「地元軽視だ」と反発を強めているためだ。

The utility’s president, Naomi Hirose, met with Izumida, but their talks ended with no agreement. Regrettably, the governor’s opposition revolved around the fact that TEPCO did not consult with the prefecture before announcing its plan to apply for safety checks. It is problematic that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which holds the key to securing a stable electricity supply to the Tokyo metropolitan area, will not be able to undergo even a safety check.
 東電の広瀬直己社長が泉田氏と会談したが、物別れに終わった。東電から事前相談がなかったといった手続き論に終始したのは残念である。首都圏の電力安定のカギを握る柏崎刈羽原発が、安全審査さえ受けられないのは問題だ。

We urge Izumida and the utility to discuss the matter with cool heads and seek an end to the impasse. The government will need to make painstaking efforts to obtain the understanding of Niigata and other local governments that remain cautious about restarting nuclear reactors.
 泉田氏と東電は冷静に協議し、打開策を探ってもらいたい。他の原発を含め、再稼働に慎重な関係自治体の理解を得るには、政府による説得も重要になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 9, 2013)
(2013年7月9日01時52分  読売新聞)

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