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2013年8月24日 (土)

原発汚染水 原子力規制委は一層の関与を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 24, 2013
NRA must boost involvement in combating irradiated waterirradiated water
原発汚染水 原子力規制委は一層の関与を(8月23日付・読売社説)

A major leak of water highly contaminated with radioactive substances has once again been discovered at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所で、汚染水漏れがまたも判明した。

One leak after another of radiation-polluted water has been found at the complex, and no resolution is in sight.
 汚染水の漏出が相次いで、解決のめどが立たない。

This is truly a grave situation. TEPCO must take every possible step in response.
深刻な事態である。東電は全力で対処すべきだ。

The utility’s capability to cope with the crisis, however, is nearing its limits in terms of both financial and personnel resources. Under the circumstances, a wider range of assistance and cooperation from the government will certainly become more and more important to address the problem.
 ただ、東電の対処能力は資金面でも、人材面でも限界に近い。政府の幅広い支援、協力が今後、ますます大切になるだろう。

The latest leak has been detected from a storage tank of contaminated water, which includes highly toxic radioactive substances, on the premises of the crippled nuclear plant.The volume of the polluted water that leaked stands at about 300 metric tons, equivalent to a 25-meter swimming pool.
 新たに漏出が分かったのは、放射性物質を含む汚染水の貯蔵タンクだ。漏出量は約300トンで、25メートルプール1杯分に相当する。

The water storage tank is a vertical cylindrical structure, comprising steel plates held together by bolts. It was designed to contain a maximum of 1,000 tons of contaminated water. Its weakness lies in the seam joints of the steel plates, which have not been welded. Similar leaks have occurred from the seams several times in the past.
 貯蔵タンクは円筒形で鋼製部品をボルトで接合してある。最大1000トンの汚染水を貯蔵できる。溶接していない継ぎ目が弱点で、過去にも漏出が起きている。

Of the about 1,000 water storage tanks TEPCO has been using at the site, about 350 are the same type as the one that suffered the latest leak. The company must waste no time in conducting thorough inspections of all these tanks.
 敷地内の貯蔵タンク約1000基のうち今回と同型は約350基ある。総点検を急ぐべきだ。

The utility’s inspection method has so far been to ascertain whether there are any traces of water having leaked into the ground close to the tanks. Workers in charge of the inspections, however, admit they tend to be unaware of small leaks. Water-level gauges should be installed in these storage tanks.
 これまでの点検は、地面に漏れた水の跡がないかを見る方式だった。だが、少量だと見逃しやすい。タンクに水位計が必要だ。

Highly radioactive water at the ruined nuclear plant has been increasing day after day. In its current situation, TEPCO can hardly be considered competent to ensure safe storage of the water. Safety checks by the Nuclear Regulation Authority are indispensable.
 汚染水は毎日増え続ける。確実に貯蔵しておくには、今の東電だけでは危うい。原子力規制委員会のチェックが不可欠である。

The Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law stipulates the Fukushima plant as a facility requiring special attention after its March 11, 2011, meltdowns, making it obligatory for the NRA to monitor steps for safety of the plant.
 原子炉等規制法でも、事故後の福島第一原発を特別な施設と位置付け、規制委が安全確保を監視することを責務と定めている。

Stem inflow of groundwater

To undertake this task, 10 officials from the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, an agency under the NRA, have been assigned to the Fukushima No. 1 plant to be in charge of inspecting safety maintenance there. The agency inspectors are strongly urged to supervise and ascertain whether there is a problem with TEPCO’s safety maintenance plans and whether safety operations have been conducted adequately.
 それを担う人員として、現地には、規制委の事務局である原子力規制庁の職員10人が保安検査官として常駐している。東電の保守点検計画に問題はないか。現場の作業は適切に進められているか。しっかり監督してもらいたい。

There were four major leaks of highly contaminated water prior to the latest incident.
 今回のタンク以前にも、大きな汚染水の漏出が4件起きている。

Given that the storage capacity of contaminated water on the plant’s premises has its limits, the water storage arrangements there are bound to collapse sooner or later, unless effective measures are taken to curb the increase in irradiated water.
敷地内での汚染水貯蔵にも限界がある。汚染水の増加に歯止めをかけないと、いずれ破綻する。

First of all, the inflow of groundwater into the plant’s damaged reactor buildings must be reduced. The groundwater inflow is the biggest cause of the increase in contaminated water.
 まずは原子炉建屋への地下水流入を減らすことだ。これが汚染水の最大原因と言える。

To prevent the inflow, there is no other means than pumping up uncontaminated groundwater before it reaches the plant’s premises and releasing the water into the sea after ascertaining its safety.
流入前に地下水をくみ上げ、安全確認後に海へ放出するほかない。

Some members of local fisheries cooperative associations have expressed their support for this idea. The government should take a leading role in securing cooperation from the fisheries associations to get the pumping up of water started.
地元漁協には理解を示す声もある。政府が前面に出て協力を求めたい。

Purification equipment for reducing the radioactive substances in contaminated water should be put into operation as early as possible. Such treatment would lessen the risks of toxic water leaks as the storage volume of the water continues to increase.
 貯蔵している汚染水に含まれる放射性物質を減らす浄化装置の稼働も急ぐ必要がある。浄化すれば大量貯蔵時のリスクが減る。

In a meeting of the NRA this week, one major question on the agenda was how Japan should explain to foreign countries about matters involving the highly contaminated water.
 今週の規制委会合では、汚染水問題を海外にどう説明するかが議題となった。

Some in the meeting reportedly proposed that the severity of the leakage of the radioactive water be raised to Level 3 (serious accident) on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale of 0 to 7, with 7 the most severe. Discussions on this point were ultimately inconclusive, however.
今回の漏出を、原子力事故の国際尺度で最大の7から0のうち「レベル3」とする案も出たが、まとまらなかった。

Instead of discussing different views about the evaluation of the severity of the leakage, resolving the problem of the leaks itself is definitely of higher importance.
 あれこれ評価するより、事態の収束が最優先だ。

It will help alleviate concerns abroad over the contaminated water if the entire government buckles down on this challenge as one.
政府一丸でこの問題に臨むことが、海外の懸念を軽減することにつながろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2013)
(2013年8月23日01時31分  読売新聞)

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