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2013年11月30日 (土)

冬の節電 「原発ゼロ」に早く終止符打て

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 29, 2013
Bring nuclear plants out of mothballs as quickly as possible
冬の節電 「原発ゼロ」に早く終止符打て(11月28日付・読売社説)

If a major power outage occurs in the depths of winter, people could die. The government and power companies must exert all possible effort to achieve a stable supply of electricity during the winter.
 酷寒の季節に大停電が起きれば、人命にかかわる恐れもある。政府と電力各社は、冬の電力安定供給に万全を期さなければならない。

A power-saving campaign period for the winter will start next Monday. The nation’s electricity companies, except for Okinawa Electric Power Co., will call on their consumers to save electricity to a reasonable degree.
 12月2日から、冬の節電期間がスタートする。沖縄電力を除く電力9社は、無理のない範囲で節電を行うよう呼びかける。

This is a measure that has to be taken as the nation’s 50 nuclear reactors have stopped operating and have no prospect of being restarted even as winter, when power consumption increases for heating, comes rolling in.
 全国の原発50基がすべて停止したまま、暖房などで電力消費の増える冬を迎え、再稼働の見通しも立たないための措置である。

To prevent a power failure, it is said that a power company’s electricity supply should be at least 3 percent greater than its total power demand. Due to measures such as the full operation of thermal power plants, all of the nation’s power companies are expected to secure this minimum power supply. Nevertheless, Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. is expected to have an extra power supply of only the minimum limits. Kansai Electric has 3 percent, and the figure for Kyushu Electric is expected to be 3.1 percent.
 停電を防ぐには、電力需要に対して3%以上の供給余力が必要とされる。火力発電所のフル稼働などで、全電力会社が最低限の供給力を確保できる見込みだが、3・0%の関西電力や3・1%の九州電力はギリギリの余力だ。

We should all take such power-saving measures as turning off lights when we leave a room and turning temperature settings down both at home and in offices so we can all weather the cold season safely.
 家庭やオフィスで、照明のこまめな消灯やエアコンの設定温度引き下げといった省電力に努め、寒い冬を無事に乗り切りたい。

It is also necessary for the electric utility industry, as a whole, to prepare for contingencies by, for example, reinforcing the system whereby power companies with ample supply capacity use their extra power to assist areas hit by a power shortage due to a breakdown of a power plant.
 発電所の故障で突然、電力不足に陥った地域に、余裕のある電力会社が電力を融通する体制を強化するなど、業界をあげて不測の事態に備える必要がある。

Restart Hokkaido reactors first

Among the nation’s utilities, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. is highly likely to be forced to budget its power supply most precariously. Beyond the nationwide call for power saving, Hokkaido Electric will call on its business and household customers to reduce electricity use by more than 6 percent, compared to fiscal 2010, during the hours 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays between Dec. 9 and March 7.
 なかでも綱渡りの電力供給を強いられるのが北海道だ。北海道電力は全国共通の節電要請に加えて、12月9日から来年3月7日の平日午後4~9時、管内の企業や家庭に2010年度比で6%以上の節電を要請する。

This is the second year in a row that the utility has attached numerical targets to a call for winter power-saving. Behind such calls is the tight conditions of its power supply.
 数値目標を設けた冬の節電は2年連続だ。その背景には、厳しい電力事情がある。

Eight of its 12 thermal power plants have been in service for more than 30 years, with stoppages increasing due to malfunctions. In June, a large-scale power loss of nearly 1.2 million kilowatts occurred.
 北海道電力の火力発電所12基のうち8基が運転開始から30年を超え、故障による停止が増えている。今年6月には120万キロ・ワット近い大規模な電源喪失が起きた。

Hokkaido Electric has only 400,000 kilowatts in surplus generating capacity for this winter. As the transmission capacity of the power cable linking Hokkaido and Honshu is limited, the total amount of extra electricity that other utilities may provide is only up to 600,000 kilowatts. Should a large-scale problem disrupt Hokkaido’s electricity supply, there could be power outages there.
 北海道の今冬の余力は40万キロ・ワットしかない。北海道と本州を結ぶ送電線の容量は限られており、他電力から融通を受けられる電力も最大60万キロ・ワットにとどまる。大規模なトラブルが起きれば、供給力不足による停電が懸念される。

In Hokkaido, there are areas where the temperature falls to minus 30 C. If heating devices cease to function due to a power failure, many people may face the danger of freezing to death.
 北海道は氷点下30度に冷え込む地域もある。停電で暖房機器が使えなくなれば、凍死の危険に直面する人も少なくないだろう。

Also worrisome is a scenario in which infrastructure becomes paralyzed, as it becomes impossible to melt snow off of roads and prevent water pipes from freezing. Such thoughts as, “There is enough power even without nuclear power plants” are too optimistic.
 道路の融雪や水道管の凍結防止ができなくなり、社会インフラがマヒする事態も心配だ。「原発がなくても電気は足りる」などと考えるのは楽観的すぎる。

In a bid to restart three reactors at its Tomari nuclear power plant, Hokkaido Electric has filed a request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to give the plant a safety inspection.
 北海道電力は泊原発3基の再稼働をめざし、原子力規制委員会に安全審査を申請している。

It is now necessary to steadily let not only the Tomari plant but also other nuclear power plants resume operation once their safety is confirmed, thus putting an end to the current situation of no nuclear power plants being in operation.
 泊原発に限らず、安全性を確認できた原発から着実に再稼働し、原発ゼロの状況に終止符を打つことが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2013)
(2013年11月28日01時32分  読売新聞)

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