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2014年4月25日 (金)

原発と安全―知事の疑問が示すもの

April 24, 2014
EDITORIAL: Governor’s doubts about nuclear safety should be addressed
原発と安全―知事の疑問が示すもの

There are many reasons to doubt whether the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is keen to restart idled nuclear reactors, is really committed to ensuring that citizens will never again become victims of a nuclear accident.
 原発事故の被害者を二度と出さない。原発の再稼働に前のめりな安倍政権に、本当にその覚悟はあるのだろうか。

Currently, nuclear regulators are examining reactors around the nation to determine if they meet the new nuclear safety standards and can be brought back online. But Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture, where Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant is located, argues that the safety of residents in areas around the plant is not guaranteed even if the reactors there pass the safety checks.
 再稼働をめざす全国の原発で新しい規制基準を満たしているかどうかの審査がすすむ中、東京電力の柏崎刈羽原発を抱える新潟県の泉田裕彦知事が、たとえ審査を通っても住民の安全は守れないと主張している。

In order to enhance the safety of a nuclear power plant, the facilities must, of course, fulfill the tougher safety requirements. However, it is also vital for the local governments to craft reliable evacuation plans as a preparation for emergencies.
 原発の安全性を高めるには、施設が厳しい規制を満たすだけでなく、万一に備えて避難計画をしっかり立てておくことが欠かせない。

Since Izumida is the chief of a local government responsible for working out such evacuation plans, the Abe administration should pay serious attention to his warnings.
この避難計画づくりを担当する自治体トップの発言だけに、政権は真摯(しんし)に耳を傾ける必要がある。

Izumida’s comments are convincing and specific because they are based on his personal experiences. As the chief of the Niigata prefectural government, he had to respond to the magnitude-6.8 Niigata Chuetsu-oki Earthquake off the prefecture in 2007 that triggered a fire at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant. In the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2011, he was asked to help provide aid to people in areas affected by the disaster.
 中越沖地震では柏崎刈羽原発の火災に直面し、福島第一原発の事故では被災者の救助支援を要請された泉田知事の指摘は、いずれも具体的である。

The 2007 quake made roads impassable at many places, making it impossible for even emergency vehicles to move around. Deep snow would have made evacuations even more difficult.
 中越沖地震では道路が寸断され、緊急車両すら動けなくなった。雪が深ければ一段と逃げにくくなる。

Plans specifying the places where local residents should evacuate to in emergencies would be useless under such circumstances.
いくら計画で避難先を決めても絵に描いたモチだ。

Izumida suggested that the only effective way to prepare local communities for serious nuclear accidents is to build a nuclear shelter for each house. Are the government and the electric utilities operating nuclear power plants aware of the enormity of the challenge and willing to do what needs to be done?
知事は、各戸に核シェルターを作るしかないかもしれないと危惧するが、国や電力会社にその認識と覚悟はあるか。

To rescue people left behind in disaster areas, workers such as bus drivers need to enter areas with high levels of radiation. Buses cannot be used in such situations unless the related law is revised to allow bus drivers, who are private-sector workers, to operate at the risk of being exposed to levels of radiation higher than the legal dose limits for ordinary civilians.
But is it possible to build a broad consensus on easing the limits for bus drivers?
 避難が遅れた住民を助けるには放射線量が高い地域にバスの運転手らが入らねばならない。現実には、民間人である運転手も被曝(ひばく)していいように法令を改めないとバスは避難に役立たないが、被曝限度を緩める合意形成をはかれるのか。

Izumida also points out that the proposed measures to deal with nuclear accidents are also grossly inadequate.
 事故対策そのものの甘さも指摘する。

Suppose, for instance, all the coolant has been lost in a severe nuclear accident and humans must carry out tasks to contain the crisis while being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Who should be assigned to the mission?
すべての冷却材が失われ、生身の人間が危険な高線量下で収束作業をするしかなくなったとき、誰が行くのか。

Suppose containing a nuclear crisis requires a decision that would cause serious damage to the financial health of the electric utility operating the nuclear plant. Is there any guarantee that the priority will be placed on the safety of residents rather than on the company’s economic viability?
事故の拡大を食い止めるため、電力会社の経営に重大な損害を与える決断が必要になったとき、経営が優先され住民が被害を受けない保証はあるのか。

These questions have been raised by the actual nuclear accident. But debate on these issues has been put on the back burner.
 いずれも現実の事故で浮き彫りになった課題だが、議論は後回しになっている。

The Abe administration intends to restart reactors that have met the new nuclear safety standards, which it claims are “the world’s strictest.”
 安倍政権は、今の規制基準は「世界一厳しい」と、基準をパスした原発は動かす姿勢だ。

But Izumida says the new requirements don’t even measure up to international standards, and criticizes the government for “lying.”
だが知事は「世界標準にも達していない」とし、うそをついてはいけないと批判する。

If it believes the governor has got it wrong, the Abe administration should answer all the questions raised.
指摘は当たらぬというなら、政権は一つ一つ疑問に答える責任がある。

Many cities and towns in areas around nuclear power plants have already put together evacuation plans in hopes that idled reactors will be restarted.
 再稼働に期待する地元の中には、すでに避難計画をつくったというところも少なくないが、

As local governments responsible for the safety of residents, however, they should ponder the questions raised by Izumida to determine whether their evacuation plans would really work in crises.
住民の安全を守る責務を負う自治体として、泉田知事の疑問を吟味し、自らの避難計画が本当に機能するか、つぶさに点検してほしい。

Should a serious accident happen again, the authorities would no longer be able to escape responsibility for the consequences with the excuse that the unexpected has occurred.
事故が起きてから「想定外だった」という言い訳は、もう許されない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 24

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