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2014年4月20日 (日)

(社説)放射線量調査 住民の役に立ってこそ

April 19, 2014
EDITORIAL: Fukushima and the world benefit from full disclosure of radiation information
(社説)放射線量調査 住民の役に立ってこそ

What should policymakers think about the effects of exposure to low levels of radiation in areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster?
 原発事故による低線量被曝(ひばく)の影響をどう考えるか。

The fact that there is an insufficient amount of established scientific knowledge about the effects of low-dose radiation makes it all the more important for the government to offer detailed explanations and disclose all relevant information when it adopts policy measures to deal with the problem.
 確たる知見がない領域だからこそ、対策を講じるうえでは丁寧な説明や情報公開を心がけてほしい。

The government recently released the findings from a survey it conducted to assess the relation between dose estimates based on air dose rates and actual individual radiation doses at various locations in Fukushima Prefecture.
 政府が福島県内で、空間線量からの推計値と個々人が実際にうける線量との関係を調べて、公表した。

The survey was aimed at obtaining data about radiation doses under circumstances that are similar to actual living conditions, instead of mechanical estimates, in evacuated areas where it is difficult to take actual measurements due to high levels of radiation.
 線量が高く実測値を得ることが難しい避難指示区域で、機械的な推計値ではなく、できるだけ本来の生活パターンに即した数値を得ることが狙いだった。

The survey results clearly indicate a strong correlation between data obtained with measuring equipment shaped like the human body and integral individual doses estimated from air dose rates.
 結果、人体を模した計測器から得られるデータと空間線量からはじく積算線量の間には強い相関関係が認められた。

Residents in evacuated areas face the decision of whether or not to return to their homes when the evacuation order for their communities is lifted. They are keen to know the actual dose of radiation they would receive when they return to their towns and villages rather than the air dose level.
 避難指示解除を境にふるさとへ戻るか否かの判断を迫られる住民には、「空間線量ではなく実際に自分が戻ったときにうける線量が知りたい」という切実な思いがある。

As the government will consider lifting evacuation orders for specific areas, establishing a reliable formula for estimating actual individual radiation doses is vital for residents in deciding whether or not to return to their communities. The survey is a welcome first step in the effort.
 今後、避難指示の解除を検討する際、住民の判断に役立つ推計法を確立していくことは重要だ。今回の調査はその一歩として評価したい。

However, the government carried out the survey without announcing it, raising suspicions that it had been hiding the information because the results were undesirable.
 問題は、これまで調査の存在自体を公表しておらず、「数値が悪く、隠していたのではないか」との疑念を招いたことだ。

The decision to do the survey was made last summer. But the government didn’t disclose any information about it during meetings on the return of evacuees to their homes held with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, nor in meetings with residents of the city of Tamura to discuss the lifting of the evacuation order for a district in the city.
 昨年夏に調査を決めたにもかかわらず、この間、原子力規制委員会内で開かれた住民帰還に関する会合や、田村市内の避難指示解除を検討する住民説明会といった場でも、調査のことを明らかにしなかったのはなぜなのか。

Why the secrecy?

Explaining its failure to inform the public about the survey, the government says it took time to ensure that its formula for making estimates was scientifically correct. The government also says it didn’t plan to publish any interim report on the survey.
 政府側は「推計値の算出方法が科学的に正しいと検証するのに時間を要した」「途中経過まで公表するという判断はなかった」という。

But there is strong public distrust of the government’s stance toward disclosure of information concerning the devastating nuclear accident. This is partly due to the chaotic state of affairs during evacuations caused by poor information disclosure.
 だが、原発事故をめぐっては避難時の大混乱をはじめ、政府の情報公開に対する不信が根強い。

If the survey was designed to provide useful information for evacuees, the government should have made it widely known that it was conducting the survey. It also should have disclosed information on a timely basis about progress and prospects even before all the data had been accumulated.
今回の調査も、被災者への有益な情報提供が主眼なのであればなおさら、調査実施の段階から広く知らせ、データがそろわない段階でも進み具合や見通しについて適時開示していくべきだった。

There is a global trend toward greater disclosure of data held by governments, with due care to protect individual information, for the purpose of developing better policies.
 政府のもつデータを個人情報などに注意しつつ公開し、よりよい政策づくりにつなげるのが世界的な流れだ。

Data about the Fukushima meltdowns is among the most valuable information held by Japan, and it should be shared publicly with the rest of the world.
原発事故について日本がもつデータは、世界が共有して次に生かすべき最たるものだろう。

Not much is known about the effects of exposure to low-dose radiation. It is also true that there are various views and opinions about such exposure itself.
 低線量被曝の影響評価については未知の部分が多い。被曝の受け止め方も様々だ。

Under the guiding principle of putting priority on the interests of residents, the government should spare no effort to ensure that important knowledge and information about the disaster--reviewed and assessed by experts both at home and abroad--will be shared by the entire public.
 「住民の役に立ってこそ」を大原則に、国内外の専門家同士による論評や検証を重ねつつ、知見を国民全体で共有していく努力を怠らないでもらいたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 19

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