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2014年7月 4日 (金)

核廃棄物処分 「針路なき航海」から脱しよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nuclear waste disposal plans must not remain ‘aimlessly adrift’
核廃棄物処分 「針路なき航海」から脱しよう

Deciding on disposal sites for “high-level radioactive waste” that comes from spent nuclear fuel at nuclear power plants is a pressing matter.
 原子力発電所の使用済み核燃料から出る「高レベル放射性廃棄物」の処分場の立地選定は、喫緊の課題である。

Shunsuke Kondo has been appointed president of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), the entity overseeing the selection of the sites and the construction of the disposal facilities. Kondo was previously chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Eight of NUMO’s top 10 executives were replaced at the start of this month, including the previous president, who left his position before his tenure was up.
 処分場建設を担う原子力発電環境整備機構(NUMO)の新理事長に近藤駿介・前原子力委員長が就任した。任期途中で退任した前理事長を含め、役員10人のうち8人が交代した。

In a report compiled in May, an expert committee of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry detailed problems in the lack of progress made in the drawn-out process of selecting candidate sites for disposal facilities since NUMO was established in 2000. The report blasted the process as being “aimlessly adrift on the ocean.”
 経済産業省の有識者委員会は、5月にまとめた報告書で、2000年のNUMO設立以来、処分場の候補地選定が遅々として進まないことを問題視し、「針路なき航海」と厳しく批判していた。

Bringing new faces to the executive lineup was a response to this criticism. For all intents and purposes, the move marks a fresh start. This reborn NUMO must work closely with the government to deepen public understanding of the disposal issue and make progress in selecting sites to host these facilities.
 役員刷新は、これを踏まえたものだ。事実上の出直しである。新生NUMOは、政府と連携し、処分場問題への国民の理解を広げ、選定を前進させる必要がある。

As a professor at the University of Tokyo, Kondo researched nuclear safety topics. When he was head of the Atomic Energy Commission, he visited many parts of the nation to hold talks with residents and local authorities to broaden his knowledge of the disposal facility construction problem.
 近藤氏は、東大教授として、原子力安全に関する研究に携わってきた。原子力委員長在任時には、処分場建設への理解を得るため、各地を訪れ、自治体や住民との対話に取り組んだ。

At a press conference after being appointed to his NUMO post, Kondo indicated he planned to speed up efforts to make progress on this matter. “The nuclear waste problem should be resolved by the generation that created it and has responsibility for it. I won’t leave it for future generations to deal with,” he said. We have high expectations for Kondo’s leadership on this matter.
 就任の記者会見では、「廃棄物の問題は、発生した世代の責任で解決すべきだ。後世に残さない」と、取り組みを加速する方針を示した。指導力に期待したい。

Lessons from abroad

Other nations have compiled plans to bury spent nuclear fuel and the high-level radioactive waste generated when it is disposed about 500 meters underground. By isolating this waste deep underground, its strong radiation can be blocked off for a very long time.
 使用済み核燃料や、これを処理した際に生じる高レベル放射性廃棄物については、各国とも、地下500メートル前後に埋設する方針を掲げている。地下に隔離し、強い放射線を長期にわたって遮る。

Finland and Sweden have already decided on their proposed disposal sites for nuclear waste. The business entities that will handle the disposal have earned the trust of residents in these areas by frequently explaining what the process entails. The governments in these nations also have carefully explained that the disposal sites will be safe and have taken other steps to reassure the public. This proactive support by these governments has been instrumental in getting the wheels turning on this issue.
 フィンランドやスウェーデンでは、既に処分場予定地が決まっている。処分を担う企業体が地域住民への説明を重ねて信頼関係を築いた。政府も、処分場の安全性を丁寧に解説するなど、積極的に支援してきたことが大きい。

The lack of such efforts by the government in Japan is the cause of the long delay in selecting disposal sites here.
 こうした姿勢を欠いたことが、日本の遅れの原因だろう。

Based on the law regarding final disposal of radioactive waste, Japan employs a method of selecting disposal sites from cities, towns and villages that have offered to host such facilities.
 日本では、特定放射性廃棄物最終処分法に基づき、応募のあった市町村の中から処分地を選ぶ方式を採用している。

In 2007, the town of Toyo in Kochi Prefecture came forward as a candidate site to host a disposal facility, but it eventually withdrew its application as opposition to the plan spread among local residents. NUMO and the government were unable to come up with effective support for the town.
 07年に高知県東洋町が候補地として名乗りを上げた際には、町内で反対運動が拡大し、結局、町は応募を取り下げた。NUMOや政府は、町への効果的な支援を打ち出すことができなかった。

In its basic energy plan released in April, the government said the state “will take leadership and strengthen its effort to find proper solutions for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste.”
 政府は4月のエネルギー基本計画で「国が前面に立って処分場選定に取り組む」との方針を示した。

From now on, the government will narrow down the list of possible sites based on geological conditions and other criteria, and revise its method for encouraging municipalities to apply to host disposal facilities.
今後、政府が地質状況などから有望地を絞り込んだうえで、市町村に応募を促す方式に改める。

Many nuclear plants in Japan already have no more room to store spent nuclear fuel.
 国内には、使用済み核燃料が既に満杯状態の原発も多い。

The government should quickly put a framework in place for selecting candidate sites to host final disposal facilities.
 政府は、候補地選定に向けた体制整備を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2014)

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