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福島第1原発事故と地方経済

(Mainichi Japan) April 6, 2011
TEPCO has responsibility for creating jobs in areas hit by crisis at nuclear plant
記者の目:福島第1原発事故と地方経済=森禎行

Workers who are trying to repair reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, which was hit by a massive tsunami triggered by the March 11 killer quake, are drawing worldwide attention. I have covered their work and their sense of mission in which they are working hard to cool down the reactors and prevent radiation leaks while risking their own lives is indeed respectable.
 東京電力福島第1原発(福島県大熊町、双葉町)の事故で、作業にあたる「フクシマの労働者」が世界的に注目されている。私はその作業員たちの取材を続けてきた。命を張った「使命感」はあまりにも尊い。

At the same time, the crisis at the plant demonstrates that the workers have to engage in such dangerous work because the local community relies heavily on the nuclear plant for job opportunities. The regional economy is in such a serious situation.
同時に、その背景に、原発に雇用を頼るがゆえに危険な作業に向かわざるをえない地方経済の深刻さも感じ、胸が痛む。

People living far away from areas affected by the nuclear crisis should also consider ways to create regional communities in which residents can lead their lives without relying on nuclear power plants.
原発に頼らず普通の市民が息づく町づくりを、原発被災地から離れた私たちも考えなければならない。

 ◇地元雇用が東電と国の責務

I went to the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki -- a core city in the Hamadori district along the Pacific coast -- in late March. Many residents in areas around the plant had traveled to the city in order to take shelter there, and workers who were stuck inside the plant were taking brief breaks there.
 私は3月下旬、同県いわき市に入った。太平洋に面した浜通り地方の中核都市だ。原発の周辺住民が避難先として目指し、発電所内に缶詰めだった労働者が休息する場所の一つにもなっていた。

Workers who were allowed to leave the plant after long, harsh work were all tight-lipped. Their long beards and deep wrinkles between their eyebrows illustrated the tough work they were engaged in. The purple-red jerseys they were wearing in place of their contaminated work clothes looked like proof that they were taking a break in a safe place.
 発電所からようやく出てきた労働者は、一様に口が重かった。伸び放題のひげと、険しい眉間(みけん)のしわが作業の過酷さを物語っていた。汚染された作業服に代わって着る赤紫色のジャージーが“安息の地”に移った証しに見えた。

Workers at the plant are based in its special quake-resistant building. They cannot enjoy decent meals or sleep properly in such a building. They also confront invisible radiation at the plant.
 発電所内の彼らは、免震重要棟という閉ざされた建物を拠点とする。満足な食事や睡眠は望むべくもない。そして、目に見えない放射能と向き合う作業。現実を少しずつだが聞いた。

They say they were unable to promptly grasp the situation at the plant because it was changing so often following the disaster. When a hydrogen explosion occurred in the building housing one of the reactors the day after the quake, a 47-year-old employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), who was in the special quake-resistant building, only felt that the vibrations caused by the blast were different from those of a quake. He said he was unable to see through buildings housing reactors that were hundreds of meters away, and learned of the explosion from NHK TV news.
現場でも、刻々と変化する事態はのみ込めなかったという。震災翌日の水素爆発では、免震重要棟にいた東電社員(47)は「地震とは揺れが違うな」と感じる程度だった。数百メートル離れた原子炉建屋が見通せず、つけっ放しのNHKテレビで「これだったのか」と知ったという。

 ◇ここで働く使命感と不安

What struck me was that workers range in age from those in their 20s to 60s. It was about 15 years ago that I, a native of Tokyo, met with a worker at a nuclear power plant for the first time. When I talked with a homeless man, he told me proudly, "I previously worked at a nuclear power plant. I was exposed to radiation, but I'm all right." That encounter gave me the impression that single, middle-aged or elderly people work at nuclear plants.
 印象深かったのは、年齢が20代から60代まで幅広いことだった。東京出身の私が原発労働者に初めて接したのは約15年前。首都圏の野宿者と話す機会があり、「原発で働いた。被ばくしたけど体は大丈夫」と誇らしげに話した。その話から、単身の中高年が作業するイメージが強かった。

This time, I met with many workers who belong to the same generation as mine and are raising children. A 35-year-old TEPCO employee, who was urged to flee the city of Minami-Soma, said he moved shelters three times. "Still, I was relocated on fewer occasions than many others."
 今回、私と同じ子育て世代に多く出会った。南相馬市からの避難を求められた東電社員(35)は「避難所は3カ所移り、私は少ない方」と申し訳なさそうに話した。

When asked why he chose to return to the crippled plant, he said, "I've been engaged in this work," expressing a sense of mission he harbors.
避難先から職場に戻った理由を尋ねると「この仕事に携わってきた」とはっきりした口調で使命感を語った。

At an evacuation shelter in Iwaki, I interviewed many workers who were at the plant when the disaster struck. There are many offices of subcontractors on the premises of the plant, and a total of some 10,000 people were working at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants. I felt that nuclear plants are at the center of many huge towns. The plants are not just dry machines, but need the support of many people to function.
 いわき市内の避難所では、震災当日に発電所にいた多くの労働者を取材した。所内は下請け業者の事務所棟が建ち並ぶ。福島第1、第2を合わせて原発関連で約1万人が働く。巨大な“町”だと改めて感じた。原発は無味乾燥な機械でなく、多くの人の支えで動いていた。

There have been discussions about the risks of radiation leaks from nuclear plants for nearly half a century. Those in favor of nuclear power plants have pointed out that such plants are indispensable in Japan, which is short of natural resources. Opponents have cited their concern about radiation leaks and called for the introduction of substitute energy sources.
 「放射能の危険性」の議論は半世紀近く続いてきた。「原発必要派」は、資源の乏しい日本で不可欠だと強調。「不要派」は「放射能の不安が絶えない」と、代替エネルギーの導入を訴えてきた。

A 37-year-old former employee of a subcontractor, who had worked at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant for nearly 20 years, said he is relieved because he will likely find a new job at another nuclear plant.
"Without nuclear power plants, I would lose my job. I now feel relieved because I've learned I'll probably get a new job at another plant," he said at an evacuation shelter.
 避難所での取材では、福島第1で20年近く勤務した元請け会社社員(37)は「原発が無ければ、仕事は無い。何とか別の原発で働けそうでほっとしている」と話した。

Another employee of a subcontractor in his 30s expressed concern about being forced to work to repair the damaged reactors. "If I'm asked to assist in the work, I'll have no choice but to comply."
別の30代の下請け会社社員は「応援要請を受けたら行かざるをえない」と不安げに話した。

Their statements demonstrate the serious reality of the regional community -- many local residents have no choice but to work at nuclear plants despite fears of radiation exposure. TEPCO has three nuclear power stations -- Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture. All three plants are situated in Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s service area. Nevertheless, all power generated at these plants is sent to TEPCO's service area around Tokyo. TEPCO built its nuclear power plants far away from its headquarters in the capital while claiming that the facilities are safe, and won support from the communities that host the plants by creating many jobs for local residents. However, its claim has collapsed.
 そんな労働者の話を聞き、原発問題の本質は、「放射能の危険を承知で原発で働く」という地方の重い現実だと感じた。東電は福島第1、第2、新潟県の柏崎刈羽の3原発を持つ。いずれも東電の電力供給エリアではなく、東北電力のエリアだ。この3原発で作った電気はすべて首都圏に送られる。東電は「原発は安全」と胸を張りながら東京の本社から遠い地方に立地し、多大な雇用で地元の支持をつなぎとめてきた。今回、その構図は破綻した。

Ironically, TEPCO is required to play an important role in efforts to restore disaster-hit areas. It is one of a few companies that can create numerous job opportunities in rural areas. Since it is clear that the employment situation will worsen in quake- and tsunami-hit areas, TEPCO has a responsibility to create more jobs for local residents. It remains to be seen how the management of the power supplier will be restructured but in any case, it cannot be recognized that the company has fulfilled its responsibility for the crisis at the nuclear plant even if it uses its own money and public funds to pay compensation to those affected. In addition to paying compensation, TEPCO must create work opportunities.
 皮肉にも、今後の復興においても東電の役割は極めて大きい。地方で大きな雇用を生み出せる企業は少ないのだ。現地の雇用情勢が深刻化するのは必至で、東電には雇用に関する責務がある。東電の経営形態がどうなるか不透明だが、公的資金と同社の資金で賠償を行えば済むという話ではない。被災地の未来像を描くためには、補償だけではなく「雇用」が不可欠だ。

 ◇次世代送電網のモデル地区に

TEPCO should cooperate with the national government and other businesses in creating jobs in a bid to help restore quake-hit communities in Fukushima Prefecture. The power supplier has no choice but to dismantle the disaster-hit nuclear power plant that has caused anxiety to local residents. It should create jobs through its work to dismantle the plant, and become a global model of a next-generation power supplier as a symbol of the restoration of disaster-hit areas.
 東電は国や他の産業とも協力し、フクシマの復興に新たな雇用創出で応えてほしい。不安のある原発は、もはや廃炉にするしかない。その作業で雇用をつなぎ、同時に新たな電気産業を、この地から世界に発信することが大きな復興メッセージになる。

Specifically, TEPCO should consider making the region a model area for the introduction of a smart grid -- a next-generation network for efficiently transmitting electric power generated by recyclable energy. The possibility should be pursued that the area will be made a base for the research and development of electric vehicles in a bid to help the regional community that relies heavily on automobiles despite a shortage of gasoline.
具体的には、例えば再生可能エネルギーの効率的な送電が期待されるスマートグリッド(次世代送電網)のモデル地区にしたらどうだろう。ガソリン不足に直面した地方のクルマ社会を克服すべく電気自動車に関する研究開発拠点にすることも考えられる。

I would like to emphasize to TEPCO, "You are needed for the restoration of Fukushima. ("As I see it" by Sadayuki Mori, City News Department)
 東電に求めたい。「フクシマの再生には、東電の力が必要だ」

(東京社会部)

毎日新聞 2011年4月6日 0時06分
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-04-07 04:22 | 英字新聞

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