核燃料サイクル エネルギー戦略の重要な柱だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 24, 2012)
Nuclear fuel cycle essential to national energy strategy
核燃料サイクル エネルギー戦略の重要な柱だ(6月23日付・読売社説)

The Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission presented several options in its review of the government's policy of reprocessing all spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants around Japan.
 原子力発電所の使用済み核燃料を再処理して使う「核燃料サイクル」政策について、内閣府の原子力委員会が、見直しの選択肢を提示した。

These options are being used in discussions at the government's Energy and Environment Council, which has been reviewing the nation's energy strategy in the wake of last year's crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 昨年の原発事故を受けて、政府のエネルギー・環境会議がエネルギー戦略を再検討している。その議論の材料という。

The commission drafted three options for the treatment of spent nuclear fuel, assuming nuclear power's share of total electricity generated in Japan in 2030 will stand at 0 percent, 15 percent, or 20 percent to 25 percent.
 選択肢は、2030年の原発比率を、0%、15%、20~25%に分け、それぞれの場合について使用済み核燃料の扱いを示した。

The most realistic scenarios are those assuming Japan will continue to use nuclear power. In those scenarios, the commission assumes the nuclear fuel cycle will be continued. We think their contents are based on the nation's conventional atomic energy policy and are reasonable.
 現実的なのは、今後も原発を利用する選択肢である。この場合、核燃料サイクルも継続すると判断しており、これまでの原子力政策を踏まえた妥当な内容だろう。

With the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium resources could be used efficiently and the amount of radioactive waste could be reduced. That is why Japan has long seen reprocessing of all spent nuclear fuel as a national policy.
 核燃料サイクルによって、ウラン資源を有効利用でき、廃棄すべき放射性物質の量を減らせる。日本が全量再処理を国策として位置づけてきたのは、このためだ。

===

Spent fuel disposal proposed

However, if nuclear power's share of the nation's total electricity generation drops to 15 percent, reprocessing all spent fuel will produce more fuel than necessary. In that case, it would be appropriate to dispose of some spent fuel without reprocessing it, such as by burying it underground, the commission said.
 ただ、原発比率が15%まで減れば、全量を再処理しても使い道に困る。このため、原子力委は、再処理しない分を地中に埋めるなど直接処分するのが適切とした。

This is the first time an official assumption has been made that spent fuel would be disposed of--even though the commission said this would only apply to some spent fuel. Since it is hard to imagine the number of nuclear power plants increasing for the time being, a revision of the national policy of reprocessing all spent fuel cannot be avoided.
 一部とはいえ、直接処分を想定したのは今回が初めてだ。原発が増えることは当面考えにくく、国策の修正は、やむを得まい。

As for the scenario in which nuclear power accounts for 0 percent of the nation's electricity supply, all existing spent nuclear fuel would have to be disposed of. But this is unrealistic if Japan's difficult energy situation, without any viable alternative power sources in sight, is taken into consideration.
 一方、使用済み核燃料をすべて直接処分する0%の選択肢は、代替電源の見通しがつかない厳しいエネルギー事情を考えれば、非現実的だ。

It would also be a waste of the valuable reprocessing-related technology that has been developed so far.
これまで培ってきた関連技術も無に帰してしまう。

The Energy and Environment Council is scheduled to reach a conclusion around August. It should set firm positions in the nation's far-reaching energy strategy for the continuation of nuclear power generation and spent fuel reprocessing.
 エネ環会議は、8月にも結論を出す。原発と核燃料サイクルの継続を将来にわたるエネルギー戦略にしっかり位置づけるべきだ。

However, a mountain of problems remain.
 だが、課題も山積している。

The government has to decide at which nuclear power plants reprocessed nuclear fuel should be used while obtaining consent from the communities hosting such plants.
 再処理を経た燃料を、どの原発で燃やすかを、地元の理解も得て決めねばならない。

===

Solid nuclear policy needed

Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.'s reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, which is still under construction, is meant to become the nation's center for nuclear fuel reprocessing. However, the plant is facing technological difficulties as it nears completion.
 核燃料サイクルの拠点として建設中の日本原燃の再処理工場(青森県六ヶ所村)は、完成間際で技術的難関にぶつかっている。

Meanwhile, the Monju test fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture has had its own series of problems, though it is expected to make the nuclear fuel cycle efficient if it begins full-scale operations.
 核燃料サイクルを効率化できる高速増殖炉「もんじゅ」も、トラブルが続いている。

The nation needs a solid nuclear power policy to deal with those difficult challenges.
 確固たる原子力政策なしには、こうした難題に対処できまい。

The Atomic Energy Commission asked the council to take national security into consideration in discussing the options, stressing that an international viewpoint is essential.
 原子力委は、選択肢を巡って、「国際的視点が不可欠」と、安全保障面での検討も求めている。

It is an important aspect of the issue because Japan's reprocessing technology can contribute to nuclear nonproliferation in a world where emerging economies have higher expectations for development of nuclear power plants in their own countries.
 新興国などで原発に期待が高まる中、日本の技術は、核不拡散などにも貢献できるだけに、重要な論点と言えよう。

The bill to create a new independent regulatory commission for nuclear plant safety, which recently passed the Diet, and the revised Atomic Energy Fundamental Law both stipulate that the nation's safety regulation on nuclear plants must contribute to protection of the nation's security. This is a matter of course if the role of nuclear technology is taken into consideration.
 新たに成立した原子力規制委員会設置法と、改正原子力基本法にも「安全保障に資する」の文言が明記された。原子力技術の役割を考えれば、当然のことである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 23, 2012)
(2012年6月23日01時09分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-06-25 07:28 | 英字新聞

<< リオ+20 環境を守る責任は新... 小沢氏造反明言 民主は厳正処分... >>