社説:電力政策の未来 国民の主体的な選択で

July 04, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Japan's energy future must be decided by its people
社説:電力政策の未来 国民の主体的な選択で

The people of Japan must soon choose one option from among three mid- and long-term energy policy scenarios -- including levels of reliance on nuclear power ranging from zero to 25 percent -- announced recently by the government's Energy and Environment Council. The government is expected to adopt one of them by the end of August based on a national debate, and map out an "innovative energy and environment strategy" based on it.
 政府のエネルギー・環境会議が、中長期のエネルギー政策に関する三つの選択肢を示した。政府は国民的議論を経て、8月末までに一つに絞り、「革新的エネルギー・環境戦略」としてまとめる。

It will be a crucial choice that will determine the future of Japan. It is necessary to hold calm discussions on the issue and draw a conclusion that will convince every member of the public. To that end, it is indispensable for the government to provide accurate information such that the Japanese people can judge each option on its merits, and to hold discussions that will reflect the popular will.
 日本の将来を左右する重大な選択だ。冷静な議論を重ね、納得いく結論を得る必要がある。それには、国民の判断の基準になる正確な情報提供や、民意を公正に反映する議論の場が不可欠だ。

Under scenarios 1, 2 and 3, the ratio of atomic power to total power consumption in Japan would be lowered to 0 percent, 15 percent and 20-25 percent, respectively, by 2030. Depending on the degree of Japan's dependence on nuclear power, the council estimated how far greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced, how much electricity charges would need to be raised and how much the country's GDP would be impacted.
 30年時点での電力の原子力発電依存度は0%、15%、20?25%の3通り。原発依存度に応じ、温室効果ガスの削減度合いや電気料金の上げ幅、国内総生産(GDP)への影響なども試算している。

However, since each estimated figure has a wide range, the scenarios have not clearly shown how much effect a reduction in nuclear power would have on Japan's economy and the livelihoods of consumers, making it difficult for people to choose between the three options. We urge the council to provide more detailed and understandable information by explaining the basis for its calculations, the specific effects of a reduction in nuclear power on various fields, and other clarifications.
 もっとも、そうした試算値には大きな幅があり、影響の大きさは見えにくい。これでは国民が選択するのも難しい。算定の根拠を詳しく説明したり、さまざまな分野で生じる影響を実感しやすい形で示すなど、より丁寧な情報提供を求めたい。

The government views Scenario 2 as the most realistic option because it calls for a mid-level reduction in atomic power and meshes with government policy to shut down reactors after 40 years of service. However, as the government is supposed to work out its new energy and environment policy based on national debate, it must not lead public opinion into supporting the scenario it favors.
 政府は、原発依存度を15%にする案を有力視している。三つの選択肢の中間に位置し、政府が掲げる原発の「40年廃炉規定」をベースにしているからだ。しかし、「国民的議論」を前提とするからには、「結論ありき」で、民意を誘導することがあってはならない。

As part of national debate on Japan's future energy and environment policy, the government will hold its first so-called deliberative poll, ask members of the general public to submit their opinions and hold information sessions on the issue across Japan. In deliberative polls, randomly selected members of the public are surveyed on specific issues and invited to participate in debate sessions. Afterwards, they are queried again to see how their opinions have changed. This method, which makes it possible to tap a wide range of views from those who would not usually voice their opinions, is reportedly effective in getting a detailed view of public sentiment.
 政府は、パブリックコメントの募集や全国での説明会に加え、今回初めて「討論型世論調査(DP)」を実施する。選択肢に関する世論調査を行い、回答者から討論会への参加者を募って、討論の前後で意見がどう変わったかを調査する手法だ。積極的に意見を表明しない層の意見をくみ上げられるなど、きめ細かく民意を探るのに適しているという。

In the past, many town meetings on specific policy issues and hearings on nuclear power policy have been criticized as unfair, as their organizers apparently attempted to lead public opinion with staged questions and stacked audiences. The management of the government's deliberative poll on energy and environment policy will be left to the discretion of a third-party panel to be set up shortly. The results of the survey will not win public trust unless the government ensures transparency through appointing appropriate experts to the panel and disclosing in full how the poll will operate.
 これまで、民意を政策に反映させるためのタウンミーティングや原子力政策を巡る公聴会では、やらせや不公正な運営が、しばしば問題になった。DPの運営は、新たに発足させる第三者委員会に委ねられる。委員の人選に意を尽くし、途中経過も公表するなど公正で透明性の高い運営を確保しなければ、結果への信頼は得られないだろう。

Questions remain as to the three scenarios themselves. Even if Scenario 2, which calls for a reduction in Japan's reliance on atomic power to 15 percent, is adopted, the ratio could be further reduced if some nuclear plants must be decommissioned for safety reasons before they hit 40 years in operation. None of the scenarios posit an energy and environmental vision for beyond 2030.
 今回の選択肢そのものにも問題は残る。軸になりそうな原発依存度「15%」は、立地条件などで耐用年数前に停止すべき原発があれば、引き下げ可能なはずだ。30年以降の将来像も見通せない。

Regarding how to deal with spent nuclear fuel, scenarios 2 and 3 leave all possible options open, including full recycling.
 また、使用済み核燃料の処理については、依存度0%の場合を除き、全量再処理を含むあらゆる可能性が残されたままだ。

This is a good opportunity for members of the general public to proactively choose their nation's policy. They should ask the government to clarify what they do not fully understand, and make a feasible choice that will guarantee Japan's energy security and protect the environment on a long-term basis.
 国民にとっては、自ら主体になって選択する大切な機会だ。疑問は政府にしっかりとただし、将来に責任を持てる結論につなげたい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-06 06:22 | 英字新聞

<< 自然エネルギー―普及急ぎ新しい社会へ 民主党分裂―公約を鍛え直す契機に >>