「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

核燃料の処分―国の責任で新戦略を

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 20
EDITORIAL: New strategy needed for disposal of spent nuclear fuel
核燃料の処分―国の責任で新戦略を

To build a safe society that does not rely on nuclear power, it is necessary for the government not only to lower the ratio of nuclear power to overall electricity generation but also to show clearly that Japan will withdraw from the “nuclear fuel cycle” program.
 原発に依存しない安心な社会をつくっていく。そのためには、発電全体での原発比率を下げるだけでなく、核燃料サイクルからの明確な撤退方針を示すことが必要だ。

The Energy and Environmental Council comprising related Cabinet members is set to decide the direction of Japan’s future energy policy at the end of August. As the ratio of dependence on nuclear energy in 2030, it is studying three scenarios of zero percent, 15 percent and 20 to 25 percent.
 関係閣僚による「エネルギー・環境会議」は8月末、今後のエネルギー政策の方向性を決める。2030年での原発依存比率は、0%、15%、20~25%の選択肢を検討している。

The council will also decide disposal methods for spent nuclear fuel at the same time. Storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel are problems that stand in the way even when nuclear power plants are closed down. Japan is now at a major crossroads.
 その際、使用済み燃料の処分方法も決める。原発を止めても立ちはだかる使用済み燃料の保管・処分問題をどうするか。日本は今、大きな岐路に立つ。

The nuclear fuel cycle program, in which all spent nuclear fuel is reprocessed to extract plutonium and use it as fuel, has been the core of Japanese nuclear power policy.
 使用済み燃料をすべて再処理し、プルトニウムをとり出して燃料として使う。この全量再処理・核燃料サイクルが日本の原子力政策の要となってきた。

The council presented the view that if Japan were to completely abolish nuclear power by adopting the “zero percent” case, it should not reprocess the spent nuclear fuel but bury it underground. In the remaining two cases, the methods of burying it and reprocessing it are both possible, according to the council. However, it should not make such half-baked conclusions but clearly shift gears from reprocessing it to burying it.
 エネルギー・環境会議は、原発ゼロなら全量を再処理せず、地下に埋設する直接処分が妥当で、あとの二つの場合は直接処分と再処理の両方があり得るとの見方を示している。だが、中途半端な結論にせず、再処理路線から直接処分の方向へ、明確にかじを切るべきだ。

From now, it is unlikely that Japan would build more nuclear power plants, meaning consumption of uranium fuel will drop. Under such circumstances, it is unreasonable to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and use relatively expensive plutonium.
 今後の日本では、原発を増やすことは考えにくい。ウラン燃料の使用量が減るのに、わざわざ再処理して割高のプルトニウムを使うのは合理的でない。

If Japan aims at massive use of plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons, even though it does not pay, it may prompt other countries to follow its example and reprocess spent nuclear fuel. If that happens, it would have a negative impact on global efforts toward nuclear nonproliferation.
 日本が、経済的に見合わないのに、核兵器の材料ともなるプルトニウムの大規模利用をめざせば、それをまねて再処理に動く国が続出しかねない。そうなれば世界の核不拡散体制にも悪影響を与える。

That is all the more why we believe it would be wiser not to reprocess spent nuclear fuel but to bury it underground after keeping it in temporary storage facilities for several decades.
 だからこそ、使用済み燃料を再処理せず、数十年の間、中間貯蔵したあと直接処分するのが、得策と考える。

If we choose to bury it, however, spent nuclear fuel, which is supposedly a “valuable resource,” will suddenly become “worthless garbage.” As a result, the method, in which a private company handles spent nuclear fuel as a business, will hit a wall.
 ただ、この直接処分路線を選ぶと、「価値ある資源」だった使用済み燃料は一転して「価値のないごみ」になる。その結果、民間企業がビジネスとして使用済み燃料を扱う方式はいずれ、壁にぶつかるだろう。

To avoid that, it is indispensable for the government to come to the fore and present a mid- to long-term strategy.
 そこで、国が前面にたって中長期的な戦略をたてることが不可欠だ。

The government needs to advance the construction of temporary storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel, carry out research and development for burying it and find sites for the final disposal. It also needs to consider the nationalization of those projects. In Europe as well as the United States, instead of leaving the handling of spent nuclear fuel in the hands of private companies, governments are taking the initiative.
 使用済み燃料の中間貯蔵施設の建設、最終処分の研究開発、最終処分地探しなどを、事業の国有化も含めて、国が責任を持って進めていくことだ。欧米諸国も、使用済み燃料の扱いを民間企業にあずけず、国が前面に出て取り組んでいる。

Many difficult problems need to be resolved, such as providing alternative pump-priming measures to Aomori Prefecture, which hosts nuclear fuel cycle facilities, and finding new businesses for Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., which has been reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. They are all serious problems that weigh heavily and can only be shouldered by the government as Japan follows the path to a nuclear-free country.
 核燃料サイクル施設がある青森県での代替の振興策や、再処理ビジネスをしてきた日本原燃の業務転換など、難題は多い。だが、いずれも、脱原発依存への途上で、国しか担いきれない重い任務である。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-22 08:03 | 英字新聞

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