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再処理稼働へ 「原発ゼロ」は青森への背信だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 6, 2012)
'Zero nuclear' policy would betray Aomori govt on reprocessing plant
再処理稼働へ 「原発ゼロ」は青森への背信だ(9月5日付・読売社説)

Japan is aiming to achieve a nuclear fuel cycle that can reuse the spent fuel generated from nuclear power plants.
 日本は、原子力発電所から出る使用済み核燃料を再利用する「核燃料サイクル」政策の実現を目指している。

The reprocessing plant being constructed by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, would be an essential part of this policy, and one major challenge for starting operations at the plant has been overcome.
 日本原燃が青森県六ヶ所村に建設してきた再処理工場は、その要である。稼働へ向け、大きなヤマ場を越えた。

The construction of the plant began in 1993 and has cost more than 2 trillion yen so far.
 1993年に着工し、2兆円以上の建設費が投じられてきた。

The process of vitrifying highly radioactive waste to allow for stable storage had been difficult in the final experimental stages, but test operations have finally succeeded and the plant will be finished after the government completes safety checks and other necessary steps have been taken.
高レベル放射性廃棄物を安定保管するため、ガラスで固める工程が最終試験段階で難航していたが、ようやく試運転に成功した。政府の安全確認などを経て完工する。

The plant is meant to contribute to the efficient use of uranium resources and reduce radioactive waste. We believe it should be put into use as soon as possible.
 ウラン資源の有効活用や放射性廃棄物の減少に貢献する施設である。早期の稼働が求められる。

However, the meandering discussions occurring in the government and ruling Democratic Party of Japan over the shift away from nuclear power are cause for concern. The question of whether the reprocessing plant will ever be started is now up in the air.
 懸念すべきは、政府・民主党の「脱原発」論議の迷走だ。再処理工場を稼働させられるかどうか、それ自体が問題になってきた。

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Immediate consequences

If the "zero nuclear" policy, currently seen as a leading option in the government's Energy and Environment Council, were adopted, the path to reusing spent nuclear waste would be barred. Operating the reprocessing plant would be meaningless.
 政府のエネルギー・環境会議で有力選択肢に浮上している「原発ゼロ」になれば、使用済み核燃料の再利用の道は閉ざされ、工場を動かす意味がなくなる。

The about 3,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel that has already been transferred from nuclear plants around the country to Rokkasho would have no place to go.
 再処理工場に全国の原発から搬入された約3000トンの使用済み核燃料は行き場を失うだろう。

The Aomori prefectural government has demanded, in line with a memorandum exchanged with Japan Nuclear Fuel, that if the plant is not made operational, the spent fuel must be taken back by the power companies operating nuclear plants.
 青森県は、日本原燃と交わした覚書を踏まえ、工場を稼働させない場合は、すべてを各電力会社が引き取るよう求めている。

If this happened, all of the nation's nuclear plants would be filled to capacity with returned spent fuel, which would leave no room even to bring in new nuclear fuel to run the plants. Under such circumstances, no local government would consent to restarting a suspended nuclear reactor.
 そうなれば、各地の原発は戻された使用済み核燃料で満杯となり、交換用の新たな核燃料を持ち込む余地さえなくなる。これでは、立地自治体も、原発を再稼働することに同意はすまい。

This could result in immediate confusion, well ahead of the future goal of "zero nuclear power."
 将来の「原発ゼロ」どころか、直ちに混乱しかねない。

Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura last month submitted a request to the government urging it to show a "realistic and feasible policy course," and questioned the wisdom of the "zero nuclear" option. The governor described the nuclear fuel cycle as "an essential policy to support a nation lacking in natural resources."
 青森県の三村申吾知事は先月、政府に対して「現実的に実行可能な方針」を示すよう求める要望書を提出し、「原発ゼロ」に疑問を呈した。核燃料サイクルについても「資源に乏しいわが国を支える重要な政策」と述べた。

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Govt owes Aomori answer

The governor's requests were apparently aimed at urging the government and the DPJ not to casually adopt the "zero nuclear" policy. We think the governor was quite right to express such views. The government should respond sincerely.
 政府・民主党が安直に「原発ゼロ」政策に転換しないよう、クギを刺したものだろう。当然の見解表明と言える。政府は、青森県に誠実に対応すべきだ。

Reprocessing technology is a right granted to Japan as an exception by the United States, which is sensitive about nuclear proliferation, under the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Energy Agreement. This right would be lost with the "zero nuclear" policy.
 再処理技術は、核拡散に敏感な米国が日米原子力協定で日本に特別に認めた権利でもある。この権利が「原発ゼロ」で失われる。

Nuclear technologies that have been nurtured would surely wane, and no new human resources in this industry would be developed.
 無論、これまで培ってきた原子力の技術が衰退し、新たな人材も育たなくなる。

Recycling spent nuclear fuel under strict controls would also be helpful in preventing the fuel from being converted for military use.
 使用済み核燃料を、厳しい管理の下で確実に再利用することは軍事転用を封じるのに役立つ。

China, South Korea and other countries are expanding their use of nuclear power. We believe the "zero nuclear" option would undermine Japan's voice in the international community.
 中国、韓国などは原発利用を拡大している。「原発ゼロ」は日本の発言力を低下させるだけだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 5, 2012)
(2012年9月5日01時07分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-09-07 06:46 | 英字新聞

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