「もんじゅ」 安全意識の抜本改革が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 18, 2013
JAEA must drastically improve its safety awareness on Monju
「もんじゅ」 安全意識の抜本改革が必要だ(5月17日付・読売社説)

The de facto “operation ban” to be ordered for the prototype fast-breeder reactor is extremely serious.
 事実上の「運転禁止」となる深刻な事態だ。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to order the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to suspend preparations for resuming operations at its trouble-plagued prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju in Fukui Prefecture. The decision was made because of slipshod inspections of the reactor.
 福井県にある高速増殖炉「もんじゅ」に対し、原子力規制委員会が、運転再開に向けた作業の停止を命じることを決めた。あまりに点検がずさんだったためだ。

The JAEA, which operates Monju, reported to the Secretariat of the NRA in January this year that the agency had failed to check about 10,000 parts of the reactor during its inspections. Furthermore, the secretariat’s on-site inspection later found the agency had even failed to check important equipment such as an emergency power device.
 今年1月、「もんじゅ」を運営する日本原子力研究開発機構が約1万件の点検漏れがあったことを原子力規制庁に報告した。さらに、その後の規制庁の立ち入り検査で、非常用電源機器など重要設備の点検漏れも判明した。

Inspections of equipment are fundamental to ensuring safety. The JAEA, which is the core organization for nuclear research in this country, seems to have adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward the basics.
 設備の点検は、安全確保の根幹だ。原子力研究の中核組織である原子力機構で、その基本がないがしろにされていたことになる。

It is inevitable for the agency to come under severe criticism.
 厳しい措置はやむを得まい。

Monju is a key reactor for development of a nuclear fuel cycle to effectively utilize uranium resources.
 もんじゅは、ウラン資源を有効活用する核燃料サイクル開発の要となる原子炉だ。

The reactor, however, was suspended for more than 10 years due to a sodium coolant leak in 1995 shortly after a test operation. Operations were resumed in 2010, but were suspended once more after a nuclear fuel in-vessel transfer machine fell. Many people are expressing doubts about the cost of the reactor as a budget of nearly 1 trillion yen has been spent on it so far.
 試験運転から間もない1995年のナトリウム漏れ事故で10年以上、止まった。2010年に運転を再開したが、核燃料交換装置の落下事故で停止が続いている。1兆円近い予算が投じられていることを問題視する声もある。

The agency must handle the reactor in a way that does not cause the public to further lose trust in it.
 だからこそ、信頼を損なうことのない運営が求められよう。

Unbelievable remark

Despite the situation, JAEA President Atsuyuki Suzuki reportedly said during the NRA Secretariat’s hearings, “It is inevitable for mistakes to be made while we carry out formalities.”
 それにもかかわらず、原子力機構の鈴木篤之理事長は、規制庁の聴取に対し、「形式的ミスはやむを得ない」と述べたという。

This is an unbelievable statement as it comes from an expert who once served as chairman of the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. He seems to have little sense of responsibility in ensuring the safety of nuclear power.
 旧原子力安全委員会の委員長まで務めた専門家の発言とは思えない。原子力の安全確保に対する責任感が希薄なのではないか。

Were there no problems in the frequency and methods of the inspections? The activities of the agency should be thoroughly examined to clarify where the problems lie. It is also important to verify whether adequate funds were appropriately secured to ensure optimal allocation of staff, as well as for the inspections.
 点検の頻度、方法に問題はなかったのか。課題を洗い出す必要がある。人員配置や点検に要する予算の確保が適切だったのか、検証することも重要である。

With the idling of Monju, criticism has been raised over the research and development of nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle. Under the circumstances, measures must be put in place to keep up the morale of the Monju and related staff.
 もんじゅが動かず、原子力や核燃料サイクルの研究開発に批判が出る中、職員の士気を低下させない対策も求められよう。

Nuclear fuel cycle

Asked about the nuclear fuel cycle at a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee on Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Japan possesses a high level of nuclear fuel cycle technology. Japan will cooperate with other countries to continue to promote the cycle.”
 安倍首相は13日の参院予算委員会で、核燃料サイクルについて問われ、「日本は高い技術を有しており、世界と連携し、継続して進めていく」と明言した。

This is a reasonable view if we consider it from the standpoint of the energy security of Japan, a resource-thirsty country.
資源に乏しい日本のエネルギー安全保障を考えれば、もっともな見解だ。

Abe also pointed out, “Each country has been struggling with how to handle spent nuclear fuel.” A fast-breeder reactor can efficiently burn radioactive substances in spent nuclear fuel. This specific reactor should be positioned as the main pillar of the nuclear fuel cycle.
 首相は、「使用済み核燃料への対応に各国が悩んでいる」とも指摘した。高速増殖炉は使用済み核燃料中の放射性物質を効率的に燃やせる。今後も、核燃料サイクルの柱に位置付けるべきだ。

The NRA reportedly will not lift its suspension order until the JAEA confirms it has undergone organizational reforms. To avoid the operation ban being prolonged, the NRA must give the JAEA concrete instructions on what reforms it should carry out to ensure Monju’s operations resume in the near future.
 規制委は、原子力機構の体質改善を確認するまで命令を解除しない方針という。いたずらに「運転禁止」が長引かないよう、規制委は再開を前提に、改革すべき項目を具体的に指示すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2013)
(2013年5月17日01時16分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-05-19 08:06 | 英字新聞

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