原発の延命 電力会社次第なのか

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 25
EDITORIAL: Extending life of nuclear reactors should not be left solely up to utilities
(社説)原発の延命 電力会社次第なのか

Japan’s nuclear regulator has endorsed the safety of two reactors that have been in service for more than four decades.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced on Feb. 24 that the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture meet the new safety standards introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 運転開始から40年を超えた関西電力高浜原発1、2号機(福井県)について、原子力規制委員会は、安全対策が新規制基準に適合するとの判断を示した。

The NRA’s verdict has opened the door to an extension of the operating lives of the aging reactors to up to 60 years, one of Kansai Electric’s key goals for its nuclear power generation.
関電がめざす通算60年までの運転延長に道を開くものだ。

A revision to a law following the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has set the legal life of nuclear reactors at 40 years. But one extension by up to 20 years is allowed with NRA approval.
 東京電力福島第一原発の事故を受けた法改正で、原発の運転期間は40年と定められた。ただし、規制委が認めれば、1回だけ最長20年間延長できる制度となった。

To extend the operational lives of the two reactors, the operator must receive several approvals from the NRA. If the NRA decides that the reactors have fulfilled all the related criteria, this will become the first case of an extension of the legal life of reactors under the new system.
 延長が認められるには、さらに規制委での許認可を得る必要がある。すべて通ればこの制度で初の運転延長となる。

The 40-year limit was introduced by the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power when the nuclear disaster occurred, to demonstrate its commitment to weaning Japan from its dependence on atomic energy. It was aimed at ensuring a steady phasing out of nuclear power generation through the decommissioning of aging reactors.
 40年とするルールは、当時の民主党政権が脱原発への姿勢を示し、古い原発から順次退場させるために導入した。

The provision for an extension of the life span was added in response to concerns about possible power shortages due to insufficient capacity.
運転延長の規定は、需給が逼迫(ひっぱく)して停電に陥る恐れなどから盛り込まれた。

But no specific rules have been set with regard to what kind of circumstances should justify permitting extended operations.
しかし、その後、どんな状況で延長を認めるのか、特段の規定はないままとなっている。

What is vital for electric utilities is the economic viability of their nuclear power plants. Five small reactors that are not sufficiently cost-effective under the 40-year limit on operations have been set for retirement.
Of the remaining 43 reactors, 18 units have been in service for more than 30 years. Utilities will apply for permission to run aging reactors beyond the 40-year legal life span if it makes economic sense. Some applications for a longer license have already been filed with the NRA.
 電力会社にとって大切なのは採算だ。40年ルールの下、小型で採算の悪い5基は廃炉としたが、残る43基でも運転30年超が18基を占める。長く使うことが採算に合えば延長を求めるし、すでに申請もしている。

If an extension of the legal life of reactors is approved one after another, the 40-year limit could become meaningless.
 このまま次々と手続きが進めば、40年ルールが形骸化しかねない。

With such decisions, we are concerned that the government’s nuclear energy policy and the energy future of this nation are being defined under the initiative of electric utilities focused on generating profits.
原発政策も、将来のエネルギー社会も、電力会社の都合で決まって良いのか。

Where is the political will that transcends the profit equations of power suppliers?
電力会社の算段を超える政治の意思はないのか。

If aging reactors are allowed to exceed the 40-year life span in rapid succession, the disturbing safety risk posed by a thick cluster of reactors in Fukui Prefecture will not be reduced.
古い原発の運転延長が次々に決まれば集中立地する福井県のリスクが低下しないことにもなる。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly pledged to reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible. The government should make it clear that an extension can be made as an exception.
安倍首相が「原発依存度を可能な限り低減する」と何度も公言してきたのだから、政府は延長を明確に例外と位置づけるべきだ。

Before the harrowing nuclear accident, there was no legal life for nuclear reactors. Initially, electric power companies said the operational life of their reactors was around 30 to 40 years.
 事故前は運転期間の定めはなく、電力各社も当初は「寿命は30~40年」と説明していた。

Later, the former nuclear regulator, which has been replaced by the NRA, introduced a system that allowed utilities to operate reactors for up to 60 years if they submit maintenance plans every 10 years after the 30th year of service. The regulator cited progress in analysis technology as the reason for extending operational licenses for reactors.
その後、旧規制当局は解析技術の向上を理由に30年以降10年ごとに保全計画を出せば、最長60年の運転を認めることにした。

The previous government’s decision to replace this system with the new 40-year rule reflected its will to phase out nuclear power generation in this nation.
 これを40年ルールに切り替えたのは、脱原発への意思である。

Immediately after assuming the post, NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka was skeptical about extending the life of reactors, saying it was “considerably difficult.”
規制委の田中俊一委員長も就任当時は運転延長については「相当困難」と述べてもいた。

In assessing the safety measures Kansai Electric has taken for the reactors at the Takahama plant, however, the NRA has given the green light to the utility’s plan to cover electric cables with a fire-resistant sheet where it is difficult to replace them with flame-retardant cables.
 しかし、高浜原発で規制委は電気ケーブルの防火対策について、難燃性ケーブルへの交換が難しい部分は防火シートで覆うとする関電の方針を認めた。

The NRA’s move has greatly encouraged utilities seeking to gain permission to run reactors past the 40-year limit because this has been a major technical obstacle to meeting the safety standards.
この問題にめどが立ったことで電力各社は勢いづいている。

In his policy speech at the beginning of the current Diet session in January, Abe made no reference to nuclear power generation. Does this indicate that the government will not do anything to stop the growing trend toward longer-term reactor operations?
 安倍首相は今年の施政方針演説で原発に言及しなかった。政府はこのままやり過ごすのか。

If so, the government will act against both the past words of the prime minister concerning the issue and the wishes of many Japanese to see their nation free from nuclear energy.
 それでは、首相の過去の発言にも、多くの国民が求める脱原発にも背くことになる。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-02-26 18:56 | 英字新聞

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