「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

もんじゅ やはり廃炉にすべきだ

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 22
EDITORIAL: There is simply no reason to continue Monju reactor program
(社説)もんじゅ やはり廃炉にすべきだ

An expert council on the Monju fast-breeder reactor program started debate last week on a draft report it will submit to the science and technology ministry.
 高速増殖原型炉「もんじゅ」(福井県敦賀市)について検討している文部科学省の有識者検討会が先週、報告書案の議論に入った。

The panel’s work is a response to the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s recommendation last year that the operator of the troubled experimental reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, should be replaced.
After a series of revelations about omitted safety inspections and other problems, the NRA in November urged science and technology minister Hiroshi Hase to find a new entity to replace the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency as the reactor’s operator.
 機器の点検漏れなどが次々と発覚したため、原子力規制委員会が昨年11月、原子力研究開発機構(原子力機構)に代わる運営主体を探すよう馳浩・文科相に勧告した。それを受けての作業である。

But the council’s draft report, released on May 20, doesn’t name a candidate for the mission. It only mentions a set of conditions the new operator should fulfill, which are nothing new and all part of conventional wisdom.
It says, for instance, the new operator should have “the ability to develop and implement operation and maintenance plans based on the characteristics of the reactor that is still in the experimental stage.” It also says the new operator should be able to respond appropriately to the interests and needs of society.
 しかし、報告書の原案は具体的な運営主体について記さず、「研究開発段階炉の特性を踏まえた保全計画の策定・遂行能力がある」「社会の関心・要請を適切に反映できる」など、当たり前で従来も言われてきた条件を示すにとどまった。

The draft report also points to the failure of a series of reforms that have been carried out to save the trouble-plagued program. It offers no reason to believe this time is different and the proposed replacement of the operator will bring about sufficient improvements in the management of the Monju.
 案は「これまで繰り返し改革に取り組んできたが、十分な成果が上がっていない」とも指摘する。今回に限って改革が成功し、もんじゅの管理が十分改善される理屈は見当たらない。

The fast-breeder reactor requires as much as 20 billion yen ($182 million) in annual maintenance costs. In addition, there is not even an estimate of the certainly huge costs for necessary safety measures.
All these facts make a compelling case for decommissioning the reactor.
 年間200億円もの維持費がかかり、巨額になるのが必至の安全対策費は現時点で試算すら出せていない。もんじゅは、やはり廃炉にすべきだ。

The biggest problem, as some members of the ministry panel have noted, is the lack of serious debate on the cost-effectiveness of the Monju program.
 最大の問題は検討会でも指摘が出た通り、費用対効果の議論をしていない点だ。

Who needs this program and how strong is the need? How much more money is the government ready to spend to develop and operate the reactor? These and other key questions about whether the program makes economic sense have been left unaddressed.
 もんじゅを誰がどれほど必要としていて、運転のためにどれだけのお金を投じる用意があるのか。その検討がすっぽりと抜け落ちている。

The Monju is now in a precarious position even in the government’s nuclear energy policy.
 もんじゅはいまや、国の原子力政策でも微妙な存在だ。

The reactor was once touted as the core facility for the government’s plan to establish a nuclear fuel recycling system in which plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel is burned in a fast-breeder reactor.
 かつては、原発の使用済み核燃料からプルトニウムを取り出し、高速増殖炉で燃やす核燃料サイクル実現に向けた中核的施設という位置づけだった。

For more than two decades since a sodium coolant leak accident in 1995, however, the Monju has remained mostly idle.
Over the period, the need for a nuclear fuel recycling system has kept diminishing. There are now few people in the private sector calling for the development of a fast-breeder reactor.
 だが、1995年のナトリウム漏れ事故以来20年以上もほとんど運転できていない、その間に核燃料サイクルの必要性は薄れる一方で、民間に高速増殖炉を望む声はないに等しい。

When it drew up a research plan using the Monju three years ago, the science and technology ministry had to focus on the topic of nuclear waste disposal rather than fast-breeder reactor technology itself.
3年前に文科省がまとめたもんじゅ研究計画では、高速炉より廃棄物対策での研究を前面に打ち出すしかなかった。

Still, the government has refused to pull the plug on the Monju program because it is concerned about possible repercussions on its nuclear fuel recycling policy as a whole.
 それでも、政府がもんじゅの旗を降ろさないのは、核燃料サイクルに影響が及ぶことを警戒しているからだ。

But this vision is now almost a fantasy. If the government admits this fact, however, the issue of how to dispose of the large amounts of spent nuclear fuel stored at nuclear power plants across the nation will no doubt come under the spotlight.
 しかし、サイクルはもはや虚構に近い。政府がそう認めれば、各地の原発が抱える大量の使用済み燃料の処理問題が一気にクローズアップされるのが必至だ。

Continuing the Monju program simply to gloss over this grim reality would be too foolish.
それをごまかそうともんじゅを抱え続けるのでは、あまりに問題が大きい。

A small experimental reactor is enough and more efficient for use in research in nuclear waste disposal, which is still in a rudimentary stage. The need for such research offers no rationale for keeping the Monju program alive.
 廃棄物処理の研究は基礎段階だから小型実験炉で十分だし、その方が効率的だ。もんじゅを延命する理由にはならない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-05-24 10:31 | 英字新聞

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