海水注入問題 原発に政局持ち込むな


(Mainichi Japan) May 24, 2011
LDP should not use nuclear crisis for political maneuvering
社説:海水注入問題 原発に政局持ち込むな

The stern manner in which the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) criticized the government in a recent Diet session for its response to the meltdown at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant suggests that the party is using the crisis for its political maneuvering.
LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki brought up the issue during a House of Representatives special committee meeting on earthquake recovery held on May 23. He pointed out that the injection of seawater into the plant’s crippled No. 1 reactor — which started on the evening of March 12 in a desperate bid to cool down its core — was suspended for 55 minutes.

The opposition leader then cited news reports that the injection was suspended at the instruction of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and worsened the situation.
Kan categorically denied the reports saying he never gave such an instruction because he had not received any report on the seawater injection in the first place. Tanigaki pointed out that his statements and other government officials’ remarks on the matter were inconsistent and held the prime minister responsible for the confusion within his administration.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) began injecting seawater into the reactor at 7:04 p.m. on March 12 — the day after the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit the power station, but suspended it 25 minutes later before resuming it at 8:20 p.m., TEPCO records clearly show. However, Kan, leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and Tanigaki failed to clarify through their debate why the seawater injection was suspended.

This is a good opportunity for the LDP to grill the prime minister over the government’s poor response to the crisis in a bid to throw the administration into disarray. If the LDP were to prove the injection was suspended at the instruction of the prime minister, it could hold him responsible for both giving such an instruction and making a false statement on the matter. It is all the more a good opportunity because the government was already confused over the matter: It once announced that Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan (NSC) Chairman Haruki Madarame had warned of the possibility of the reactor having “recriticality” — a recurrence of nuclear fission reactions — if seawater were to be injected, but later corrected the announcement.

Still, the discussions between the leaders of the two major parties have raised two questions.

The first question is how far the 55-minute suspension of the seawater injection contributed to the worsening of the reactor’s condition.

It is widely believed that most of the fuel in the No. 1 reactor had melted by the morning of March 12 — long before the seawater injection began.


The other question is how far such a debate will adversely affect Japan’s national interests. Discussions on the matter are feared to damage the international community’s confidence in the announcement of the cause of the nuclear crisis and specific measures to bring the crippled plant under control, which Kan will make during the upcoming G8 summit.

Needless to say, it is of great importance to clarify the cause of the nuclear crisis that has worsened to the current state.

To that end, the government should set up an independent third-party fact-finding panel at an early date for the sake of not only Japan but also the world.

TEPCO officials should be asked to testify over why it suspended the injection of seawater into the plant’s No. 1 reactor in a bid to confirm what actually was behind the decision.

It is inevitable for the LDP, as an opposition party, to employ a strategy of pointing out the government’s poor handling of the nuclear crisis while looking for the right time to submit a no-confidence motion against the Kan Cabinet to the powerful House of Representatives.

Still, members of the LDP, which had been in government for nearly half a century and is now aspiring to take over the reins of government from the DPJ, would be better served to discuss how they would respond to the current nuclear crisis and what they would do if the party takes over the reins of government.

毎日新聞 2011年5月24日 2時31分

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: Uncategorized パーマリンク



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