エネルギー政策 「脱原発」の大衆迎合を排せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 26, 2012)
Parties should base N-policies on realism, not popular emotions
エネルギー政策 「脱原発」の大衆迎合を排せ(11月25日付・読売社説)

 ◆電力安定確保の観点で選択を◆

How should Japan achieve a stable supply of power, which is indispensable for people’s livelihoods and economic growth? Energy policies will become a major issue in the House of Representatives election to be held Dec. 16.
 国民生活と経済成長に不可欠な電力をどのように安定的に確保するか。衆院選でエネルギー政策は大きな争点となる。

Nuclear power policies by the ruling and opposition parties have come under the spotlight due to the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を受け、各党の原発政策が注目される。

It will be difficult to resolve many issues facing Japan, a country poor in natural resources, if the nation is divided simply between two camps–those seeking the abandonment of nuclear power and those wanting to keep it. All parties should hold in-depth discussions on the issue from various points of view, ranging from the economy and employment to the global environment and nuclear nonproliferation.
 「脱原発」か、否か、という単純な二項対立では、資源小国・日本の諸課題を解決できない。各党は景気や雇用、地球環境、核不拡散など多角的な視点から、地に足の着いた論戦を展開すべきだ。

 ◆無責任な民主党の公約◆

The Fukushima crisis has resulted in the public becoming increasingly anxious over the safety of nuclear reactors. The government has to take all possible measures to boost their safety and prevent a similar crisis from occurring.
 福島の事故で原発の安全に対する国民の不安は高まった。原発の安全性を向上させ、再発防止に万全を期さなければならない。

Considering that Japan’s self-sufficiency in energy stands at just 4 percent, it is unrealistic for the nation to immediately abandon nuclear power, which supplies about 30 percent of the nation’s electricity.
 エネルギー自給率が4%の日本が、全電源の約3割を占める原発をただちに放棄するのは非現実的だ。

The nation’s system for supplying electricity–often described as the “lifeblood of the economy”–would be weakened if the government gets emotionally carried away by attempts to ditch nuclear power generation. Such a stance could create problems for the nation’s economy in the future.
 ムードに流されて安易に脱原発に走れば、「経済の血液」である電力供給が弱体化する。日本経済の将来に禍根を残しかねない。

In campaigning for the election, each party should be aware that Japan stands at a crossroads in making an important choice–so should voters in casting their ballots.
 各党と有権者は、重大な選択の岐路に立っていることを自覚して選挙に臨む必要がある。

It is a cause of concern that so many parties advocate denuclearization. We suspect they are just making policy promises that appeal to voters to win more support by taking advantage of people’s anxiety over nuclear power generation.
 懸念されるのは脱原発を掲げる政党が目立つことだ。国民の不安に乗じて支持拡大を狙う大衆迎合ではないか。

===

DPJ’s irresponsible pledge

When compiling its manifesto for the upcoming general election, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan reportedly will include a target of “zero nuclear power plants” operating in the 2030s–a policy stated by the government’s Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment. However, this strategy is flawed, because it fails to take into account the serious blow denuclearization would have on the nation’s economy, and it is troubling that the DPJ would base a campaign pledge on it.
 民主党は政府が「革新的エネルギー・環境戦略」で打ち出した2030年代の「原発ゼロ」を、政権公約(マニフェスト)に盛り込むという。経済への打撃を軽視した、欠陥だらけの「戦略」をそのまま公約するのは問題だ。

Under the zero-nuclear power policy by the DPJ-led government, most nuclear power reactors’ operations have remained suspended. Moreover, Japan’s national wealth has been flowing out of the country at a rate of 3 trillion yen every year because of a surge of imports of liquefied natural gas and other fuel at a time when power suppliers are walking on a tightrope by operating aging thermal power plants at full capacity.
 民主党政権の「脱原発路線」の影響で、ほとんどの原発が再稼働できていない。老朽化した火力発電所をフル稼働する綱渡りの中、液化天然ガス(LNG)など燃料の輸入が急増し、年3兆円もの国富が流出し続けている。

Japan’s industrial hollowing-out is accelerating as more and more companies move their factories overseas. This has had a serious impact on the nation’s employment. However, the DPJ has done insufficient soul-searching over its own political missteps in the electricity field.
 工場が海外移転する産業空洞化も加速し、国内雇用は危機に直面している。民主党は自らの“電力失政”への反省が足りない。

Shinzo Abe, president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, has criticized the DPJ as “really irresponsible” by proposing a zero-nuclear power policy. It is reasonable for the LDP–as a party aiming to return to power–to make clear in its campaign platform that an LDP government would take responsibility in reactivating nuclear reactors once their safety has been scientifically proved.
 自民党の安倍総裁は、民主党の「原発ゼロ」方針を「極めて無責任だ」と批判した。科学的に安全性が確認できた原発は政府が責任を持って再稼働させると明言したのは、政権復帰を目指す責任政党として妥当な姿勢である。

However, the LDP’s election platform states that the nation’s energy source structure for mid- and long terms should be mapped out in the next 10 years. This shows it badly lacks a sense of urgency.
 自民党の公約が、中長期的なエネルギー構成を10年かけて決めるとしているのはスピード感に欠ける。

The party must hammer out a clear-cut approach to effectively utilizing nuclear power generation. At the same time, it is essential to study ways to adequately dispose of radioactive waste.
原発を有効活用する明確な方針を打ち出すべきだ。あわせて核廃棄物の処理について検討を進めることが欠かせない。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), which showed how eager it was to form a “third political force” to take on the DPJ and the LDP when it merged with former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s Taiyo no To (The Sunrise Party), made the right decision by saying it would abandon its policy of “eliminating nuclear power generation altogether in the 2030s.”
 民主、自民の両党に次ぐ「第3極」を目指す日本維新の会が、石原慎太郎前東京都知事の率いる太陽の党と合流した際、「30年代に原発全廃」の従来方針を取り下げたのは結構な判断だった。

However, Ishin no Kai’s new energy platform, which calls for nothing more than “building a new supply-demand framework of energy,” is regrettably equivocal.
 だが、新たな政策が「新しいエネルギー需給体制の構築」というだけでは、あいまい過ぎる。

===

Renewable resources can’t fill bill
 ◆再生エネ過信は禁物だ◆

Other parties, such as People’s Life First and the Japanese Communist Party, have argued for the immediate or early cessation of the nation’s nuclear power generation.
 一方、即時あるいは早期の原発ゼロを主張するのが、国民の生活が第一や共産党などである。

Foes of nuclear power generation have insisted this country’s need for electricity can be met without nuclear power plants on the ground that there was no blackout during the peak power consumption period in summer. Their argument, however, ignores such adverse consequences as the decline in the nation’s production and hikes in electricity rates.
 反原発派は夏のピーク時に停電しなかったため「原発なしで電気は足りる」と主張するが、生産停滞や電力料金の上昇などの悪影響を無視した的外れな見解だ。

The parties calling for the abandonment of nuclear power generation lack sincerity if they fail to explain to the voters the negative impacts that would accompany such a move.
 脱原発のマイナス面も率直に有権者に示して選択を求める誠実な姿勢が求められる。

As alternative sources of energy, most parties have stressed the importance of such renewable energy sources as solar power and wind power.
 ほとんどの党は、原発の代替電源として太陽光や風力など再生可能エネルギーを挙げる。

Although we would like to see the proliferation of such resources, renewable energy sources, with the exception of hydroelectric power generation, currently account for little more than 1 percent of the country’s entire electricity output. It is far too optimistic to believe renewable energy sources would grow into a major source of electricity large enough in the near future to replace nuclear power generation.
再生エネの普及に期待したいが、水力を除けば全発電量の1%強にすぎない。すぐに原発に代わる主要電源に育つと見るのは甘すぎる。

The dearth of electricity, at least for now, cannot help but be addressed by the augmentation of thermal power generation using such fuels as coal and LNG.
 当面は石炭やLNGなど火力発電の増強で対応せざるを得まい。

It is nothing but an expedient, opportunist line of argument to advocate the abandonment of nuclear power while failing to mention such environmental problems as increases in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution due to an expansion of thermal power generation.
火力発電の増加による温室効果ガス排出や大気汚染など、環境問題に触れずに、「脱原発」を唱えるのはご都合主義である。

The lessons left behind by the two “oil shocks” in the 1970s and early 1980s, in which Japan, heavily dependent on oil for power generation, could have faced blackouts. It is imperative to secure a wide range of energy alternatives, including nuclear power generation.
 発電燃料を原油に頼り、停電の危機に陥った石油ショックの教訓は重い。原発を含む多様な電源の選択肢を持つことが大切だ。

===

Diplomatic, security ramifications
 ◆外交・安保にも影響が◆

The zero-nuclear power policy of the government and the DPJ has puzzled the United States and European countries as it appears to contradict the government’s stance of promoting at the same time the nation’s nuclear fuel recycling program.
 政府・民主党の「原発ゼロ」方針には、核燃料サイクルを同時に進める矛盾について欧米から疑問が呈された。

Washington, for that matter, has expressed strong concern that impediments may arise to ensuring the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation.
米国は原子力の平和利用や核不拡散に支障が出かねないとして、強い懸念を示した。

This is because spent nuclear fuel, if unused for power generation purposes after being reprocessed, would continue to be amassed, meaning that Japan’s stockpile of plutonium, which can be diverted for the production of nuclear weapons, would keep increasing.
 再処理した核燃料を発電に使わないと、核兵器に転用できるプルトニウムの保有量が、再処理で増え続けることになるからだ。

There could even be a possibility of this country losing both the special right to stockpile plutonium as stipulated by the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Power Cooperation Agreement and the nation’s status as a partner of the United States in its nuclear policy in Asia.
 日米原子力協定で認められているプルトニウム保有という特別な権利も、アジアにおける米核政策のパートナーの地位も、日本は同時に失う恐れがある。

From the standpoint of the nation’s diplomatic and security priorities, the irresponsible argument for eliminating nuclear power generation must be abandoned.
外交・安全保障の観点からも、安易な「脱原発」は避けるべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2012)
(2012年11月25日01時19分 読売新聞)

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srachai について

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

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