- Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant must be shut down - 浜岡原発を止めよ

Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant must be shut down
(Mainichi Japan, column)

Http__en_wikipedia_org_wiki_hamao_2  
Chubu Electric Power Co. should shut down its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant. Its security standards no longer hold water, and I want Japan to become a country that can steadily overcome anticipated crises. This is the conclusion I reached after speaking with government officials in Tokyo following a brief tour of the Sanriku and Fukushima districts.
 It was former Fukushima Gov. Eisaku Sato, 71, who first turned my attention toward the Hamaoka plant. When I met Sato in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Koriyama, I inquired about the nuclear crisis.
 
"Do you think this region is paying the price for the prosperity of the Tokyo metropolitan area?" I asked.
 
Without answering the question, he replied, "Rather than all that, it's Hamaoka we're worried about. The earthquakes anticipated in the Tokai region and Tokyo still haven't come, right?"
 
Sato served as governor for 18 years, stepping down during his fifth term before being arrested and charged in a bribery case that he is still battling. Initially, he was on good terms with the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., but he later emerged as an opponent of nuclear power plants. Nevertheless, instead of focusing on grudges during our meeting, he pointed the finger at the inattentiveness of the capital region.
 
The Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant is located in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture. The dangers associated with the plant are common knowledge among nuclear power plant opponents. Two of the three reactors in operation are boiling-water reactors -- the same type as those at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. But the real point of concern is the fact that they sit right above the spot where a massive Tokai region earthquake is predicted to strike.
 
Katsuhiko Ishibashi, 66, an emeritus professor at Kobe University who coined the phrase "genpatsu shinsai," which describes a combined earthquake and nuclear power plant disaster, has previously pointed out the plant's precarious standing. In the May 2011 editions of the monthly magazines "Sekai" and "Chuokoron," he warned there would be severe consequences if a major earthquake were to strike the Hamaoka plant.
 
"In a worst-case scenario ... a radiation cloud would drift over the Tokyo metropolitan area, and over 10 million people would have to evacuate. Japan would lose its capital." "The U.S. military bases at Yokota, Yokosuka, Atsugi and Zama would not be able to function, producing a large global military imbalance," he reportedly told the magazines.
 
Last week I realized that such views were not restricted to educated nuclear power plant opponents. One of my old acquaintances, a government official who has hammered out new growth strategies for the Cabinet including the building of nuclear power plants overseas, shares concerns about the Hamaoka plant.
 
"We have to stop Hamaoka. Could you write about this in the paper?" my acquaintance asked. "This plant must be stopped for the very sake of retaining our other nuclear power plants -- but not too many people lend their ears to such ideas."

 In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Chubu Electric Power Co. announced that it would delay the construction of new reactors at the Hamaoka plant, but the reactors now in operation have been kept running. The power company, which worries about the cost of securing an alternative source of power, does not consider stopping the reactors an option.
 
If this is the case, then the central government should step in to bring the situation under control by halting the operation of the Hamaoka plant, which has become a realistic threat. The government shouldn't be concerned about companies' gains or losses or temporary economic confusion. But this hasn't happened: Nuclear power plant safety checks performed under the government's supervision are superficial and perfunctory. 
 
It seems the administration of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan has performed miserably in its handling of the current crisis. But I doubt that the opposition Liberal Democratic Party could have brought the situation under control either. This was an unprecedented disaster, and there is no telling when the situation will settle.
Http__en_wikipedia_org_wiki_hamao_4   
There is no assurance that a massive earthquake and tsunami on the scale of the March 11 disaster will not occur again sometime within the next 1,000 years. Activity producing changes in the earth's crust seems to be becoming more active around the Japanese archipelago. At the same time, Japan's task of maintaining its energy-intensive economic society, which places top priority on gross domestic product, will likely prove impossible.
 
Now at the Prime Minister's Office, experts are assembling for discussion stemming from comments like, "Civilization is facing questions." To me, this seems a rather carefree approach.
 
The danger has not passed. Naturally the crisis at the Fukushima plant must be brought under control, but the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, which is dangerous by anyone's reckoning, must also be shut down.
 
Surely the first step is to clarify the nation's resolve to bring its nuclear power plant-driven society under full control. (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)(Mainichi Japan) April 18, 2011

風知草:浜岡原発を止めよ=山田孝男(毎日新聞専門編集委員)
 
中部電力の浜岡原子力発電所を止めてもらいたい。安全基準の前提が崩れた以上、予見される危機を着実に制御する日本であるために。急ぎ足ながら三陸と福島を回り、帰京後、政府関係者に取材を試みて、筆者はそう考えるに至った。
 
福島に入った私の目を浜岡へ向かわせたのは佐藤栄佐久・前福島県知事(71)だった。郡山に佐藤を訪ねて「首都圏の繁栄の犠牲になったと思うか」と聞いたとき、前知事はそれには答えず、こう反問した。
 
「それよりネ、私どもが心配しているのは浜岡ですから。東海地方も、東京も、まだ地震が来てないでしょ?」
 518年(5期目半ばで辞任後、収賄で逮捕・起訴。12審とも有罪で上告中)。国・東京電力との蜜月を経て原発批判に転じた佐藤が、恨み節を語る代わりに首都圏の油断を指摘してみせたのである。
 
浜岡原発は静岡県御前崎市にある。その危うさは反原発派の間では常識に属する。運転中の3基のうち二つは福島と同じ沸騰水型で海岸低地に立つ。それより何より、東海地震の予想震源域の真上にある。
 「原発震災」なる言葉を生み出し、かねて警鐘を鳴らしてきた地震学者の石橋克彦神戸大名誉教授(66)は、月刊誌の最新号で、浜岡震災の帰結についてこう予測している。
 「
最悪の場合、(中略)放射能雲が首都圏に流れ、一千万人以上が避難しなければならない。日本は首都を喪失する」「在日米軍の横田・横須賀・厚木・座間などの基地も機能を失い、国際的に大きな軍事的不均衡が生じる……」(「世界」と「中央公論」の各5月号)
 
これが反原発派知識人の懸念にとどまらないことを筆者は先週、思い知った。旧知の政府関係者から「浜岡は止めなくちゃダメだ。新聞で書いてくれませんか」と声をかけられたのである。原発輸出を含む新成長戦略を打ち出した内閣のブレーンのひとりが、浜岡に限っては反原発派と不安を共有し、「原発を維持するためにこそ止めるべきなのに、聞く耳をもつ人間が少ない」と慨嘆した。
 
福島のあおりで中部電力は浜岡原発の新炉増設の着工延期を発表したが、稼働中の原子炉は止まらない。代替供給源確保のコストを案じる中電の視野に休止はない。ならば国が、企業の損得や経済の一時的混乱を度外視し、現実の脅威となった浜岡原発を止めてコントロールしなければならないはずだが、政府主導の原発安全点検は表層的でおざなりである。
 
なるほど民主党政権は無残だが、自民党ならみごと制御できたとも思わない。空前の大災害であり、しかもなお収束のめどが立っていない。
 
向こう1000年、311ほどの大地震や津波がこないとは言えないだろう。列島周辺の地殻変動はますます活発化しているように見える。そういうなかでGDP(国内総生産)至上主義のエネルギー多消費型経済社会を維持できるかと言えば、まず不可能だろう。
 
いま、首相官邸にはあまたの知識人が参集し、「文明が問われている」というようなことが議論されている。ずいぶんのんきな話だと思う。
 
危機は去っていない。福島の制御は当然として、もはやだれが見ても危険な浜岡原発を止めなければならない。原発社会全体をコントロールするという国家意思を明確にすることが先ではないか。(敬称略)(毎週月曜日掲載)

(注)浜岡原子力発電所 (WikipediA)
 浜岡原子力発電所(はまおかげんしりょくはつでんしょ)は静岡県御前崎市にある中部電力の原子力発電所である。
1号機から5号機まで5つの発電設備があるが、1号機と2号機は20091月に運転を終了した。敷地面積は160(東西1.5km、南北1km)で、PR
施設である浜岡原子力館が併設されている。
 
東海地震の予想震源域にあり、活断層が直下にあるという説まで発表されており、またトラブルが多発していることなどから耐震性の不足が懸念されている(#地震に対する懸念、#過去の主なトラブルの節を参照)。また、今ある高さ10m15mの砂丘では高さ8mの津波しか耐えられないため、2011316日に23年以内に高さ4m(標高、海抜12m
)ほどの防波壁を作る計画が発表された。

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Japan should change energy policy following nuclear power plant crisis
(Mainichi Japan, editorial)


 Events that have occurred since the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake have reminded us of the reality Japan faces -- another powerful earthquake could occur anytime and anywhere, and we have no way to predict it.
 
Fifty-four nuclear reactors are situated in coastal areas of Japan. Many experts have repeatedly pointed out how difficult it is to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants in this earthquake-prone country.
 
Some scientists had predicted that radiation could leak from a nuclear power plant if it was damaged by a powerful quake and ensuing tsunami. One of them, Kobe University professor emeritus Katsuhiko Ishibashi, called such a potential accident an "earthquake-triggered nuclear power plant disaster."
 
However, electric power suppliers as well as the government had dismissed such warnings as a "minority opinion." The consequences of this attitude are the serious crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
 
The distortion of the earth's crust caused by the powerful quake has had a huge impact on various areas of Japan. No optimism can be justified for future seismic activity in the Japanese archipelago.
 
The government has no choice but to seriously consider whether quake-prone Japan can coexist with nuclear power stations, take prompt countermeasures and drastically change its nuclear energy policy.
 
The biggest problem with nuclear power plants is their lack of measures against tsunami. Measures to protect nuclear plants from tsunami are incorporated in the government's guidelines for the quake-resistance of nuclear power plants that were revised in 2006, but priority has not been given to anti-tsunami measures. Moreover, power suppliers have been slow to re-examine their nuclear plants in accordance with the amended guidelines. TEPCO has not even completed its re-examination.
 
On the other hand, some electric power companies strengthened measures to protect their nuclear plants from tsunami following the Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake in Niigata Prefecture in 2007. One of them is the Tokai No. 2 Nuclear Power Plant in central Japan.
 
It is not permissible to conclude that the crisis at the Fukushima plant was caused by an unexpected massive tsunami.
 
TEPCO's responses to the crisis are highly questionable. TEPCO was unprepared for a situation in which all external power sources were lost and it became impossible to cool down nuclear reactors for a long time. This is despite the fact that following the 1979 crisis at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in the United States, countermeasures against serious nuclear power plant accidents were worked out in Japan to cope with the possibility of more catastrophic nuclear plant disasters.
 
Initial responses to a nuclear power station accident are extremely crucial. Nevertheless, TEPCO was slow in introducing power-supply vehicles to the crippled plant, ventilating the reactors and pouring sea water into the reactors to cool them down. This shows that TEPCO was unprepared to implement serious accident countermeasures.
 
Power suppliers should put priority on securing electric power sources at their nuclear power stations in case of emergency. Guidelines for measures to protect nuclear plants from tsunami and their quake-resistance need to be promptly reviewed.
 
The government has also come under mounting pressure to review its regulations on nuclear power plants and the system to supervise them.
 
We have repeatedly pointed out that it is contradictory that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that regulates and supervises nuclear power plants comes under the umbrella of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry that is promoting nuclear power generation. The government's responses to the accident have illustrated this contradiction. Furthermore, the accident has called into question the raison d'etre of the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC). The government should reorganize these bodies into a completely independent regulatory organization.
 
But the implementation of these measures alone is not enough.
 
Following the crisis at the Fukushima plant, NSC Chairman Haruki Madarame remarked, "Nuclear power stations can't be designed without discarding the potential for some problems, but the accident shows the way the potential problems were disregarded was wrong."
 
His remarks have raised questions as to whether a catastrophic accident can be prevented if problems are conveniently disregarded and whether it is enough to strengthen safety regulations, improve equipment and work out measures to respond to any emergency situation.
 
Both the government and power suppliers had emphasized for many years that nuclear power plants are safe because they are protected by multiple safety devices. However, the latest crisis has illustrated the fragileness of the multiple protective devices.
 
In other words, the accident has demonstrated that complete safety can not be achieved even if far more protective devices are installed at nuclear plants, and that serious accident countermeasures, implemented following the Three Mile Island disaster, have been unable to quickly bring the potential for nuclear disaster under control.
 
There are arguments that aircraft and trains pose similar safety risks. However, a catastrophic accident involving a nuclear power plant has a far more serious and far-reaching impact over a far lengthier period. The risks posed by the coexistence of unpredictable major earthquakes and nuclear power plants should not be tolerated.
 
Considering such risks, extreme prudence should be exercised in considering whether to resume the operations of other nuclear power plants in quake-hit areas, such as the Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture. It will be almost impossible to build new nuclear power stations from now on.
 
Based on these realities, we recommend that Japan take the opportunity of the Fukushima disaster to launch efforts to decrease its reliance on nuclear power plants from a long-term perspective. It is unrealistic to simultaneously dismantle all the existing nuclear power plants. Rather, Japan should gradually decrease its reliance on nuclear power generation by prioritizing the dismantling of nuclear power plants that are considered more vulnerable to disasters.
 2010genpatsu_3
Top priority should be placed on decommissioning the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture that sits just above the probable focus of a Tokai quake that is believed certain to occur sooner or later.
 
In the latest disaster, the focus of several quakes simultaneously moved and caused a massive quake. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the focus of Tokai and Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes in central and western Japan will simultaneously move, causing a huge quake and tsunami.
 
Aging nuclear power plants are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because the most advanced technology for ensuring safety of such power stations is not incorporated in them and the most advanced knowledge of seismology is not taken into account in their design.
 
Japan has relied on nuclear power generation for 30 percent of the total electric power consumed across the country. Many people think that nuclear power plants should be maintained as a stable source of electric power. Some have expressed concern that the Japanese economy could not survive without such power generators.
 
Still, we should understand that the "quake-triggered nuclear power plant disaster" occurred as a result of putting priority on the economy over safety. It is hoped that we will come up with ways to live affluent lives without relying on nuclear power plants even though the pros and cons of maintaining such plants should be decided by the whole nation.
 
The promotion of recyclable energy sources -- to which close attention is being paid as measures to prevent global warming -- and the achievement of a low-energy consumption society will be a key to breaking away from Japan's dependence on nuclear power. Now is the time for Japan to pursue electric power sources that are suitable for such an earthquake-prone country and adopt lifestyles that match the supply of electricity.
(Mainichi Japan) April 16, 2011

社説:震災後 地震国の原発 政策の大転換を図れ
 
いつ、どこで、どれほど大きな地震や津波が起きても不思議はない。しかも、それを予測するすべを私たちは持たない。
 
日本列島の現実を改めて思い知らされる1カ月だった。
 
予測不能な大地震だけでも日本が抱える大きなリスクである。その海岸沿いに54基の原発が建ち並ぶ。地震と原発の共存がいかにむずかしいか。警告は何度も発せられてきた。
 
石橋克彦・神戸大名誉教授のように「原発震災」という言葉で惨事を予見してきた科学者もいる。しかし、電力会社も政府も「少数派」として退けてきた。その帰結が今、私たちが直面する東京電力福島第1原発の深刻な事故である。
 
「想定外」許されぬ
 
大地震がもたらした地殻のゆがみは各地に影響を与えている。今後の地震活動は、予断を許さない。
 
地震国日本は原発と共存できるのか。真摯(しんし)に検証した上で、早急に打つべき手を打ちながら、原発政策の大転換を図るしかない。
 
まず、誰もが問題だと思うのは津波対策の不備だ。06年に改定された原発耐震指針に盛り込まれているが、扱いは非常に軽い。新指針に基づく再点検も後回しにされ、東電は点検を終えていない。
 
一方で、東海第2原発のように新潟県中越沖地震の後に津波対策を一部強化していたところもある。「想定外の津波」という言葉で事故を総括することは許されない。
 
事故対応にも疑問は多い。79年の米スリーマイル島原発事故をきっかけに、設計の想定を超える事態への対応として「過酷事故対策」が日本でも用意された。
 
ところが、今回のようにすべての電源が失われ、原子炉が長期間にわたって冷却不能に陥った場合の具体的備えが東電にはなかった。
 
事故対応には初動が何より大事だ。にもかかわらず、電源車の用意や、原子炉の換気、海水注入などに手間取った。過酷事故対策を運用する準備があったとは思えない。
 
当面の課題は、全国の原発で電源確保を確実にすることだ。津波対策や耐震強化の見直しも急がねばならない。
 
国の規制や監視体制も改革を迫られている。監督官庁である原子力安全・保安院が原発推進の立場にある経済産業省に属する矛盾はこれまでも指摘してきた。今回の対応にもその矛盾を感じる。原子力安全委の存在意義も問われている。完全に独立した規制機関を再構築すべきだ。
 
ただし、こうした「手当て」を施して良しとするわけにはいかない。
 
事故発生後、原子力安全委の班目春樹委員長は「割り切らなければ原発は設計できないが、割り切り方が正しくなかった」と述べた。安全委員長の発言として納得できないが、それに加えて疑問が浮かぶ。
 
割り切り方を間違えなければ大事故は起きないのか。安全規制を厳しくし、設備や緊急時の対応策を整えれば、事足りるのかという点だ。
 
これまで、電力会社も政府も、原発は安全装置を何重にも重ねた「多重防護」に守られ、安全だと強調してきた。しかし、今回の事故で多重防護のもろさがわかった。どこまで安全装置を重ねても絶対の安全はなく、過酷事故対策も事故を収拾できなかったというのが現実だ。
 
依存度下げる決意を
 
リスクがあるのは飛行機や列車も同じだという議論もあるだろう。しかし、原発は大事故の影響があまりに大きく、長期に及ぶ。地震国であるという日本の特性も無視できない。予測不能な地震と原発の掛け算のようなリスクを、このまま許容できるとは思えない。
 
大震災の影響を考えれば、女川原発など被災した原発の再開も非常に慎重に考えざるをえない。今後の原発の新設は事実上不可能だろう。
 
こうした現実を踏まえ、大災害を転機に、長期的な視点で原発からの脱却を進めたい。既存の原発を一度に廃止することは現実的ではないが、危険度に応じて閉鎖の優先順位をつけ、依存度を減らしていきたい。
 
第一に考えるべきは浜岡原発だ。近い将来、必ず起きると考えられる東海地震の震源域の真上に建っている。今回、複数の震源が連動して巨大地震を起こした。東海・東南海・南海が連動して巨大地震・大津波を起こす恐れは見過ごせない。
 
老朽化した原発も危険度は高い。原発の安全性の知識も地震の知識も進展している。古い原発にはその知識を反映しにくい。
 
日本は電力の3割を原発に依存してきた。安定した電源として擁護論は強い。原発なくして日本の経済が成り立たないのではないかという懸念もある。
 
しかし、経済と安全をてんびんにかけた結果としての原発震災を直視したい。最終的には国民の判断ではあるが、原子力による電源に頼らなくても、豊かに暮らすための知恵を絞りたい。
 
そのためには、温暖化対策で注目された再生可能エネルギーの促進や低エネルギー社会の実現がひとつの鍵となるはずだ。地震国日本に適した電源と、それに基づく暮らし方を、今こそ探っていく時だ。
(毎日新聞4月16日)
図表:経済産業省・資源エネルギー庁発行『平成21年度エネルギーに関する年次報告(エネルギー白書2010)』