東京電力柏崎刈羽原発 海外メディアは隠蔽体質と批判 活断層の上に立つ世界最大の原発

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(写真1)多量に放出される冷却水の水蒸気と、変電設備火災の黒煙
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(写真2)重要設備の至近にまで迫った、路面のひび割れ

写真はCNNより

今回の新潟県中越沖地震によって、世界最大の原子力発電所である東京電力柏崎刈羽原発では、放射能を含んだ水が海に流れ込むとともに、火災が発生するなど、大きな問題が発生しています。海外のメディアは、地震に対する原発の安全性に加えて、問題の公表に関する隠蔽体質を批判しています。

これは、原発に関する世論の反発を懸念して、大きな事故のニュースを小出しにしている、と思われても仕方ない、ということでしょう。本来であれば、このような国と国民の安全に関する一大事においては、主権者である国民に対して、速やかで正確な情報の開示こそが必要なはずです。それとは逆に、国際的な観点からは、隠蔽にしか見えない、というのが日本の現状のようです。

(独り言:国民の重要な権利にかかわる事柄を隠蔽して、可能な限り先送りし続ける・・・あれ?どこかで聞いたような話ですね?)

ワシントン・ポスト
「放射能を含んだ水があふれた使用済み核燃料プールは、地震で損傷したのではないか」
「日本の原発業界はトラブルを隠蔽してきた歴史がある」

ニューヨーク・タイムズ
「東電は当初、放射能漏れはなかったと説明していた」
「放射能を含んだ水が海に流れ込んだ報告が遅れた理由の説明がなかった」

RBCデイリー
「毎月のように新たな事故と、それを隠蔽しようとしていた事実が明らかになっている」

引用元 アサヒ・コム

また、下に引用しているウォール・ストリート・ジャーナルでは、転倒した放射性廃棄物入りドラム缶の数を100本程度から400本に追加したこと、フタが開いて中身が出たのは実際には十数個だったと修正したこと、環境に排出された放射性物質の量が1.5倍に訂正されたこと、さらにはこの原発が活断層の上に立っている可能性まで指摘されたことを揶揄して、「日本の原発事故でわかった潜在的リスク」と表しています。

(引用開始)

The Wall Street Journal Online

Potentially Risky Trickle Of Bad Nuclear News
July 19, 2007 7:05 a.m.

For the fourth straight day, authorities revealed fresh news of a radioactive leak at a Japanese nuclear power plant following Monday's earthquake, potentially exacerbating a development that could set back a nascent revival of atomic-energy projects.

Inspectors from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency found that radioactive iodine had leaked from an exhaust pipe at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Japan's northwest, the Associated Press reports, citing the Kyodo news agency. This followed yesterday's revision of the number of upended barrels of radioactive waste to "several hundred" from the 100 reported earlier in the week -- including "a few dozen" with lids that opened -- and revised judgment about the 317 gallons of water that leaked into the Sea of Japan, which was 50% more radioactive than first announced, as the New York Times reports. The inspectors concluded the leak revealed today was too small to harm public health or the environment. But officials from another agency, the Nuclear Safety Commission, today slammed Tepco's response as they were touring the plant and especially the lack of equipment for dealing with a chemical fire that broke out. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, urged operators of the country's other 54 reactors to accelerate assessment of their facilities' earthquake resistance.

It was only this week that officials made public findings that show the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant could lie directly on top of the fault line responsible for Monday's 6.8-magnitude temblor, as The Wall Street Journal reports. That was a much stronger quake than the reactor was built to withstand, and nuclear experts elsewhere in the world are watching to see how it performed, the Journal adds. This daily release of bad news comes at a time when concerns about fossil fuels' contribution to global warming has diminished resistance to the construction of new atomic-power plants. But it doesn't bode well for a source of power that became frightful in the public imagination following a series of high-profile accidents in the late 1970s and early '80s, or in a country that suffered the only two atomic-weapon attacks in history.

Regardless of whether the radioactive leaks caused any damage, recurrent updates that paint a bleaker picture can undermine a company or government's credibility during a potential health crisis, as the Japanese learned in recent decades with Mad Cow disease, an outbreak of life-threatening milk contamination and even misreported safety violations at Tepco reactors.

---

BBC News

Japanese fears over nuclear power

As Japan admits that radioactive material leaked from a nuclear power plant during Monday's powerful earthquake, the former BBC Tokyo correspondent Jonathan Head looks at why Japan has stuck with nuclear power despite the risks.

Japan is the only country to have suffered a full-scale nuclear attack, and the only country to have suffered massive casualties from radioactive fallout.
It seems odd, then, that it is so addicted to nuclear energy, operating more reactors than any other country after the United States and France.
And it seems especially odd in view of the country's vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquakes.
Despite the acute public sensitivity to nuclear power following the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan has long been concerned over another vulnerability - its lack of indigenous energy resources.
Aside from some small-scale geothermal power projects, the country has no other significant sources of energy - no oil, and very little coal.
Indeed it was Japan's hunger for reliable energy supplies that, in part, drove its military expansion into Asia in the 1930s and 40s.
So when the US began promoting nuclear technology in the 1950s under the slogan "Atoms for Peace", Japan - by now a close Cold War ally - eagerly signed up.
The construction of power plants reached its peak in the 1970s and 80s, at a time when Japan's export-driven and energy-hungry industries were also expanding at their fastest.
Concern over nuclear safety was not widespread back then, and the Japanese were accustomed to placing great faith in their engineers, who had learned to build skyscrapers, roads, bridges and sea walls that could withstand earthquakes.
Large-scale construction projects like nuclear power plants also fitted into the Japanese model of spending heavily on infrastructure to boost development in the regions.
They also benefited industrial champions like Toshiba and Mitsubishi, which manufactured much of the technology that went into the nuclear facilities.
This was a time when Japan's powerful bureaucrats laid down the blueprint for the country's development, with little dissent from most of its citizens.

Safety concerns

The nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979, and Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986, prompted more Japanese to question their own nuclear industry, but they remained a tiny and powerless minority.
The real catalyst for the growth of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan has been a string of accidents, safety lapses and cover-ups which have led to a collapse of public confidence in the way the industry is run.
In 1999 two workers were killed and hundreds of homes had to be evacuated after an uncontrolled nuclear reaction took place at the Tokaimura plant north of Tokyo.
It turned out that the workers had been mixing dangerous quantities of uranium in an open tank, in clear defiance of safety regulations. They were Japan's first nuclear casualties since 1945.
Three and a half years later Tepco, Tokyo's electricity provider, had to shut down all 17 of its reactors after admitting it falsified its inspection reports.
And Japan's worst accident at a nuclear facility took place at Mihama, on the west coast, in March 2004, when five workers were killed by scalding steam from a corroded pipe. The pipe had not been inspected for eight years.
After every incident Japan's nuclear operators have promised to improve safety procedures, but only this year all 12 power companies admitted to thousands of irregularities in reporting past problems.
As a result, residents across Japan have started resisting the construction of new nuclear facilities, and in some cases have taken legal action to suspend operation in existing plants.
The courts now appear to be more inclined than they were in the past to act against the nuclear industry.
A pervasive culture of secrecy that is commonplace in corporate Japan, and traditional hostility to whistleblowers, make it hard for the industry to change.

Withstanding tremors

Then there is the question of resistance to earthquakes.
Existing regulations require nuclear power plants to be able to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 6.5, although the government now wants to raise that to 6.9.
But in most of Japan, potential earthquakes could be a lot stronger than that.
One plant I visited two years ago, in Hamaoka, on the coast south of Tokyo, is built directly on top of a major fault line. Just offshore, in the Pacific Ocean, three of the planet's main tectonic plates rub against each other.
A shortage of suitable land - most of Japan is very mountainous - forces the power companies to build in places like Hamaoka.
The reactors there could well be the strongest anywhere in the world - they sit in massively-reinforced concrete bunkers, supposedly able to withstand a quake up to 8.5 in magnitude.
Hamaoka's operator says this encompasses every conceivable tremor in Japan - but the earthquake that triggered the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was measured at more than 9.0.

'Human error' fears

Proponents of nuclear power argue that there have been remarkably few serious accidents around the world, considering the number of reactors in service and the five decades or so they have now been operating.
They point out that during the great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which flattened the city of Kobe and killed more than 6,000 people, none of the nuclear power plants in the area were badly damaged.
But Japan's record suggests that future accidents are more likely to arise from human error than natural disasters.
Opponents of nuclear power also worry that Japan might use its civilian industry as the basis for developing nuclear weapons, in response to the threat from North Korea, although the constitution currently bars such a move.
The urgent need to reduce carbon emissions in the world's second-largest economy will probably eclipse all these concerns, and Japan is certain to continue relying on nuclear power for the foreseeable future.
Its citizens can only pray that it does so with a more entrenched culture of safety than it has shown in the past.

JAPAN'S NUCLEAR SETBACKS
1999 - Two workers killed in explosion at Tokaimura plant
2003 - 17 Tepco plants shut down over falsified safety records
2004 - Five workers killed by steam from corroded pipe at Mihama
2007 - Damage inflicted on Kashiwazaki plant from earthquake

(引用終了)
[PR]
by kanconsulting | 2007-07-20 00:53 | 経済状況
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