What Is the Responsibility of Our Generation on Nuclear Waste Disposal Site

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Koichi HASEGAWA, Sociology, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Every country which operates nuclear power plants agonizes over the consensus building on the location of final disposal sites for high-level radioactive nuclear wastes. Especially in earthquake-prone Japan, are there suitable sites? Japanese government has been stressing that our generation has to find and decide the suitable site as soon as possible. Putting off the decision is not permitted. The government has said the early decision is our urgent responsibility. But, is it right? What is the real responsibility of our generation? The radioactive waste disposal issue is definitely not a simple problem requiring a technological solution, as assumed by the supporters of nuclear energy. Basing on news clippings, documents and participant observations, a long year case study in Rokkasho village where nuclear fuel recycling sites are located and analyzing the political reality after Fukushima nuclear accident, this paper reply to this question. Japan's nuclear waste policy is facing the dead-end. The policy line of the nuclear fuel cycle, reprocessing and plutonium use, has become clearly untenable. The recycling of nuclear fuel to extract plutonium and uranium resources by reprocessing has been criticized due to safely concerns, high costs and nuclear proliferation risks. A radical shift in Japan’s reprocessing policy, the determination to stop the reprocessing project to avoid increasing the surplus plutonium, is being demanded at this very moment. The early determination to go forward to denuclearization following Germany and Taiwan is the real responsibility of our generation and the way to the real sustainable future.