We protest against passage of nuclear power promotion bill and call for shift from nuclear to renewable energy
April 27, 2023
Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions
On April 27, the “GX Decarbonization Power Supply Bill” was passed through a plenary session of the House of Representatives by a majority vote of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), and the Democratic Party for the People. This bill, a set of five proposals to revise the Atomic Energy Basic Law, the Nuclear Reactors Regulation Law, the Electricity Business Act, the Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Implementation Act, and the Renewable Energy Special Measures Act, is aimed at supporting and bailing out the nuclear industry and promoting nuclear power generation. The Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions protests against the passage of the bill as well as calls for the abolition of nuclear power plants and the promotion of the use of renewable energy.
As mentioned above, the “GX Decarbonization Power Supply Bill” combines amendments to five laws. It was passed without careful deliberation of each amendment and without obtaining public understanding.
The Atomic Energy Basic Law, known as the “Constitution of nuclear energy,” serves as the basis for various nuclear energy-related measures. The proposed amendment includes a provision that the government provides generous support to the nuclear power industry as its responsibility, showing an attempt to allow the permanent use of nuclear energy.
The proposed amendment to the Nuclear Reactors Regulation Law removes the operating period of “40 years in principle, 60 years maximum,” which was introduced based on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.
The proposed amendment to the Electricity Business Act would allow nuclear power plants to be operated for more than 60 years as the period of suspension of operation, such as for inspections, would not be counted as the period of operation. The amendments propose that the operation period-related measures would be shifted from the Nuclear Reactors Regulation Law, which is governed by regulatory bodies, to the Electricity Business Act, which is governed by promotion bodies. This goes against the principle of separation of regulation and promotion bodies, the lesson from the Fukushima accident, and thus means the deregulation of safety regulations.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident has not been solved. Twelve years after the accident, many people have still not been able to return to their homes or be adequately compensated. The decommissioning of the reactors has been proceeding with difficulty with no end in sight.
Policies promoting nuclear power generation that create a new safety myth in disregard of the remorse and the lessons of the Fukushima accidents are unacceptable.
The Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions stands by victims of the nuclear accident, builds solidarity with a wide range of people, and continues to fight for the abolition of nuclear power plants and the promotion of the use of renewable energy.