Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hideki Yukawa's Words about Nuclear Power Development -1-

The decisions of any kind regarding agreements about or implementation of power reactors will surely have an important impact on the future of long-term nuclear power development in Japan. Accordingly, we should be much cautious about it. — Hideki Yukawa, Atomic Energy Commission Monthly Report, January issue (1957) in Japanese.

In January 1956, Matsutaro Shoriki, the first chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, released The plan for the construction of nuclear power plants in five years and conclusion of the atomic-power agreement with United States. At the end of that year, the Japan–United States Atomic Agreement, which had guaranteed the independent nuclear research in Japan, began to be reviewed for revision. Hideki Yukawa resigned the Atomic Energy Commission in protest against this. Thereafter, the Atomic Energy Commission was dominated by the Government of Liberal Democratic Party, and was transformed to the agency of promoting nuclear-reactor construction. Yukawa's words quoted above represent the accusation against such a situation just before his resignation. [The above description is based on: US–Japan relations and the headwaters of nuclear power plants (4), Shimbun Akahata (June 10, 2011) in Japanese].

It is deeply regrettable that the absence, in the Atomic Energy Commission, of scientists who took over Yukawa's spirit of protest was one of the factors leading to the nuclear accidents in Fukushima.

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