No news on nuclear clear-up

The Palomares site.

ECOLOGISTAS EN ACCION is going to sue the Nuclear Safety Board (CSN) for “allowing an illegal nuclear cemetery in Palomares,” and there is still no news on the clear-up.

Fifty-one years after the accident which saw two American planes collide above Almeria, dropping nuclear bombs onto Palomares from above, thousands of cubic metres of earth remain contaminated, the ecologist group has complained. In its opinion, this means the whole area is comparable to an illegal nuclear facility yet it is not even registered as a contaminated area.

In May 2010, the CSN and Ciemat investigation centre issued a report, which was approved by the European Union, stating that 50,000m3 of contaminated earth needed to be dealt with and reduced to 8,000m3.

In contrast, following discussions between Spain and the US, the CSN stated in 2015 that the 50,000m3 would be reduced to 28,000m3. This, Ecologistas en Accion insists, is far from enough.

The ecologist group has therefore urged the CSN to do what it promised to do and warned “if the CSN does not act we will ask the courts to force it to provisionally store the contaminated earth while the US finds a permanent home for it.”

The Nuclear Energy Board, Ciemat, CSN and governments were perfectly aware that the Americans did little more than a cosmetic clear-up in Palomares, Ecologistas en Accion claims. Of the nine kilos of plutonium which the two MK-28 bombs contained, just 270 grams were transported to Savannak River, the group has stressed.

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