Deputy for Almeria criticises government on Palomares nuclear cleanup

CLEANUP TIME: Radioactive waste from the bombs that fell on Palomares after the 1966 plane crash has yet to be completely cleaned

ALMERIA’S representative in the Congress of Deputies has accused the Spanish government of throwing itself into the arms of the United States and Donald Trump over radioactive waste at Palomares.

Diego Clemente, from the Ciudadanos party, made the claim during a session of the parliamentary committee on the cleanup of the waste.

Pablo Garcia-Manzano, the government’s Undersecretary for Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, was in the meeting taking questions from deputies on the Almerian town.

Clemente said: “Palomares cannot wait a second more.”

“The silence and ignorance of the Government on the waste at Palomares brings us back to the dictatorial ways of 40 years ago,” he told the committee.

Government energy officials have said the plan for the United States to take the waste from Palomares was still in place.

Clemente said the United States had always been reluctant to remove the radioactive debris.

“With or without the USA, Palomares cannot wait,” Clemente said.

He added the Spanish government should implement the original Palomares Rehabilitation Plan as soon as possible.

“Waste management and evacuation plans for Palomares should also be enacted and a destination for radioactive substances should be found in one of the world’s nuclear cemeteries,” he said.

“Get back to reality and stop lying to the people of Almeria because the United States’ plan gives no hint of following through on the removal of the waste,” he said.

Palomares was covered in radioactive debris following a mid-air collision of two American planes in 1966, one of which was carrying four nuclear bombs.

The cleanup operation was never completed and parts of the town are still off limits due to the continued existence of waste.

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Joe Gerrard

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