Nuclear council comes clean about radioactive areas in Spain

SOIL TAKEN: The irrigation canal of Jarama River was drained under Franco’s regime CREDIT: Wikimedia commons

SIX sites in Spain have radioactive contamination, the nuclear agency has admitted.
However, none of the zones, one between Madrid and Toledo, listed by the Nuclear Security Council (CSN), are officially classified as contaminated ground.
This is because Spain has yet to produce a formal inventory of sites affected by radioactive leaks, 10 years after a royal decree ordered one to be compiled.
The CSN argued the Nuclear Energy Law needs to be amended before the inventory can go ahead. And since 2008, no governmental moves have been made to achieve this.
In November, 1970, several dozen litres of highly radioactive liquid from a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant reportedly leaked from the Juan Vig¡on National Nuclear Energy Centre, inside Madrid’s university campus. The liquid spilled into the sewer system and reached the Manzanares River, making its way to the Jarama River, the adjoining irrigation canal, and into the Tagus River.
The Franco regime is said to have kept quiet about the accident and the existence of contaminated soil, which it collected after draining the Jarama canal.
The gathered earth, believed to be contaminated, was apparently buried in eight ditches alongside the waterway.
The sites remain without any warning signs.
A spokesperson for CSN said the Ecological Transition Ministry is working on legal changes to allow for the approval of an official list of contaminated sites in Spain.

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