USA dragging feet over Palomares radioactive waste cleanup

Remember when the Yanks nuked Palomares? Well, I don’t, it happened back in the 60’s.

In short, a US long range nuclear bomber with four nuclear bombs on board was refuelling over Almeria when it crashed with the plane supplying it with fuel, and the four bombs fell over Palomares, two on land and two in the sea. None went off, but the radioactive charges of two of them were spilt over a couple of farms.

Anyway, the US apologised, built a desalination plant and bulldozed all the soil into a big pile. Which is still there.  More here from the BBC.

Have a look round the back of the some of the fancy big apartment blocks in Palomares – you can still see the cordoned off areas with “danger – radioactivity. Do not enter” signs all over the place.

Six years ago they were going to make a film about it, anybody know anything about it?

Spain wants the US to come back and remove all the soil they bulldozed into piles. But the US is dragging its feet (it been 50 years so far) as it doesn’t want to set a precedent and have to clean up after every little nuclear spill that it’s ever caused.

Spain and the US almost had an agreement under Clinton, but that went by the bye under Bush, and Obama isn’t too keen on re-opening negotiations.

But pressure is on Rajoy to mention the issue during the upcoming private meeting he’s going to enjoy soon with Obama. It’s the only serious issue between the two countries, according to Madrid.

(Although Washington is still smarting over the troop withdrawal from Iraq under ZP, but Madrid has forgotten about that now).

More about the history of Palomares elsewhere on this site.

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