• Spain's news in English

Row threatens Spain's first nuclear graveyard

AFP · 31 Jul 2015, 08:47

Published: 31 Jul 2015 08:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The country's nuclear security council on Monday approved a report that gives the green light for the facility to be built near the village of Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha.

Enresa, the state-owned company responsible for Spain's nuclear facilities, in 2011 chose the site from a list that included eight other communities which bid to house the nuclear dump.

But on Tuesday the new Socialist government of Castilla-La Mancha moved to block the construction of the facility by approving the expansion of a protected area for birds so it includes land earmarked for the radioactive waste site.

"This will protect an area where endangered species live," regional government spokesman Nacho Hernando told a news conference.

The Socialists took power in the region on July 4th following May local elections, ousting the conservative Popular Party which rules at the national level.

Energy Minister Jose Manuel Soria warned on Thursday that Spain would have to abandon nuclear power if the facility is not built.

"It does not seem right to me that a gimmick or political subterfuge is used to stop a facility which if it is not built, we will have to cease generating electricity with nuclear energy in 2018," he told reporters when asked about the regional government's move.

"Given that nuclear energy accounts for about 20 percent of total electricity generation we are talking about a very significant increase in the cost of electricity which we could not allow," he added.

The minister has estimated that if Spain abandoned nuclear power because the facility is not built the cost of electricity in the country would jump by 30 percent.

The site planned for Villar de Cañas would be able to keep nearly 13,000 cubic metres (459,000 cubic feet) of radioactive waste at a single location for up to 60 years, according to Enresa.

The government wants to store all the spent fuel produced at Spain's eight nuclear power stations at the site.

Story continues below…

Each power station currently stores the spent fuel which they produce in on site storage pools that are starting to fill up.

Spain has since 2008 stored low to medium-grade nuclear waste at a facility at El Cabril in Cordoba province in the southwest.

Local officials in the village of Villar de Cañas, which has a population of around 500, have welcomed the jobs which the nuclear waste facility would create.

But environmental groups including Greenpeace accuse the dump's supporters of putting money before safety and have lobbied to have the project shelved.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available