The main alternative to evacuate the radioactive remains of Palomares is Cartagena

filled drums of contaminated soil removed by USA
filled drums of contaminated soil removed by USA

The Government of Spain and the United States advanced in their bilateral negotiations to shelve the decontamination of Palomares (Cuevas del Almanzora) fifty years after the plane crash that brought down four nuclear bombs on ground almeriense, two of which released radioactive cargo.

This Wednesday, in Madrid, the new undersecretary of state for Europe and the EU Department of State, Conrad Tribble, held bilateral consultations with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation on the issue of Palomares was the linchpin. “The visit of Deputy Secretary of State Tribble has served to discuss various technical issues”, said the Spanish diplomat after the meeting department.

They even beyond the specific area of ​​Palomares. According to the spokesman of the Popular Group in Congress, Rafael Hernando, both diplomatic agreed to the creation of a joint committee with members of the Center for Energy Research, Spanish Environment and Technology (Ciemat) and the US Department of Energy in order to finally agree on the conditions under which the removal of soil contaminated by plutonium and americium on the Almeria coast will occur.

Among the topics discussed by this committee will be, mainly, what kind of container land isolate radioactive, how pollution is measured, What communication channels are used for transfer, What preventive measures should be taken to ensure at all times the population and what will be the port through which the United States embark contaminated soil to the site of Homeland Security in Nevada, in US territory. “Chances, for security cuestions, It is to be evacuated through the military zone of the Port of Cartagena”, has said Hernando.

At first, and once the final conditions are agreed, the radioactive material be isolated and then packaged and held in containers would be routed waterproofed, by truck, springs towards cartageneros. An alternative route for this new creation is not built, as he shuffled at first, but the roads would be used currently in service, probably the Cartagena-Vera motorway.

all “with all the guarantees, to preserve the security of citizens”, Hernando he reassured. Technical negotiations begin imminently. And with them on the table they will allow to know the total cost of the operation and the final diplomatic and binding document which would be negotiated by both states the cost of the operation would be divided.

It is recalled that only five months ago, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Acting now), Manuel Garcia Margallo and José Secretary of State US, John Kerry, They signed a declaration of intent to clean the contaminated soil in the town and land transfer radioactive United States, with the objective of “fix a mistake that was made ago 50 years old”, Margallo said. Is' broken ice’ among countries in a matter in which EE. THE. He never wanted to commit, carried the 'broken pots', not to create a precedent with other accidents caused in other parts of the world.

The agreement spoke of “cooperate to transfer US soil contaminated Palomares in a program for further rehabilitation of the environment radioactive accident near Palomares”, for which they plan “negotiate, as soon as possible, an agreement to determine the activities, roles and responsibilities for both parties to implement the project of rehabilitation and deposit”. In this area the agreement on Wednesday would be framed to illuminate the joint technical committee between nuclear departments of both states.

However, everything depends on the “availability of funds, personnel and other resources” and “It does not create legally binding obligation between participants”. The future binding agreement remain pending this new technical solution that would, initially, the evacuation of radioactive material from the city of Cartagena.

Source: agencies.

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