Government says it needs the “accordance” from the US to declassify Palomares cleanup plan

The Government considers that the declassification of the Rehabilitation Plan approved in 2010 for cleaning the 40 hectares contaminated with radioactivity in Palomares (Cuevas del Almanzora, Almería) needs to “previously obtain compliance” of the USA.

This has been transferred by the Ministry of the Presidency to the National Court (AN) in response to the second request that the court made him to send him this document, inter alia, to decide whether to compel the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to set a deadline to execute the plan.

The trade, has had access to Europa Press, indicates that the document approved on 5 May 2010 “includes information contained in third party documents” and concludes, after receiving reports about it, that declassification “requires prior approval of the US authorities”.

The Ministry of the Presidency specifies that, after receiving the request of the National Court, twice in February and in May 2020, requested reports “to affected departments”, among them the Center for Energy Research, Environment and Technology(Ciemat), and that, of the “received so far”, it appears that the approval of the US government is necessary.

In the trade, He adds that the Spanish executive has consulted on the matter “US authorities” and that, “as soon as the result is known”, the room will be informed and, “if”, as he claims, the required declassification will be carried out” in allusion to the plan for the withdrawal of the land contaminated with plutonium by the fall in 1966 of four thermonuclear bombs after the in-flight collision of two US Air Force aircraft.

The National Court urged in a car in February the Council of Ministers to declassify the Rehabilitation Plan although it left open the possibility that it would be sent to the room “all indications that are coming” in relation to the maintenance of the “confidentiality” of its content.

The resolution also asked the Government to specify “The estimated time” to finalize the report and to provide “how much documentation” has been elaborated on the situation in the area since 5 May 2010, date the Rehabilitation Plan was approved.

Ecologists in Action brought to the judicial channel a resolution of the CSN of January 2017 in which he refused to proceed to the “closure of the nuclear installation and the contaminated area of ​​Palomares “with a deadline to carry out, and waiting to find them definitive storage, temporary storage of land resulting from the treatment of 50.000 cubic meters of contaminated soil” provided for in the aforementioned rehabilitation plan.

The National Court considers that, in said appealed resolution, the atomic regulator “recognizes that the possibility of various solutions has been evaluated in relation to the release of ionizing particles in the surroundings of the town of Palomares in 1966” and consider, therefore, that “it is necessary to know the plans that have been elaborated”.

The car had the private vote of magistrate Helmuth Moya, who is no longer part of the court and for whom “obligation” of”decontaminate corresponds” to Spain that, “as a sovereign country”, can not “justify their inaction” in the “lack of cooperation” of the USA. Instead, Judge Begoña Fernández Dozagarat has joined.


When requesting not only the Rehabilitation Plan but also that it provide whatever documentation has been prepared after, the National Court would also be demanding the report that the CSN approved in July 2015 on cleaning up contaminated land and that, according to Ecologists in Action, modifies the radiological criteria of May 2010.

In the document questioned by the collective, the atomic regulator admits that the volume of land contaminated with radioactivity in Palomares has been reduced, which must be removed by virtue of the declaration of intent signed between Spain and the United States, although it does not specify as regards the rehabilitation plan approved in 2010 which provided for the cleaning of 50.000 cubic meters of soil. This modification occurred in the plenary session of 22 July 2015 part CSN.

In his day, The CSN provided a document that was not a certified copy of the report approved at the aforementioned plenary session in July 2015 and accepted to deny the full report to the regulations on official secrets that apply to “the entire process related to Palomares” since agreement of the Council of Ministers of 15 October 2010.

Ecologistas en Acción argues that this change that the atomic regulator admits has occurred “at the request” del Department of Energy (DOE) of the USA. The collective ensures that, for this, is “The radiological criteria have been increased to consider an intervention of 1 mSv / a up to 4 mSv/a”, which would have allowed the signing of the declaration of intent with the US for the management and storage of the waste generated in the cleaning by the US government.

The objective, as added by the collective, It would be that, cleaning 50.000 cubic meters of earth, would pass “only to clean 28.000 cubic meters of contaminated soil”, which would reduce from 6.000 a 3.300 cubic meters the volume of land to be stored in the US.


Ecologists in Action has always requested that a complete copy of the May Rehabilitation Plan be provided as evidence to the procedure. 2010, the report of the US Department of Energy sent to the CSN in July 2015 and the annex to the minutes of the session held by the atomic regulator that same month in which the levels of intervention for the restoration are collected.

The State Bar has always rejected it. In the first case,alleged that it was a document that “did not elaborate” the CSN but the Ciemat and that this organism sent it to him “confidentially”, so that “cannot make the contribution of the same”.

In the same vein, noted that the report of the US Department of Energy sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the CNS in July 2015 It was classified as confidential according to the Official Secrets Law by the Ministry itself and noted that the US Department of Energy delivered the documents as, “which would oblige the Spanish State to maintain said confidentiality since the origin of the documents is from a foreign state”.

Last, with respect to the minutes of the session held by the CSN on 22 July 2015 noted that the “radiological criteria topic”, He assured that he had already contributed to the room “in the part not affected by the Official Secrets Law”.

Source: EuropaPress