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The search for the 4th hydrogen bomb dropped over Palomares, Spain

May 11, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Spain | Leave a comment

Russia’s Poseidon thermonuclear torpedo being tested

Russia’s New Nuclear Torpedo Is A Threat To More Than Just America’s Aircraft CarriersBut its coastal cities as well. National Interest. by Michael Peck, 4 Mar 20, Key point: Or is this just more hype? You make the call. Russia has begun underwater tests of its Poseidon thermonuclear torpedo.

The Poseidon is an 80-foot-long nuclear-powered submersible robot that is essentially an underwater ICBM. It is designed to travel autonomously across thousands of miles, detonate outside an enemy coastal city, and destroy it by generating a tsunami.

“In the sea area protected from a potential enemy’s reconnaissance means, the underwater trials of the nuclear propulsion unit of the Poseidon drone are underway,” an unnamed Russian defense official told the TASS news agency.

The source also said the “the reactor is installed in the hull of the operating drone but the tests are being held as part of experimental design work rather than full-fledged sea trials at this stage.”

TASS also reports the Poseidon, — the name was chosen in a Web contest held by Russia’s Ministry of Defense – will be armed with a 2-megaton warhead. That’s more than enough to destroy a city. But that leaves the question of why Russia would choose to nuke an American city with an underwater drone – even one that allegedly travels 100 miles an hour – when an ICBM can do the job in 30 minutes.

Russia suggests the Poseidon is a retaliatory weapon that would revenge a U.S. first strike even if American missile defenses were capable of stopping hundreds of Russian ICBMs. But even in the unlikely event that the U.S. could intercept 500 or more Russian ballistic missiles, a delivery system that could take days or weeks to reach its target seems hardly an efficient deterrent.

TASS also reports the Poseidon, — the name was chosen in a Web contest held by Russia’s Ministry of Defense – will be armed with a 2-megaton warhead. That’s more than enough to destroy a city. But that leaves the question of why Russia would choose to nuke an American city with an underwater drone – even one that allegedly travels 100 miles an hour – when an ICBM can do the job in 30 minutes.

Russia suggests the Poseidon is a retaliatory weapon that would revenge a U.S. first strike even if American missile defenses were capable of stopping hundreds of Russian ICBMs. But even in the unlikely event that the U.S. could intercept 500 or more Russian ballistic missiles, a delivery system that could take days or weeks to reach its target seems hardly an efficient deterrent…..

The puzzle is why a giant robot submarine would be needed to detonate a nuclear warhead near a U.S. aircraft carrier ….. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russias-new-nuclear-torpedo-threat-more-just-americas-aircraft-carriers-129207

March 5, 2020 Posted by | Spain, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Spain scraps controversial nuclear waste facility

February 10, 2020 Posted by | Spain, wastes | Leave a comment

Russian Space Agency confirms plans to launch nuclear-powered space tug by 2030 

January 30, 2020 Posted by | space travel, Spain | Leave a comment

Spanish group gives summer holidays to kids from Chernobyl’s polluted region

Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Meet the NGO giving children a summer from the still present pollution,   Euro News 1 Sept 19, TV hit series Chernobyl may have revived interest in the 1986 nuclear disaster, but for one Spanish NGO, it’s never gone away.

Vallès Obert has helped organise summer holidays in Spain for around 2,000 children from the Chernobyl region since 1995.

It does this by finding families willing to host them.

The time away from the area helps their bodies recover from exposure to the toxic radioactive materials still present in the atmosphere around the diaster site…….

There are many people who have health problems”, explains Natasha, 14, who was born two decades after the incident.

She is being hosted by a family in La Roca del Vallès, near Barcelona, but will soon return to her hometown, Stanyshivka, about 60km from Chernobyl.

“After radiation, some people born cannot speak,” she told Euronews…….

Vallès Obert estimates two months a year outside the polluted environment helps their defences regenerate significantly.

Manuel, president of the association, explains that “there is an age range between 40 and 50 years old in which cancer problems begin to appear: larynx or stomach cancer, leukaemia… everything related to cancer”…….. https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/31/chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-meet-the-ngo-giving-children-a-summer-from-the-still-present-po

September 1, 2019 Posted by | children, Religion and ethics, Spain, Ukraine | Leave a comment

NATO says it will act unless Russia destroys nuclear-ready missile

NATO says it will act unless Russia destroys nuclear-ready missile https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/25/nato-says-russia-must-end-nuclear-ready-missile-ssc-program.html  JUN 26 2019 David Reid@CNBCDAVY

June 27, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Spain, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Power firms agree on route to close Spain’s oldest nuclear plant

https://www.reuters.com/article/spain-energy-nuclearpower/power-firms-agree-on-route-to-close-spains-oldest-nuclear-plant-idUSL8N2193XV

MADRID, March 22 (Reuters) – Spain’s main electricity providers have reached an agreement to renew the life of the country’s oldest nuclear plant until its planned closure, the company that operates the site said on Friday.

The Almaraz plant in Western Spain is the first nuclear reactor slated for closure in a calendar which foresees all seven in the country going offline between 2027 and 2035.

Phasing out nuclear power, which provides around a fifth of Spain’s electricity, is part of a package of energy market proposals that was one of the last gambits of the Socialist government before parliament was dissolved ahead of a general election next month.

A disagreement between Almaraz’s owners, Iberdrola, Endesa and Naturgy, over how much to invest to keep the plant running rumbled on close to a March 31 licence renewal deadline, putting the plant at risk of an earlier closure.

The firms will now apply to keep the site’s two reactors running until 2027 and 2028 respectively, on condition they will spend no more than 600 million euros on them, three sources with knowledge of the talks said.

Endesa had resisted adding any spending limits to a protocol signed last week setting out the closure dates, but a spokesman for the company said it was pleased with the deal.

We are very satisfied with the agreement because it fulfils the protocol signed last week which allows the plants to keep operating,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that the agreement also applied to two other nuclear power stations in which it holds majority stakes, whose licences likewise need renewing.

Iberdrola and Naturgy declined to comment.

March 23, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Spain | Leave a comment

Spain plans to close all nuclear plants by 2035

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/spain-plans-to-close-all-nuclear-plants-by-2035-11239490, 13 Feb 19, MADRID: Spain aims to close all seven of its nuclear plants between 2025 and 2035 as part of plans to generate all the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Energy Minister Teresa Ribera announced the move on Tuesday (Feb 12), just as the Socialist government gears up to call an early national election in anticipation of losing a budget vote.

Overhauling Spain’s energy system, which generated 40 per cent of its mainland electricity from renewable sources in 2018, will require investment of 235 billion euros (US$266 billion) between 2021 and 2030, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said last month.

Ribera said the government would present a draft plan to combat climate change, which had been due to be sent to the European Union for approval by the end of last year, to parliament on Feb 22.

Under a draft bill prepared last year, the government aims to ban sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2040 and encourage the installation of at least 3,000 megawatts a year of renewable capacity such as wind farms and solar plants.

Phasing out nuclear power, which accounts for a little over 20 per cent of mainland Spain’s electricity, was a campaign pledge for the governing Socialists, who took office last summer after toppling their conservative predecessors in a confidence vote.

Spain’s nuclear plants, which started operating between 1983 and 1988, are owned by Iberdrola, Italian-owned Endesa, Naturgy and Portugal’s EDP.

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, Spain | Leave a comment

Solar power for 97 Spanish grand hotels

Observer 30th Dec 2018 Spain’s state-owned chain of paradores, the grand hotels often housed in ancient castles and monasteries, has announced that all 97 of its establishments will use only electricity from renewable sources from the start of the new year.

The 90-year-old chain said the decision to switch to green electricity had been made for both environmental and symbolic
reasons. “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every sense of the word,” said its chair, Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company, we also want to set an example when it comes to investments that encourage energy saving and responsible  consumption.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/30/spain-paradores-solar-power-pledge

December 31, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, Spain | Leave a comment

Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants before 2030

Euractiv 15th Nov 2018 Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants
before 2030, according to State Secretary for Energy José Dominguez, who
made the announcement shortly after Madrid pledged to work towards a
completely renewable electricity system. Dominguez said on Thursday (15
November) that the current socialist government does not plan to extend the
lifespan of any of its nuclear reactors beyond their current 40-year
shelf-life. Spain’s oldest reactor is more than 37 years old, so
according to current plans will shut up shop in 2021, while its newest just
celebrated its third decade of operation, and will go offline in 2028.
https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/spain-to-nix-nuclear-and-coal-power-by-2030/

November 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, Spain | Leave a comment

Court order. USA Veterans Affairs must reveal numbers of troops exposed to radiation after 1966 Spanish nuclear disaster

Court forces VA to reveal extent of veterans’ contamination in Spanish nuclear disaster https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/11/14/court-forces-va-to-reveal-extent-of-veterans-contamination-in-spanish-nuclear-

November 15, 2018 Posted by | health, incidents, Legal, Spain, USA | Leave a comment

In 1966 USA lost a hydrogen nuclear bomb over Spain – environmental and health repercussions continue

When America lost a nuclear bomb,  Fosters.com,  By D. Allan Kerr news@seacoastonline.com 11 Nov 18, In January 1966, an American B-52 bomber collided mid-air with a refueling tanker off the coast of Spain. The resulting fiery crash claimed the lives of seven crew members.

While the loss of life was devastating, there was potential for even greater catastrophe – the B-52 was carrying four fully-loaded hydrogen bombs.

Three of the bombs were located within 24 hours, in the vicinity of a Spanish fishing village called Palomares. The fourth was nowhere to be found.

With the Cold War mired in a deep chill, the United States dispatched an entire Navy armada to try to locate the missing bomb, which was believed to have gone into the Atlantic Ocean. Among those involved in the search was a 23-year-old Navy officer named Donald Craig.

Craig was an ensign at the time, having graduated the previous year from Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island. He was serving aboard his first vessel, the minesweeper USS Sagacity (MSO 469).

As it happened, Sagacity was near Barcelona, Spain, on a Mediterranean cruise when the tragedy occurred. The minesweeper was dispatched to the scene and over the next several weeks took part in the massive search for the missing nuke.

Craig is now 76 years old, retired, and a longtime resident of Kittery Point, Maine. He still recalls the hunt for the missing nuclear bomb, and the race to get to it before the Soviet Union.

He also remains frustrated on behalf of fellow veterans who say they are dealing with adverse health effects from radiation exposure during the incident – with no assistance from the government that sent them there.

“We knew nothing,” Craig said recently of the possible aftereffects. “We were just out there doing our job.”

A disaster begins

It should have been a routine operation…………

At one point the Navy lost the bomb again in the process of bringing it to the surface, and it sank even deeper into the ravine. Eventually, the bomb and an unmanned vehicle, which had become entangled in its parachute lines, were hauled onto the deck of the submarine rescue ship USS Petrel nearly three months after the initial tragedy.

But then the United States government had to deal with a whole separate controversy – the environmental repercussions of an unleashed hydrogen bomb.

Plutonium blowing in the wind

Members of the U.S. Air Force and residents of Palomares were all exposed to radioactivity from the two bombs that had broken apart on land. Craig recalls winds of about 30 knots at the time.

“Plutonium was blowing in the wind, it was all over the place there,” he said. “They (Air Force personnel) were sitting on the edge of the crater eating their lunches.”

An area of about one square mile was contaminated, including the village’s tomato crop. American servicemen removed this soil and brought it back to South Carolina for disposal.

But in a rather bizarre attempt to show there was no danger, the U.S. government fed the contaminated tomatoes to our troops for “breakfast, lunch and dinner,” according to a June 2016 New York Times article. The U.S. ambassador to Spain and the Spanish minister of tourism swam at a nearby beach in front of a crowd of reporters to prove the waters were safe.

“If this is radioactivity, I love it!” Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke told the media.

Somehow, no civilians on the ground were seriously harmed by falling debris from the aircraft collision. America pledged to the Spanish government the site would be cleared of contamination.

“The main objective here is to leave Spain as we found it,” Duke told LIFE magazine back in 1966.

But as recently as 2015, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Spain’s foreign minister agreed to negotiate a binding agreement to resume cleanup efforts and further removal of contaminated soil from the site. While no substantive findings have verified serious health issues among the villagers, studies of wildlife such as snails have turned up high radioactive levels.

Craig, however, is particularly outraged by the treatment of Air Force veterans who took part in cleanup efforts at Palomares and now say they are suffering ill health effects as a result. The 2016 Times article featured several former servicemen now suffering from cancer and other ailments.

The Air Force has long insisted there were no serious adverse effects from the incident, so these conditions are not covered under Veterans Administration benefits. An estimated 1,600 veterans took part in the cleanup.

“That shouldn’t happen. They should absolutely be taken care of,” Craig said. ”(The government) did not look after their safety, and there are a lot of people suffering for it now.”

Last year, a number of veterans filed a lawsuit in Connecticut over disability benefits they were denied because the Pentagon refused to release records and reports related to the incident………….

D. Allan Kerr is the author of “Silent Strength,” a book about the 1963 loss of the nuclear Navy submarine USS Thresher. http://www.fosters.com/news/20181111/when-america-lost-nuclear-bomb

November 12, 2018 Posted by | history, incidents, Spain, USA | Leave a comment

Australian company Berkeley Energia’s bid to open uranium mine is knocked back by Spain

Spain to block Berkeley uranium mine project – sources, CNBC , Belén Carreño, 16 Oct 2018  The Spanish government has decided not to deliver the permits necessary to open the European Union’s only open-cast uranium mine near Salamanca, dealing a serious blow to Australian mining company Berkeley Energia’s plans.

The project was granted preliminary approval in early 2013 but has since faced local opposition………
A neighbouring mine run by public company ENUSA was previously in operation near the site in Retortillo in Salamanca province, but closed in 2000 after it failed to turn a profit.
The price of uranium fell heavily following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 and for years struggled to recover…

October 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Spain | Leave a comment

Nuclear pollution: Spain’s six radioactively contaminated sites

Six sites in Spain have radioactive contamination, nuclear agency admithttps://elpais.com/elpais/2018/10/04/inenglish/1538636406_969260.html

Yet none of the areas are officially classified as contaminated ground due to a legal limbo MANUEL PLANELLES, English version by Susana Urra.Madrid 4 OCT 2018

Spain’s Nuclear Security Council (CSN) has admitted the existence of radioactive contamination in an area located between Madrid and Toledo, as EL PAÍS revealed a few weeks ago. The agency also lists five more contaminated sites whose existence was previously known.

However, none of the six zones listed by the CSN are officially classified as contaminated ground because Spain has yet to produce a formal inventory of sites affected by radioactive leaks, a full decade after a royal decree ordered one to be drafted.

The CSN said that the Nuclear Energy Law needs to be amended first in order for the inventory to go ahead. And since 2008, no government has made any moves in this direction. In this legal limbo, the agency in charge of Spain’s nuclear security is simultaneously stating that these contaminated sites exist, but that they are not officially listed as such.

On November 7, 1970, several dozen liters of highly radioactive liquid from a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing operation leaked from the Juan Vigón National Nuclear Energy Center, located inside Madrid’s university campus. The liquid spilled into the sewer system and reached the Manzanares river; from there it flowed to the Jarama River, to the adjoining irrigation canal, and to the Tagus River.

The Franco regime, which was busy developing an atomic bomb under the Islero Project, hushed up the accident and the existence of contaminated soil, which it collected after draining the Jarama canal. The sludge considered to be least contaminated was then buried in eight ditches alongside the waterway. The legacy is still there, covered with weeds and lacking warning signs of any kind.

In its release, the CSN said that the Ecological Transition Ministry is working on legal changes to facilitate the approval of an official list of contaminated sites in Spain. This, said the oversight body, will help determine the need for cleanup operations or access restrictions.

“There are several sites showing radioactivity originating from human activity,” says the release. However, the CSN says that “it is estimated that there is no significant radiological risk.”

Besides the eight ditches along the Jarama, which are contaminated with cesium-137 and strontium-90, the CSN lists five other areas whose existence was already known. At the top of the list is Palomares, in southeastern Spain, where a US B-52 bomber collided in midair with a refueling plane on January 17, 1966, dropping four hydrogen bombs. While the bombs did not explode and nobody was killed, two of them released plutonium across the land.

There are two more contaminated sites on the Tinto River in Huelva province. One is located in the marshes of Mendaña, on the Tinto’s estuary, where there are high levels of cesium-137; the other site is near the spot where the Tinto meets the Odiel, and it contains significant amounts of radium-226.

Also on the list is El Hondón, a rural area in Cartagena (Murcia), which contains phosphate sludge and uranium-238; the last site is in the Ebro reservoir in Flix (Tarragona), where there was also phosphate sludge and uranium-238, although the CSN said that the sludge has already been removed from the site.

On Wednesday, the environmental groups Ecologistas en Acción and Jarama Vivo staged a protest in one of the ditches along the Jarama, where they placed symbolic warning signs. “A mere visual inspection of the site clearly shows how easy it is to access,” said these groups in a release. This lack of oversight has meant that, over the years, some of the earth may have been moved around, “causing a possible risk of radioactive contamination to the local population.”

“Right now there is no guarantee whatsoever that this toxic waste hasn’t been moved and scattered,” said Raúl Urquiaga, of Jarama Vivo. “In fact, some of the sites are in the same spots as infrastructure such as the A-4 bypass, roads and transmission towers.”

October 5, 2018 Posted by | environment, Spain | Leave a comment

Thousands protest against uranium mine in Spain

 Mining.com 10 June 18 Valentina Ruiz Leotaud Spanish media are reporting that between 3,000 and 5,000 people hailing from different cities in Spain, as well as from Portugal and France, rallied this weekend in Salamanca to express their rejection to a uranium mine being built in the Retortillo municipality.

June 11, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Spain, Uranium | Leave a comment