Spanish village celebrates nuclear waste depot
Residents of a small Spanish village celebrated news Friday that their district will host a nuclear waste depot, a source of jobs in tough economic times.
Villagers were shown on national television erupting in joy in the only bar of Villar de Canas, near Cuenca in central Spain, as the new conservative government announced the decision.
Spain's storage capacity is near its limit, with nuclear waste distributed among power plants, a site in southern Spain and a French depot that the government says is costing 60,000 euros ($78,000) a day.
A parliamentary commission called in 2004 for the government to build such a site to stock waste for 60 years.
"This decision is now running seven years and a half years late, and this delay is leading to very high costs," Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference.
Construction of the depot will cost 700 million euros and create about 300 jobs in the first five years, said a statement by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Greenpeace decried the decision, describing it as a "nuclear cemetery" that amounted to a waste of money and an unnecessary risk.
Opponents of the site in the Platform Against the Nuclear Cemetery at Cuenca said the zone was at risk of earthquakes and they called for an evening rally against the plan.
© 2011 AFP