Spain, US in new accord on nuclear accident site cleanup
Washington and Madrid have reached a new agreement in principle for the United States to clean up land contaminated by radiation from undetonated nuclear bombs that accidentally fell on a site in Spain in 1966, a joint statement said Monday.
The two sides “intend to negotiate a binding agreement for a cooperative effort to conduct further remediation of the Palomares site and arrange for disposal of the contaminated soil at an appropriate site in the United States,” the statement said.
On January 17, 1966, a US B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear bombs collided with a tanker plane during mid-air refuelling off the coast of Spain, and two thermonuclear bombs fell near Palomares.
Although they did not denotate, they broke up, spreading seven pounds of plutonium over a 200 hectare (490 acre) area.
Under an earlier accord that ended in 2010, Washington paid 314,000 euros ($350,000) a year for tests for contamination in the region as well as regular blood tests for more than 1,000 Palomares residents.