Bosses who covered up radioactive leak sacked

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The manager and the head of security of Asco power station were fired after evidence showed that they attempted to cover up the leak.

17 April 2008

MADRID - The manager and the head of security of the Asco nuclear power station in Catalonia were removed from their posts on Wednesday after Spain's National Security Council (CSN) released evidence suggesting they had attempted to cover up one of the worst radioactive leaks in the history of nuclear power in Spain.

Plant manager Rafael Gasca and security chief Francesc Gonzalez were both made redundant by the board of directors of the power station near Tarragona where a radioactive leak occurred on 26 November 2007.

The leak was not discovered until March and was classified by Gasca as a "minor incident". A report subsequently revealed that the level of radioactive contamination was 100 times worse than Gasca had initially told the CSN.

The nuclear watchdog has since begun testing 700 plant workers and visitors for signs of contamination.

Gasca is to be replaced by Cesar Candas, until now the director of the Vandellos nuclear power plant, also located near Tarragona and, like Ascot, owned by electricity companies Endesa and Iberdrola.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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