US offers nuke clean-up help

2012-02-05 14:00

Washington - The United States is offering technical assistance to Spain to clean up land contaminated by radiation from undetonated nuclear bombs that accidentally fell on the area in 1966, the US State Department announced on Saturday.

The Spanish and US governments have not yet reached an agreement on the clean-up.

At the request of the Spanish government, an American technical team led by the US Energy Department travelled to the southeastern Spanish town of Palomares in February 2011 to offer advice for the remediation plan.

"No final decision has been reached regarding cleanup of the site," the State Department said in a statement on its website.

On January 17 1966, a US B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear bombs collided with a KC-135 tanker during mid-air refuelling off the coast of Spain. In addition to killing seven crew members on the airplanes, three hydrogen bombs fell to the ground near Palomares and one fell into the Mediterranean Sea.

The non-nuclear explosives on two of the bombs that hit the ground detonated, spreading seven pounds of plutonium over a 200 hectares. The bomb that fell into the sea was recovered intact after a search by the US Navy.

"In 1966, we worked closely with Spain to remediate the accident site, and have collaborated with Spanish authorities for more than 40 years to monitor the site and the health of local inhabitants," the State Department statement on Saturday said.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo spoke with US State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton about the remediation this week during the Munich Security Conference in Germany, according to the Spanish newspaper Herald of Aragon.

Clinton is "personally committed" to resolving the contamination issue, Garcia-Margallo told the Spanish news media.

Read more on:    spain  |  us  |  nuclear

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Brexit: What we know

43 minutes ago publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.