RAJOY’S new government has announced a €700 million nuclear waste dump for a village near Madrid, provoking mixed reaction from residents and green groups.
The dump, to be built in the small town of Villar de Canas, is expected to create 300 new jobs – an obvious blessing for its residents given Spain’s current 21 per cent unemployment rate.
Many in this small village 135 km south-east of the capital have welcomed the news, with its mayor saying it was like ‘winning the lottery’.
Those in nearby villages, however, are considering taking legal action against the plan.
Greenpeace are also critical, saying the project is likely to cost nearly three times what the government has proposed, and that transporting waste to the site will be dangerous.
The plan was originally voted in 2004, but the location decision was delayed by Zapatero’s government amid protests.
Nuclear power currently provides around 20 per cent of Spain’s electricity.
“Radioactive waste has been generated for decades and will continue to be for years because Spain is not in a position to do without nuclear power,” said an Industry Ministry statement.