30 Jul, 2010 @ 10:44
1 min read

Nuclear water

By Nicola Cowell

RADIOACTIVE traces have been found in tap water in 19 Almerían villages.

The ´abnormal levels of alpha radiation` were found in water from a well that serves the village of Albox.

Spanish health authority of the Junta de Andalucía has now warned locals in 18 surrounding towns that their water is unfit to drink.

The mayor in Albox issued a statement warning people not to drink or cook with their tap water due to the supply from the Zorreras well being found to be contaminated during routine tests.

Some of the towns, many which are bustling with tourists, have been cut off and are forced to get their water from tankers which deliver supplies only twice a week.

Water companies, who are now looking into the problem, say this is not the first time water has been unfit to drink in Almería.

Health delegate Manuel Lucas played down the problem, saying the tests taken were very wide.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. O h my, I am glad I have bottled water.
    Is it possible to have any more bad news than this? I am no scientist but if the water is radio active, what else is? The veg etc.
    The nuclear bomb from the American plane landed in Palomares towards the coast, so about 30 minutes drive from Albox. Still, you still see a few old Spanish dodgers in Albox so it may not have killed them all off, can’t imagine them buying bottled water.
    Anyway, just back from a trip to Spain, nice weather, pool was great, restaurant s were rubbish. Better to cook indoors. I went to one in Alumnar (hopefully that is the right spelling, I have had a couple of Spanish shorts), 15 – 20 minutes further inland from Albox, nice Hotel / Spa. You should have seen the muck they served up. In 11 years that has got be the worst meal I have ever had. Straight from the freezer to the plate. The Spanish have the best natural ingredients but they have not got much of a clue how to cook. Much better selection in the concrete jungles of the Costas.
    I must say the weather is great, came back to UK and I had to have the lights on yesterday at 15.00, it was lightning and I am sitting here now with a jumper on.
    Back for a bit more radiation soon.

  2. This should be front-page news all over the world as an example of permanent damage done to the planet on a par with Chernobyl, Bhopal and the BP leaks. The USA has never done anything substantial about this and I don’t think ‘they’ remember it themselves.

  3. I think there were four bombs,the one in the sea got most attention,but one or two actually broke up and spread over a number of acres as “raw” uranium/plutonium.

    The thing that is easier to forget is the effect of wildfires,in shoving it all up into the atmosphere and spreading it about with the wind.Currently the “Moscow” fires are likely to be stirring up old Chernobyl fallout.

    The risk of ingesting alpha emitters is present.I don’t know what public health monitoring is like out there,but any dangers (and there may be none) will show up in comparative infant mortality,congenital malformation and cancer figures in the administrative region,compared to anywhere else in Spain.
    Anyone interested can buy “Atomic Audit” from amazon….not a good read !!!

  4. I am a resident here. I am told the problem is not due to the Palomares incident but is due to the naturally forming alpha radiation in the rock,(a situation also found in certain locations in the UK).Formerly the water from one well was diluted with an alternative water source which allowed the water to pass the limits set, however due to the economic crisis of the local town halls they could not pay the bills, and so the water is coming only from the one well.
    The problem is not one of drinking the water, I have never drank tap water here and neither do most people, rather the fear is of the radiation emitted when the radons are released into the atmosphere from washing machines,dishwashers, showering etc when the particles can be released and breathed in. There has been a distinct lack of public information, as to the effects from consuming crops watered with it, use of swimming pools etc and what the actual level is compared to the european limit.I would have thought that given the fact that this is the twenty first century we would have been treated more intelligently.

  5. Nuclear water on the beach? They´ll be giving it a ´blue flag´ award next no doubt lol.

    Depressing stuff, but truth be known, all of the world´s illnesses are being caused by long term effects to radiation poisoning. A and H bomb tests (above ground, undeground and of course in the atmosphere – rarely talked about the last one) and of course disasters like Chernobyl, et al are all slowly killing us and our offspring, but of course governments will tell you the complete opposite when asked.

  6. I don’t know the locality,so was very surprised at how far away from Palomares Albox is,what is more I do not know the way the rivers flow or how the water table is configured.It seems to be too far away from the bombs’ site,but here is what Atomic Audit says:

    2 bombs exploded,scattering plutonium and other debris for up to 500 yards near the village, a third “relatively intact” was recovered from a river bed !!! (they were on parachutes,?drift,but riverbed significant in this context).

    For three months 1700 US personnel and spanish civil guards worked to decontaminate the area. 1400 tons of soil and vegetation was sent to the US.Crops of toamtoes were buried and burned. 650 acres ( a square mile) of village crops and farms were contaminated…during this period winds picked up and carried the plutonium dust…official report says “the total extent of the spread will never be known”

    Only 6% of the exposed population were monitored….at a cost of $5 mill…..500 claims were made….$120 milliion paid out

    Both the Franco and Us govts wanted it hushed up

    A report stated…”Palomares is one of the few locations in the world that offers an ongoing experimental laboratory to look at an agricultural area”

    The only reason to keep the local authorities on their toes is the very long toxic life of the radioactive elements involved….and the short memories of local administrators and developers.

    what is interesting is why the local inhabitants are not hopping mad…what are the local rates of illness..and where are the local green movements in all this?

  7. Nuclear radiation is without doubt the most subtle and dangerous form of poisoning known to man. Its potential ill effects will be felt as far into the future as the Neanderthals are in the past. Maybe we would be better off at that stage of human development.
    Cutting down on energy consumption to fade out nuclear power stations and eliminating nuclear weapons, is the surest way for the human race to go, if it’s not already too late. Better we are hungry some of the time, than a ghastly death from cancers induced by radiation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Shaken and stirred

parque natura cabo de gata
Next Story

A to Z: Secret Andalucian Summer

Latest from Almeria

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press