By Nickacia Forrester
LOCAL town halls will no longer be allowed to block plans to build or extend radioactive waste storage facilities.
It is one of the measures laid out in the new Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.
On the other hand, council’s won’t be able to halt the dismantling of nuclear power stations either. The Spanish government plans to progressively close its nuclear plants until they completely disappear by 2035.
Spain currently has a storage facility for low and intermediate level radioactive waste in the municipality of Hornachuelos, (Cordoba) known as El Cabril.
It is at 80% capacity and is predicted to be full by 2028 and therefore needs to be expanded, according to operating company Enresa.
The Town Council of Hornachuelos is totally opposed to the planned expansion. “It is an aberration and an imposition; the decision leaves the Town Council’s rights unprotected,” said Teresa Duran, councilor for the Environment.
She added that not only has the council lost control of planning, it will also lose out on about €1.2 million in taxes that would be due if permission was forced through under the old planning regulations.
There are also storage facilities for high-grade waste at six nuclear power stations.
Another measure recommended is a frequent flyer tax or the introduction of taxes on plane fares depending on the distance to the destination.
Experts suggested banning all flights where the same distance could be covered by train in two-and-a-half hours.
So far, the government has refrained from including such a measure in its environmental legislation.