May 11, 2014 at 6:23 am #58018
I know this is taken from the Daily Mail but the writer is a respected BBC journalist. The story has been quietly hushed up for years. The vested interests don’t like new generations of potential buyers in Almeria knowing about it. However it is still an issue and people should be aware of it. It really did actually happen.
I was a hot political issue when I lived in the region years ago but the passage of time seems to have buried the story.
Indeed, the passage of time has only made the problem more deadly still. Nearly five decades on, the plutonium has degraded to become americium, a substance that emits lethal alpha particles.
‘I would be very surprised if local people haven’t suffered already some increased risk of cancer, or leukaemia or lymphoma,’ explained British scientist Dr Christopher Busby. ‘They should be very concerned.
May 11, 2014 at 10:04 am #119592
Isn’t Desert Springs around there?
May 11, 2014 at 10:25 am #119593
Yes, almost within spitting distance of the dried up river bed which glows in the dark. 🙂 It’s interesting the article says Franco hushed the entire thing up and destroyed all the documents related to it. He had a murky relationship with the US who tolerated him because of the cold war.
The American air force arriving sur masse with nuclear fall out kit and moving the soil to Nevada will negatively impact the property and tourist market there. People needs to be informed of the risks, however small. Will it be hushed up again?
May 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm #119594
Probably will be hushed up, I never see much in the Spanish media.
Certainly makes me think about buying tomatoes from that region 😯
May 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #119596
Because of the healthcare system, it would be very easy to determine if there has been higher-than-expected rates for cancers that are typical from radiation exposure. Not only that, but people tend to talk about sickness and death and yet that article shows little investigation other than “reporting” unsourced rumors (I know, the Daily Mail isn’t really a credible source for news).
What’s really remarkable is, assuming that this really is a problem, that the idiot who wrote that article is so preoccupied with bashing the US that he forgets that the governments of Spain and the UK should be asking the US for more money.
Like any government, the US isn’t going to just show up with a boatload of money without being asked or pressured, and, unlike the EU, no government is going to give the Spanish government any money without some accountability.
May 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm #119597
Because of the healthcare system, it would be very easy to determine if there has been higher-than-expected rates for cancers that are typical from radiation exposure.
Of course, if there is a transparent government. It took about 8 months for Spain to admit it had MRSA. Only came out in Malaga that some had been infected with hepatitis C when one woman sued over the death of her husband…three years after the cases happened!
Don’t blame the Mail. The guy has written a book about the incident and he is an ex-BBC Journalist. Why is he an idiot?
May 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm #119598
The fact is the US contaminated that part of Almeria. OK it was an accident but there has been a cover up ever since to this day.
Christopher Morris is a respected journalist and probably the Mail was the only newspaper that would commission his article on an exclusive basis.
The Spanish covered up the truth and many politicians involved are still around. You can be sure the current PP under Rajoy don’t wish to see any investigation into that. They have a conundrum. If they make a fuss and demand more clean up funds from the US, publicity worldwide will result. It’s a great story. They will then have to admit the cover up and the resulting ill health of the locals who will be entitled to compensation.
It’s a bit like the Bhopal disaster in India, nobody cares about a few peasants when there is so much to lose..
May 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm #119599
I don’t care if he wrote the Bible – this article is bunk. I hate crap like this because I am rarely patriotic – I think it is a disease. But this article is a cheap shot that accomplishes nothing. If this is the best from the this author, you all are in trouble.
First, he whines about the supposed pittance the US paid, and that is disingenuous – because he doesn’t list the value of what has been paid in terms of today’s currency value. For example, using the amounts listed in the article, the US paid over over £145 million in today’s currency value just for the cleanup, and that doesn’t include the cost of the soil that the US removed. Then, again according to the article, it paid Palomares over £5 million in today’s currency value for potential health issues and the ‘ruination of their livelihoods.’
Instead of giving us facts and figures, he prints this false equivalence from some expat whose credentials are unknown: “We’re disgusted at the way the Americans have been bullying the British over the Mexico oil spill disaster.” Really? The US government bullied private citizens and not a private company to pay for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? Furthermore, the US provided BP with a bill – realistic or not, for the well-documented economic losses in the region. And there’s no comparison between the two regions regarding the economic impact of their respective accidents. Regardless, this was included to incite idiots to over-react. It’s the kind of rubbish that I’d expect to see on Sálvame.
This was a horrible accident and Spain and people affected should be ‘made whole’ again. But don’t blame the Americans if the Spaniards and the Brits don’t properly ask for money for the harm or potential harm done to it’s citizens. And that’s my point. The author bashes the Americans and lets the UK and Spanish governments off with a slap on the wrist.
May 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm #119600
Gary. It’s interesting to see your interpretation of the article is USA bashing. I cannot agree.
The Daily Mail is not by nature anti USA and in anyway journalists when they write a story do not always have any hidden agenda. It’s actually a way of making a living.
My interpretation is the Spanish regional government and before that the dictatorship, since the accident occurred, has been shamefully lax.
Lax in both covering it up or rather burying it and failing to extract more cleanup funding so the lack of recognition of a problem continues through every generation.
Now we can all speculate on the reasons for that. However I don’t in anyway blame the US for the subsequent lack of action. It’s entirely down the the regional government of Almeria who would rather see this incident and it’s aftermath buried and forgotten for economic reasons.
If you know the region as I do you would realise nobody talks about it. It’s one of those ghost stories nobody talks about. Rather like the French collaboration with the Nazis in WW11.
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