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13 Spanish towns bid for nuclear waste site

by Staff Writers
Madrid (AFP) Feb 3, 2010
Thirteen Spanish towns have bid to host a major new nuclear waste storage site, a long-delayed project that is fiercely opposed by environmentalists, the government announced Wednesday.

Spain's six nuclear plants, which produce about 20 percent of its electricity, currently store their own spent fuel.

But the government last month called for bids from towns interested in building a central storage site.

The industry ministry said in a statement that 13 small towns, spread through five regions of the country, had filed bids by last Friday's deadline.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has said the location of the site, which is expected to cost 700 million euros (970 million dollars) and employ around 100 people once operational, would be reached by "consensus".

The waste site will bring millions of euros in government subsidies to its host town.

Environmental group Ecologists in Action has denounced the selection process as a "circus", arguing that most towns in the race were "poor, with few residents and whose mayors made the bids without knowing what the risks are."

The bids have also met opposition from neighbouring municipalities, who fear they will share in potential risks without the financial gains.

Regional government leaders in both central Castilla-la-Mancha and northeastern Catalonia have also vowed to block construction of a nuclear waste site on their territory.

The government estimates Spain's nuclear power stations will no longer have storage room on site as of 2013. Parliament voted in 2004 to build a central waste storage site, but the project has since been at a standstill.

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Ahmadinejad says 'no problem' to ship Iran uranium abroad
Tehran (AFP) Feb 3, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that Iran is willing to send its uranium abroad was cautiously welcomed by world powers on Wednesday as a sign Tehran might accept a UN-brokered nuclear fuel deal. Iran would have "no problem" sending out its stocks of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to be further purified into reactor fuel, Ahmadinejad said late on Tuesday. His comments came ahead ... read more

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