Mending Broken Arrows

Discussions are reportedly under way between the US and Spanish governments to finish cleaning the site of a 1966 B-52 crash in the Spanish countryside in and around Palomares that was contaminated with plutonium released from several nuclear weapons. Spain’s Foreign Minister José Garcia-Margallo said earlier this year State Secretary Hillary Clinton told him this issue would be “resolved” before her mandate was up, reported Public Radio International on June 6. Although the United States removed several tons of contaminated soil right after the mishap, there are still some 100 acres of fenced off areas with soil presumably contaminated with plutonium, according to the radio news magazine. Following Garcia-Margallo’s comments, the State Department acknowledged that there were ongoing talks, but said there’s been no final decision on the clean-up. (For more on the Palomares mishap, read The Perils of Chrome Dome from Air Force Magazine’s 20011 archive.) (See also Energy Department webpage on medical surveillance of Palomares residents.)