Palomares bombshell

State prosecutor throws out ecologists petition to prosecute government over 1966 nuke accident

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A radiation sensor in a field in Palomares

By Richard Torné

The state prosecutor has shelved a complaint by environmentalists against the Spanish government over the 1966 Palomares nuclear accident.

The Ecologistas en Acción (EA) group accused the authorities of a cover-up following the accident, when two US air force jets collided in mid-air, causing two out of the four hydrogen bombs that plunged to the surface to rupture and release radioactivity over a wide area.

In the complaint lodged last September, the ecologists blamed Spain’s nuclear security council (the CSN), the Ciemat energy research agency and government ministers of also committing environmental crimes.

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