There have been more protests in Spain against the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the northern Basque country.
There have been more protests in Spain against the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the northern Basque country. The latest protests have been taking place in villages near the power station, which is at Lemoniz not far from Bilbao.
SYNOPSIS: The Spanish government's plans to build the new power plant have already caused massive protests. Last July a crowd of more than 200,000 marched on the town of Lemoniz from Bilbao to voice their opposition.
Demonstrations are now being held in villages all over the area. This all-party protest on Sunday (12 February), which was led by local children, took place in the village of Munguia only about 10 kilometres away from the power station. It attracted a crowd of about 5,000. Many of the children had made their own protest placards, and one of the slogans was: 'Nuclear stations mean sick children'.
The new power station is part of an overall nuclear energy policy which aims to have about 15 nuclear reactors operational in 1980. Spain, which first used nuclear power in 1968, now has three working reactors, with another three due this year.
By the beginning of last December, the government had approved the construction of seven new reactors, and had given preliminary agreement to another seven.
The Spanish government's strong emphasis on nuclear power is based on the country's heavy dependence on imported energy supplies. But, despite the economic arguments, fears over safety aspects persist, and with them the demonstrations.