In Spain, about ten thousand demonstrators have staged a march on the partly built Lemoniz nuclear power station outside Bilbao.
In Spain, about ten thousand demonstrators have staged a march on the partly built Lemoniz nuclear power station outside Bilbao. The anti-nuclear protesters want all construction of Lemoniz stopped. If the plant is completed according to government plans, Lemoniz could generate three times as much electricity as the biggest existing power plant in Spain.
SYNOPSIS: Building on the Lemoniz site has been interrupted before -- and the ten thousand who marched on the site on Sunday (12 August) would have liked to see the plant's construction shelved altogether. The Lemoniz nuclear power station is the most controversial in the Iberian Peninsula -- because of its location only fifteen kilometres (about 10 miles) from Bilbao. Within this fifteen kilometres radius, over a million people live and work and the nuclear protestors fear that any accident at Lemoniz could have terrifying consequences.
Hundreds of police and paramilitary civil guards watched the demonstrations from a distance. Three workers at the plant have died in two separate bomb attacks over the last year and the Basque Separatist guerrilla organisation, FTA, claimed responsibility. They oppose the construction of Lemoniz on grounds of its potential risk to the people in this densely populated area. And ETA has considerable support from Spain's powerful left-wing opposition, as well as from the unions.
But the police at least had little to worry about during Sunday's (12 August) demonstration -- the noisy protests went off peacefully. For the government, however, the Lemoniz protest highlights a threat to it entire energy programme. Spain's energy ministry announced only recently that the country has no means of overcoming its dependence on oil without resorting to nuclear power.