This 2019 was to be the year in which the works began of the controversial cemetery for nuclear wastebut it will not be like that. At least, that is what the accounts of Enresa, the public company responsible for managing nuclear waste in Spain and that must build the so-called Centralized Temporary Storage (ATC). The change of government in 2018 caused the new Ministry for the Ecological Transition will paralyze the processing of permits to build this infrastructure, which the PP had decided to rise in Villar de Cañas (Cuenca) but has a strong opposition from the current Government of Castilla-La Mancha.
In principle, according to the budget planning of Enresa, by 2019 more than 68 million euros had been reserved, which correspond to "the forecast of construction, management and supervision of work, first equipment contracts", as detailed by this company. And so it appears in the annexes of the General Budgets of the State 2019 presented this Monday by the Government. However, Enresa and the ministry point out, that information is outdated.
"The budget data of Enresa that appear in the draft Budget Law for 2019 were prepared according to the programming of the ATC project in force at the end of fiscal year 2017 and remitted to the Budget Office in July 2018," the public company maintains. However, in September Enresa sent a new update in which the investment for ATC was reduced to a minimum. In particular, Enresa's budgets "only contemplate" now "for the ATC 0.6 million euros, destined to the engineering of maintenance of the project and 0,225 million euros to monitoring and surveillance of the site". That is, the minimum tasks to keep this project paralyzed.
Although the information in the Enresa accounts appears together with the draft General State Budgets, this company is not financed with public funds. Current legislation establishes that nuclear waste must be managed with the funds provided by the companies that generate them. In Spain, for the most part, they are generated by nuclear power plants. And the electricity companies, which own the plants, pay several fees to Enresa for the management of this waste.
One of the first decisions made by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition after the change of Government It was the stoppage of the project, which also has doubts from some technicians for the quality of the chosen soils. This paralysis, in principle, would be temporary, until the general planning of radioactive waste in Spain is updated. But the Minister of Environment of Castilla-La Mancha, Francisco Martinez Arroyo, believes that it is a final suspension. "We assume it is not going to be done," says Martínez Arroyo.