Smoke, oil spills and now radiation - whatever next?

ATAN wishes to denounce the numerous emissions from the Santa Cruz Oil Refinery over the last few days and the way in which the public has been deliberately misled.

The refinery has released dense clouds of black smoke several times this year. Now it turns out that it has also released radioactivity into the environment - something we have discovered through Spain's Council for Nuclear Safety. The latest incident was an oil spill (just last Friday).

On Friday, smoke billowed over the city centre, blown by southerly winds. It is a warning of what could happen during a major disaster. The Meridiano shopping centre and the Torre de Santa Cruz office are bang next to Ground Zero (as can be seen from this photo, published in El Día newspaper), being sited just a stone's throw from the ageing refinery.

Black smoke from the refinery, 27th August
Photo "El Día" newspaper: Smoke pours from the refinery, 27th August.

Welcome to the Third World! Santa Cruz in general and the Cabo Llanos district in particular have no evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. Buildings are still being thrown up next to the refinery. The Meridiano shopping centre, with its cinemas; the Trade Fair; the Parque Marítimo (seaside park); numerous blocks of flats; the 34-storey Hotel Atlántida; the Avenida del Tres de Mayo road tunnel; bus station; auditorium; and Corte Inglés department store are all just yards away from Ground Zero.

Here is a quick round-up of the refinery's smoke emissions over the last year, from mid-2003 onwards:

August, September, and October 2003:

Various emissions of black smoke, shown in these photos and featured in articles on this Web site - for more, click here (in spanish).

February 2004

Black smoke from the refinery chimneys blows towards the Torre de Santa Cruz block of flats (see photo below). The owners of the "luxury" dwellings must really consider themselves fortunate to live here. The photo was sent in by an ATAN member and was snapped from the steps of the municipal swimming pool. For more information on the "prestige" flats, visit our special section in the "urban development" part (in spanish) of our site.

Smoke from the refinery blowing towards Torre de Santa Cruz (block of flats)
Smoke from the refinery blowing towards Torre de Santa Cruz (block of flats).

August 2004

Just to add fuel to the flames, Spain's Nuclear Safety Council reported a "minor incident" involving radioactive releases at the CEPSA oil refinery in Santa Cruz. Whatever next?

There were two "incidents" on the 27th of August - the first was the dense cloud of smoke shown in the top photo, the second was an oil spill at La Hondura - the port serving the refinery. The photo was provided by the Anti-Waste Incineration Forum. Such spills are common.

Oil spill at La Hondura
Oil spill at La Hondura (port) on the 27th of August 2004.

So many "incidents" all point to something being seriously wrong at the refinery. ATAN has demanded information on the three accidents in August that produced nuclear, air, and sea pollution, and for prosecution of those responsible.

1st September 2004

Versión española

More photos

- More photos of the smoke emissions of the 27th of August


- more information on and photos of the refinery

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