VILLAR DE CAÑAS, Spain— Mayor José María Saiz believes he has a shot at re-energizing this dying town in central Spain. On a site just beyond its old white houses, amid fields of barley and sunflowers, he envisions building Spain’s first centralized depot for nuclear waste.
“When a once-in-a-life opportunity like this comes along, you grab it,” says Mr. Saiz, 45, who is also the owner of a small farming-equipment manufacturer.
Spain’s decadelong construction boom brought new houses, employment and prosperity to places like Villar de Cañas. Now, the country’s fiscal meltdown—double-digit budget deficit, an unemployment rate of 20% and a troubled banking system—has quickly reversed all that, leaving the town’s dwindling population of 450 with few prospects for growth.
Mr. Saiz’s town is among eight finalists battling for the dubious privilege of storing waste from the country’s eight nuclear reactors. Spain’s Industry Ministry, which is set to name the winner in coming weeks, had expected to field applications from towns close to nuclear-power plants, a spokesman said.
Full Story: Spanish Town Dreams of Nuclear Dump – WSJ.com
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