Investigation suggests US airbase was used to keep nuclear material during Cold War

Desperate to be free of heavy-metal pollution around Lajes airbase, on Terceira island in the Azores, young locals have created a social media group to highlight dangers they see as affecting public health.

Ajudat (Facebook) has begun by uploading an ongoing TVI investigation on how the Americans, who have had a force at the base since the 50s, may have stored nuclear waste at Lajes “for many years”.

The question is “how many years” – and could the existence of this nuclear waste have had anything to do with the cases of cancer, both on the island, and among ex- US army personnel? (click here)

The problem, explains TVI, is separating fact from rumour “and finding people with direct knowledge of the situations who are willing to talk about what they know”.

Suffice it to say, the rumblings of discontent on Terceira are not growing quieter with time – despite the fact that official sources suggest heavy-metal pollution issues are gradually “becoming less”.

Expectations now are focused on the next ‘pollution update’, to be reported by the end of this year from LNEC, the national laboratory of civil engineering, along with the next investigative report by TVI.

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