Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Viewers of British television of a certain age will remember well Lance Corporal Jones in the BBC comedy series about the Home Guard – Dad’s Army. One of his catchphrases was “Don’t Panic!” which he shouted repeatedly whilst doing just that.

Jones would have felt at home in Almaraz in Cáceres last Friday when the nuclear alarm was broadcast over loudspeakers. The town is close to a nuclear power station which the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) says has two reactors.

One of the reactors is currently out of use as it is being refuelled. The CSN stated the other reactor is fully operational with no problems in its security. It is investigating why the warning system to alert people that there has been a technical breakdown had been activated and whether it was intentional.

The Dirección General de Protección Civil which is part of the Ministry of the Interior has sent officials to study the cause of the activation of the loud speaker alarm. Apparently the system can only be activated manually and it is not yet known whether that was deliberate, human error or an electrical fault.

Mayor Sabina Hernández she would be unhappy to learn that the sounding of the alarm had been an act of sabotage. She added the alarm had caused widespread panic in Almaraz and a large number of people had to be treated at the health centre for shock.

She has called in the Guardia Civil to track down the culprit or culprits. If caught Lance Corporal Jones other catchphrase “They don’t like it up ‘em” would seem to suggest a suitable punishment.

1 comment:

Tudor Rickards said...

Thanks for the Don't Panic story. It seems to capture the UK culture mood very well