The Retortillo uranium mine project near Salamanca is looking to expand its area. Opposition includes very active municipalities, and two local ejos working together against the project. ENUSA and Berkeley signed an agreement in December 2008 according to which Berkeley should make a report about the viability of the exploitation of uranium in the territories of Villavieja de Yeltes and Retortillo, Salamanca, Spain, near the frontier with Portugal. In October 2011, Berkeley signed an agreement of cooperation with the town halls of Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes about the mine exploitation of uranium deposit and regarding a project of construction of a factory of uranium concentrates. Berkeley has deeply divided the local inhabitants opinions with the promise of offering local people between 100–200 jobs, which was appreciated by them, considering the high share of unemployed people. On September 25th 2013, the Junta (regional government) of Castilla y León issued a favourable Environmental Impact Statement of the Uranium mining project. The Nuclear Spanish Safety Council on 5th March 2014 informed Berkeley that the company submitted dossier was incomplete because the waste is radioactive and it must be treated as such, but finally Berkeley obtained the authorization as first category radioactive installation. The first category radioactive installations activities imply the highest potential radiological risk, such as the facilities producing uranium, thorium and their compounds; the facilities that produce natural uranium; the facilities that use radioactive sources for industrial irradiation uses and the complex facilities that use high radioactive substances stocks or produce irradiation bunches with such a high frequency energy that causes a significant radiological impact.
Later, in April 2016 the Spanish National High Court admitted the administrative appeal against the resolution of authorization of the project as first category radioactive installation, process still ongoing. In February 2017, Stop Uranio filed a complaint with the Salamanca Public Prosecutor Office since Berkeley may have committed an environmental crime punished by the Spanish Criminal Code in the article 325 considering the fact this company had logged some holm oaks illegally. During the last five years the local residents of the towns encompassed in the region of Ciudad Rodrigo, especially the neighbours of Retortillo and Villavieja de Yeltes have been opposing the project of uranium mine, and they are still opposing at the present time. They have created an environmental NGO against the project called “Stop Uranio” and they are working with “Salamanca Antinuclear” (NGO from Salamanca) and Ecologistas en Acción (National NGO). For instance, they have organized many open-air meetings and demonstrations and they bring legal and judicial appeals against the Spanish and Castilla y Leon Administrations decisions. Regarding this last issue, Berkeley has allegedly been stalking some environmental activists infringing on their fundamental rights to speak out and to inform.
One of the most remarkable fears of this project is that it is going to be able to affect negatively the market price of livestock such as pigs or morucha (a type of Salamanca bovine meat). Moreover, cork oaks, holm oaks and other types of oak may be affected. Finally, we cannot forget that the project is located near the frontier of Portugal which would affect some types of wildlife and natural habitats protected by European laws – Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAB) and Site of Community Importance (SIC) – and would pollute the Douro River (the Douro river supplies water to 2 million people) as the Yeltes River that is tributary of Huebra River, flows out in Douro river. The Portuguese Government has not been officially communicated by Spanish authorities neither it has agreed on this project.