X Close

World

Published: Tuesday March 18, 2014 MYT 9:51:09 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 18, 2014 MYT 9:52:44 PM

Greenpeace activists arrested in French nuclear break-in

Greenpeace activists enter a nuclear power plant operated by EDF to hang anti-nuclear banners in Fessenheim, eastern France, March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Bente Stachowske/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters

Greenpeace activists enter a nuclear power plant operated by EDF to hang anti-nuclear banners in Fessenheim, eastern France, March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Bente Stachowske/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters

FESSENHEIM, France (Reuters) - French police arrested 57 Greenpeace activists who used a truck on Tuesday to ram their way into a nuclear power plant operated by EDF in eastern France, the organisation said.

The activists hung anti-nuclear banners from the Fessenheim plant, the oldest in operation in France.

Greenpeace activists have a history of breaking into nuclear plants in France and about 30 were arrested last July after entering EDF's Tricastin plant in southern France.

France's nuclear safety authority said that in the latest protest, the activists did not enter buildings and the Fessenheim plant's security was not compromised.

A CGT union official said all French nuclear plants were on maximum security alert following the incident.

An EDF spokesman said monitoring had been stepped up and precautionary measures taken.

The protesters used a truck to break through two security barriers early in the morning, a local government official told journalists. Police later surrounded and entered the plant.

"There has been no impact on the security of the plant, which continues to function normally," the EDF spokesman said.

After police wound down the protest inside the plant, more activists arrived on a canal outside on inflatable rafts and unfurled anti-nuclear banners.

President Francois Hollande has promised to close Fessenheim by 2016 and cut France's reliance on nuclear energy to 50 percent of its electricity mix from 75 percent now.

Greenpeace wants Fessenheim's two 900-megawatt reactors, which have been in operation since 1977, to be shut immediately.

"The Fessenheim plant is a symbol," Greenpeace activist Cyrille Cormier said. "Its planned closure must be the beginning of a series of plant closures in Europe to limit the accidental and financial risks linked to ageing (plants) and to start the energy transition."

The activists hung a banner from the roof of the plant that said "stop risking Europe". They called on Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to commit at an EU summit on Thursday to generating energy from alternative sources.

advertisement

  1. Weightlifter Mohd Hafifi wins Malaysia's first gold medal at Commonwealth Games
  2. MH17: First crash victim identified, says Netherlands
  3. Najib heading to Netherlands to ensure third part of deal is honoured
  4. Massive toll rate hike for Causeway users from Aug 1, including Singapore-bound vehicles
  5. Betong blast: Two Malaysians among 36 injured
  6. Balik kampung traffic: Congestion along all major highways (Updated at 3pm)
  7. Baby dies after being flung out of car in accident
  8. Last plane bearing call number touches down at KLIA
  9. RM400 one-way pass to go home
  10. Kindergarten teacher given leave to take top cop to court

advertisement

advertisement