Greenpeace set off fireworks at Cattenom
French Greenpeace activists succeeded in breaking into restricted areas of the Cattenom nuclear power plant just over the Luxembourg border in France early Thursday morning, and set off fireworks.
The announcement was made by the environmental organisation from the Lorraine site, who filmed themselves as they entered the power plant, raised banners and set off fireworks.
The aim of the campaign was to draw attention to the safety deficiencies of the French nuclear power station. "For years, Greenpeace has consistently pointed out security risks, which are known to those responsible, but nothing happens," said Yannick Rousselet of Greenpeace.
Five minutes with simple ladders
According to Roger Spautz of Greenpeace Luxembourg, the outer barrier was breached in five minutes. "With the help of simple ladders, our activists were standing in front of the building housing spent fuel pools after five minutes, so anyone who has malicious intentions would have been able to get there without problems."
According to Spautz the power station's security took five minutes to react and the Greenpeace activists were subsequently arrested.
The power plant operator EDF explained that the break-in was immediately noticed by security personnel and police had intercepted the activists after a few minutes. "The intruders were always outside the buildings and outside the nuclear zone," EDF said.
The incident had no impact on the safety of the facility and the company denounced "violent actions of a movement that is increasingly committing illegal acts."
Greenpeace received a report from seven independent experts on reactor safety at the beginning of the week. This mainly highlighted extreme safety gaps in the area surrounding the spent fuel pools. These are said to be poorly protected against attacks or manipulation from the outside.
An incident in one of these buildings could have worse consequences than the Fukushima disaster that hit Japan in March 2011, according to the report.
(Adam Walder, email@example.com, +352 49939721)