[ RadSafe ] Greenpeace breach of French nuclear plant security tody - Previous story about "Peace loving ecologists" firing 5 anti-tank rockets at French nuclear construction site

Stewart Farber SAFarber at optonline.net
Mon Dec 5 15:17:47 CST 2011

The article at the link below from the newswire today says that a number of  Greenpeace anti-nuke activists were able to breach plant security at a French nuclear power plant. See:


The WSJournal article states:

"Two of the protesters climbed on the roof of one the two reactors before being apprehended by police".

Does anyone know if the two Greenpeace activists actually climbed to the roof of the reactors or climbed atop the turbine buildings?

In another unrelated but memorable bit of French anti-nuclear activist history, today's news made me think of a troubling, but amusing in a way news article I read in 1982 when France was constructing their Super Phenix reactor. The news item [don't you love google] can be seen at:


The link immediately above about the 1982 attack on a French reactor refers to an attack by a group which termed themselves in a news release as: "PEACE LOVING ECOLOGISTS" who just decided to procure and fire 5 Soviet anti-tank rockets at the reactor under construction, one hitting the cooling tower. Fortunately no one on site was injured or killed. I'm amazed at the warped logic that allows a group of activists to describe themselves as "peace loving ecologist" while firing 5 anti-tank rockets into a construction site. I'd hate to think what kind of weapons such "peace-loving ecologists"  might procure and use if they were not "peace loving". Of course we've seen sorry examples of where fanaticism can take people. Wow.

Today's news story from the Wall St. Journal about Greenpeace breaching security at a nuclear plant in France [in case the WSJ link at the start of this post does not provide full access] is copied below:

• DECEMBER 5, 2011, 12:59 P.M. ET
French Greenpeace Activists Arrested for Nuclear-Plant Break-In 
• Article 
PARIS—French police Monday arrested nine activists with the environmental group Greenpeace who broke into one of France's nuclear plants in an attempt to raise new questions about reactor security. 
The nine broke into the compound of the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear plant, south of Paris, at about 6 a.m. Two of the protesters climbed on the roof of one the two reactors before being apprehended by police, the plant's owner, state-controlled power behemoth Electricite de France SA, said. 
The incident comes as nuclear energy becomes a central issue in the 2012 presidential campaign in France, in a country that has been debating energy safety since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in March. President Sarkozy has rejected any need for France to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy, which accounts for about 75% of the nation's electricity. But Socialist candidate Francois Hollande has endorsed a plan to reduce France's dependence to 50% by 2025. 
French government officials pledged an immediate investigation of the incidents and said security efforts would be redoubled. Greenpeace said the incidents proved the sites aren't safe. 
"With this nonviolent action, Greenpeace shows that French nuclear installations are vulnerable," Greenpeace France activist Sophia Majnoni d'Intignano said in a statement. "It's the patent proof that existing security systems aren't sufficient." 
The utility said the protesters didn't approach key control areas. The actions "had no consequences over the installations' security, nor over the safety of people on the sites," EDF said. 
The environmental group also unsuccessfully tried to break into at least two other French nuclear plants, Blayais in the south west and Chinon, in the center of the country, EDF added. 
A spokesman for the interior ministry said there were security "dysfunctions" that were being analyzed. How the activists managed to enter the plant's compound was unclear, he added. The government spokesman declined to elaborate on the potential need for additional security measures at the country's 58 nuclear plants, all owned and operated by EDF. 
France's energy minister Eric Besson called for a comprehensive investigation and insisted "all appropriate conclusions will be drawn" from the incident. 
The opposition Green party, which wants France to completely exit nuclear power, said the incident proved again that nuclear energy was inherently unsafe. 
"The human and terror risks must at least be taken seriously by the nuclear authority and the government. Safe nuclear [energy] doesn't exist in Nogent, nor did it in Chernobyl and Fukushima," the Green party secretary-general Cecile Duflot said in a statement. 
EDF already is facing looming costs to increase safety at its 58 reactors, while building a 59th facility in the north of the country for €6 billion ($8 billion), a much-delayed safety- and security-enhanced third-generation reactor that is some €1 billion over costs. EDF has refused to provide precise figures, but the extra safety expenses will add to those needed to finance the extension of some of its reactors' life-span, a cost that experts estimate at around €600 million to €650 million per 900 MW reactor. 
France is the world's second-largest nuclear operator after the U.S. The country embraced nuclear energy following the 1973 oil crisis, to boost its energy independence and to develop a world-class industry that exports nuclear technology. 
At the government's request, EDF conducted specific tests after the nuclear accident at Fukushima in March, which triggered a wide public debate that has grown ahead of the spring presidential election and summer parliamentary elections. 
The opposition Green and Socialist parties agreed in a common program to cut the share of nuclear in France's energy from 80% to 50% by 2025, which will mean shutting down 24 reactors, while boosting renewable generation capacities. 
Write to Geraldine Amiel at geraldine.amiel at dowjones.com and Inti Landauro at inti.landauro at dowjones.com 

Stewart Farber, MSPH
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Bridgeport, CT 06606
email: SAFarber at optonline.net

More information about the RadSafe mailing list