News / Europe

    French Authorities Arrest Activists After Nuclear Plant Break-in

    General view of the Areva nuclear power plant site in Tricastin, southern France, Nov. 25, 2011.
    General view of the Areva nuclear power plant site in Tricastin, southern France, Nov. 25, 2011.
    Lisa Bryant
    French authorities arrested more than two-dozen Greenpeace activists Monday, after they broke into a nuclear-power plant in southern France to highlight security and environmental concerns surrounding nuclear-power production.

    It reportedly took only 20 minutes for Greenpeace activists to break into the Tricastin nuclear-power plant, roughly 120 kilometers from the southern French city of Marseille.  

    Greenpeace France posted a video of the plant on its website, with a picture of French President Francois Hollande and a question: "President of catastrophe?"

    Greenpeace spokeswoman Isabelle Philippe said the group wants to feed a debate over nuclear energy and push Hollande to make good on promises to reduce nuclear's share of France's electricity generation from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

    The Greenpeace action aims to highlight what the group claims are the environmental and human risks posed by the 30-year-old Tricastin plant, which it says is one the five most dangerous in France. But France's nuclear safety agency did not include it on a 2012 list of plants with the lowest safety records.

    The power company, Electricite de France (EDF), said the Greenpeace intruders were almost immediately detected and had not penetrated into sensitive parts of the site.

    Speaking to reporters, an EDF spokesman said the company was going to file a complaint against the break-in and work to toughen penalties against those who try to stage similar actions.

    But the action won support from Jean-Vincent Place, a leading member of France's Green Party, which is part of France's coalition government.

    Interviewed on Europe-1 radio, Place said the break-in underscored the fact French nuclear power posed a security risk.   

    With almost 60 nuclear plants on its territory, France is a leading generator and exporter of nuclear power and technology. Greenpeace has broken into nearly a dozen plants over the years.

    In 2011, it penetrated another aging plant, again to underscore the vulnerability of nuclear power - despite promises by France and other European countries to upgrade their reactors after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

    France is expected to close yet another aging and controversial plant by the end of 2016.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    July 16, 2013 12:39 AM
    Nearly a dozen break-ins!! Sounds as though Greenpeace are the people who pose the security danger to French nuclear plants. Perhaps the French should authorize their guards to do a Zimmerman on any intruders?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora