Monday, December 5, 2011

Greenpeace activists successfully infiltrate several nuclear power plants in France

Their aim is to expose how vulnerable they are: if a bunch of nonviolent activists can get into them without being detected, what can't terrorist groups or secret services do?

Earlier today it became known that they had infiltrated the nuclear power plant of Nogent-sur-Seine, near Paris, and reached the dome to paint a warning sign on it, however they were intercepted before they could finish.

However, according to Basque newspaper Gara[es], Greenpeace announced that several other nuclear facilities had been infiltrated successfully and challenge the authorities to find them, denouncing that nuclear security exists just on paper.

Greenpeace has created a live blog page (in French) for the public to follow this multiple action. The page has links to other sources and videos.

Latest (AFP) was the rather reluctant and ashamed acknowledgement by Claude Guéant, Minister of Industry, of the vulnerability of the installations, while the always arrogant President Sarkozy only focused on the alleged irresponsibility of the Greenpeace activists and not his own by allowing this danger on the French and European Peoples and all Humankind.

France is the only state on Earth that relies seriously on nuclear energy. In all other states nuclear power generates at most a small fraction of the electricity output, being kept for military reasons mostly, but in France it is close to 80%.

Video evidence: Julien from a Nuclear Power Plant in Southern France.

Corrected Google-translation from the original French-language communication (it only refers to the action at Nogent, not the others yet):

Nuclear activists got into a reactor at the Nogent-sur-Seine

This morning at dawn, Greenpeace activists broke into the nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine (Aube) 95 kilometers southeast of Paris to carry this message: "Nuclear power is not safe". Edit at 7:30: the activists managed to climb the dome of one of the two reactors are in the process of painting the danger sign it.

This action shows how the French nuclear power plants are vulnerable: simple activists with pacifist intentions, succeeded, with little means, to reach the heart of a nuclear plant! Why? How? Because the existing security features are inadequate!

And yet ... The audit of nuclear facilities sponsored by the government after the disaster at Fukushima does not take into account the risk of human intrusion ...

That's why Greenpeace is calling on the government to expand the scope of the audit of the French nuclear facilities by integrating all the risks.

An incomplete audit!

The completion of the audit commissioned by the French government was entrusted to the nuclear operators themselves (CEA, Areva and EDF) and it will be analyzed by the Nuclear Safety Authority by the end of the year . The audit, conducted entirely within the French nuclear consortium, merely to study the problems related to natural events (earthquakes, floods ...). Risk of terrorism, plane crash, computer virus: no risk of external aggression of origin "unnatural" was taken into account.

In a report commissioned by Greenpeace and released in January Arjun Makhijani, independent Indian expert, chairman of the research institute on energy and the environment of Maryland (USA), analyzed this way the French nuclear audit: From the point of view of the causes and course of the accident, it is not relevant to limit the analysis of initiating events only to natural phenomena (earthquakes and floods). The risks of human origin should, in a process of comprehensive review of safety, be included in this analysis. This applies, at least, to accidental causes, and should even include malicious acts.

Security plans... impressive on paper!

The government, in charge of security of nuclear sites, claims to have plans for all events to secure the French Atomic Park, as the intervention of fighters maximum in 15 minutes on all nuclear sites, the continued presence of a special platoon of the Gendarmerie at each site, air radar devices for detections above certain facilities, a double electric fence and video surveillance around each site, a restricted airspace above the sites or access subject to "special permission" ...

But in spite of these "exceptional" measures worthy of the best action movies, the Greenpeace activists showed today that the French nuclear installations are very fragile. That's probably why the non-natural external risks are not included in the audit. If they would, no installation could be declared safe!


Two banners were hang outside two other nuclear power plants in France (Chinon in northwestern France and Blayais in the southwest) while another activist cell was removed from the nuclear plant of Cadarache, in the Southeast, according to Electricité de France (EDF), as reported by Al Jazeera.

An hour ago, at 21:10 CET (20:00 GMT), two more Greenpeace activists were arrested inside the Cruas power plant, in a region (the middle Rhône banks) that holds one of the highest density of nuclear facilities on Earth. 

40 minutes later Greenpeace France closed its live blog acknowledging that all activists had finally been arrested. 

For almost a whole day at least two people camped on their own inside a French nuclear central undetected, while at least one other plant was also penetrated.

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