Monday, July 15, 2013

Occitania: Greenpeace breaches security at Tricastin nuclear facility

Tricastin, near Avignon, is one of the most important nuclear facilities on Earth: it is not just a huge nuclear power plant of four reactors, producing some 6% of France's electricity, but also holds one of the main uranium enrichment plant of Europe. It's shadow is so ominous that nearby wine producers recently changed their official denomination from Coteaux du Tricastin to Grignan les Adhemar.

Today activists of Greenpeace breached the security perimeter and deployed a banner at a stairway just besides one of the reactors. Meanwhile from the opposite side of the canal their comrades projected on the reactor images of a luminous crack and the words "Tricastin nuclear accident", later replaced by an image of President Hollande and the legend "President of the catastrophe?"

Tricastin had a very serious accident in July 2008, when 18,000 liters of uranium solution (containing some 75 kg of enriched uranium) were released to the nearby rivers Gaffière and Lauzon, which have been since then restricted for all normal activities. Also that same month a hundred workers were exposed to radioactive particles and another spill was detected lagging from 2005.

According to Fukushima Emergency...:

The 33-year-old plant is the third-oldest in France’s nuclear park. Multiple cracks on the reactor vessel no. 1 and its location in an area at risk of flooding and tremors make it a safety hazard, according to Greenpeace.

Police only appeared more than an hour after the break-in had been executed. All in all the activists were only arrested six hours later, with full deployment of helicopters and a mountain police special team.

Main source: Greenpeace[fr].

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