France admits 'lapses' in nuclear security

5th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

France on Monday admitted to "lapses" in the security of its nuclear sites as President Nicolas Sarkozy denounced an "irresponsible" break-in by Greenpeace activists at an atomic power plant.

"It is clear that this reveals lapses in our (security) system," Interior Minister Claude Gueant told journalists. "All the lessons must be learned so that the system can be even more watertight than it is today."

Sarkozy denounced the activists for putting themselves and others at risk.

"It is quite irresponsible to take risks with one's life and the lives of others," he said at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"As far as nuclear security is concerned, we will absolutely publish all (security) audits," he said, adding: "We owe transparency to the French people."

Nine Greenpeace activists were arrested on Monday after they managed to sneak past security at the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power plant, 95 kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Paris, and unfurl a banner on one of its domes reading: "Safe Nuclear Power Doesn't Exist."

The environmental group said the move was aimed at exposing the "vulnerability" of French nuclear power plants, which the country relies on for three-quarters of its energy needs.


© 2011 AFP

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