Greenpeace activists scale French nuclear tower

28th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

BELLEVILLE SUR LOIRE, France, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - Greenpeace activists on Tuesday scaled a nuclear cooling tower in central France in a spectacular stunt to draw attention to its campaign against nuclear power.

BELLEVILLE SUR LOIRE, France, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - Greenpeace activists on Tuesday scaled a nuclear cooling tower in central France in a spectacular stunt to draw attention to its campaign against nuclear power.

Activists from eight different countries targeted a plant in Belleville sur Loire, climbing the tower's outer ladder and absailing half-way back down to spray-paint the words "EPR = Danger".

Construction of France's first so-called "third-generation" European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR), located in Flamanville near the English Channel, is due to begin by the end of the year.

But the project is opposed by anti-nuclear activists, who drew tens of thousands of people into the streets in protest earlier this month.

"We want to denounce the dangers of nuclear power in general and the EPR in particular," said a Greenpeace spokeswoman Adelaide Colin.

France derives more than three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest ratio of any country in the world, and many of its 58 reactors are nearing the end of their usefulness.

Designed to generate power for 60 years, the EPR will gradually take over as the reactors currently in service are start to be decommissioned from 2015.

Around 60 police officers, backed by elite commando squads and four helicopters, were mobilised during the operation, although the power provider Electricite de France said the demonstrators had not come close to any dangerous installations.

Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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