Greenpeace blocks French nuclear shipment

1st December 2005, Comments 0 comments

LE HAVRE, France, Dec 1 (AFP) - French special forces arrested more than 20 Greenpeace environmental activists on Thursday as they tried to prevent a Russian ship from loading nuclear waste bound for Siberia.

LE HAVRE, France, Dec 1 (AFP) - French special forces arrested more than 20 Greenpeace environmental activists on Thursday as they tried to prevent a Russian ship from loading nuclear waste bound for Siberia.

In a two-hour operation, police rounded up 19 activists one by one after they spread across the port site, several of them scaling a crane overhanging the Captain Kuroptev to prevent the cargo from being taken on board.

Greenpeace said that three other activists were arrested early Thursday near the train transporting the 450 tonnes of uranium waste, but were released shortly afterwards.

The waste from an Electricité de France plant in Pierralatte was to leave by ship for St Petersburg before being transferred by train for Tomsk in Siberia, according to Greenpeace spokesman Gregory Gendre.

"We denounce the export of nuclear waste by EDF and we condemn the fact that Tomsk has become the world's dustbin for hazardous materials," Gendre told AFP.

The French nuclear group Areva denounced the Greenpeace action as a media stunt, saying the shipment was of depleted uranium, destined to be enriched in Russia and then returned to France -- not to be dumped in the country.

Areva spokesman Charles Hufnagel said the radioactive charge of the cargo was "very low, the same as natural radioactivity."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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