Greenpeace pilot overflies French nuclear plant

1st June 2006, Comments 0 comments

FLAMANVILLE, France, June 1, 2006 (AFP) - A Greenpeace activist was arrested on Thursday after flying an ultralight aircraft over a French nuclear plant to highlight its vulnerability to a 9/11 style attack from the skies.

FLAMANVILLE, France, June 1, 2006 (AFP) - A Greenpeace activist was arrested on Thursday after flying an ultralight aircraft over a French nuclear plant to highlight its vulnerability to a 9/11 style attack from the skies.

"This action is aimed at showing how little airspace is protected, and how vulnerable the power plant is," said Yannick Rousselet, a spokesman for the French branch of the environmental group.

"Despite what the authorities say, no one has time to react if someone seeks to attack the plant from the air," he said.

The activist — who planned to unfurl a banner over the reactor and then leave — was detained after a technical problem forced him to land inside the perimeter of the power plant in the western town of Flamanville.

Flamanville has been chosen as the site for France's first third-generation nuclear reactor, the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).

British engineer John Large said last month that claims EPR reactors could resist the impact of a commercial airliner were "misleading" and warned that terrorists were skilled at devising unexpected modes of attack.

Large was responding to a leaked document sent from the French energy giant Electricité de France (EDF) to the French nuclear safety regulators, in which EDF contended that the consequences of any 9/11 attack would be low.

France derives more than three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, which is supplied by EDF through a huge network of reactors.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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