Anti-nuclear protests on Franco-German border

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Anti-nuclear protests were to be held along the Franco-German border Monday, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and after Japan's nuclear accident at Fukushima.

Several Easter Monday protests were to take place on bridges over the Rhine in or around Strasbourg, including the main demonstration on the Pont de l'Europe that runs between the eastern French city and Kehl in Germany.

French television presenter and green activist Nicolas Hulot, who announced earlier this month that he hopes to run as an environmentalist candidate in the 2012 presidential election, is due to attend the Pont de l'Europe protest.

Activists are marking the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine on April 26, 1986 as well as Japan's nuclear accident at Fukushima and demanding the closure of France's oldest nuclear power station at Fessenheim.

A powerful March 11 earthquake followed by a giant tsunami cut the electricity to Fukushima's nuclear reactors, shutting down the cooling system and leading to the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Fessenheim, in service since 1977, lies in a densely-populated part of France, less than two kilometres from Germany and around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Switzerland.

France's Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has said that French nuclear security has not yet taken into account the kind of accumulation of natural catastrophes that led to Japan's disaster.

The French government has told the ASN to carry out a security audit at the 58 active atomic reactors in France, which is proportionally the world's largest user of nuclear power.


© 2011 AFP

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