Greenpeace assault on EPR

1 May 2007

Activists from environmental group Greenpeace succeeded in disrupting construction at the generation three European Pressurized Water reactor (EPR) site at Flamanville in France.

The move came on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster with the entrance to the development by Electricité de France (EdF) blocked by trucks and cranes and other construction equipment occupied.

The campaigners are calling for an immediate halt to construction at both Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland, calling the plants dangerous, unnecessary and uneconomic. “The new generation of EPR reactors are not only uneconomic but they have an inherently higher risk of serious radioactive contamination in the event of any accident,” a Greenpeace statement says.

The activists remained locked in place on the two main cranes at the site 24 hours later.

With the presidential elections currently underway in France, Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has said that the decision to issue the licence was based on "conditions of analysis and debate that are eminently contestable" and repeated a pledge to hold a debate on the project in the light of an energy policy focussed on renewables and energy efficiency.

Meanwhile, the Conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is thought to be in favour of both nuclear generation and the EPR project in particular.

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