Greenpeace pilot 'bombs' nuke plant

Protest group issued pictures of aircraft flying over the Bugey plant - Photo: Greenpeace

Activist arrested after dropping smokebomb on reactor building then landing inside Bugey plant near Lyon

A GREENPEACE activist has been arrested after flying over the nuclear power station at Bugey, 35km east of Lyon, and dropping smokebombs on one of the reactor buildings.

Flying a microlight, the pilot managed to land inside the site itself early this morning as Greenpeace drew attention to what it called France's failure to act against the risks of air attack or accident. The pilot and another person outside the plant were arrested.

Group spokesman Sophia Majnoni said a plane crash had not been taken into account in any part of the planning or building of any of the country's 58 nuclear reactors. She said Bugey was just one of 34 reactors where the only protection was a concrete wall lined with metal.

Power station operator EDF said that "at no time was security put at risk". It added that "security measures that were reinforced at the end of 2011 allowed the detection of the inturder and immediate arrest".

Last December 11 activists managed to get into the power station sites at Nogent-sur-Seine (Aube) and Cruas-Meysse (Ardèche). Interior Minister Claude Guéant said at the time that the "passive defences, such as fences and ditches" of France's sites would be reinforced.

Greenpeace also today published film taken during a November 2011 flight over the La Hague nuclear treatment plant in Cotentin, Normandy, and said that the site held 10,000 tonnes of nuclear combustible material - the equivalent of the cores of 130 nuclear reactors.

It was released along with a report by a British engineer on the vulnerability of French power plants. The report, in English, can be read on the Greenpeace site at www.greenpeace.org

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