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France admits lapses after breach of nuke reactor security

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:48 PM EST, Mon December 5, 2011
Plant director Herve Maillart stands outside the nuclear facility at Nogent-sur-Seine, southeast of Paris.
Plant director Herve Maillart stands outside the nuclear facility at Nogent-sur-Seine, southeast of Paris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Interior minister has ordered a search of all nuclear plants, spokesman says
  • Greenpeace: Action shows vulnerability of French nuclear security
  • French president calls act "irresponsible" but pledges transparency

Paris (CNN) -- France's interior minister admitted Monday that lapses in security made it possible for Greenpeace activists to gain entry to a nuclear power plant southeast of Paris.

Interior Minister M. Claude Gueant said there have been lapses in the nuclear plant's security system and has ordered a search of all nuclear plants, a spokesman for the ministry told CNN.

The environmental activist group said on its website that members gained entry to the plant at Nogent-sur-Seine at dawn and managed to climb the dome of one of its two reactors "in order to spread the message: 'Safe nuclear does not exist.'"

"This action shows how vulnerable the French nuclear centrals are: Peaceful activists have managed with a few means, to reach the heart of the nuclear central! Why? How? Because the security device is insufficient," the website stated.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the act "irresponsible," but said that the government will "absolutely publish all" of the audits related to plant security.

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