Skip to main content

Greenpeace activists arrested in French nuclear break-in

By CNN Staff
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
Greenpeace hold banners in boats in front of the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim on March 18, 2014.
Greenpeace hold banners in boats in front of the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim on March 18, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Environmental activists hang banner at nuclear plant
  • The plant's operations were not disrupted, officials say
  • The Fessenheim plant opened in 1977

Paris (CNN) -- French police arrested dozens of Greenpeace activists Tuesday who had forced their way into a nuclear power plant.

During the early morning break-in, the activists hung anti-nuclear banners from the Fessenheim plant, France's oldest in operation and a flashpoint for anti-nuclear campaigners who say it is unsafe and should have been closed long ago.

"Today, militants of various nationalities, coming from all over Europe, protested and occupied Fessenheim, the oldest French nuclear center," Greenpeace said on its website.

Freed activist: Russian prison was filthy

EDF, which operates the plant in eastern France, said 56 people had been detained.

Local authorities said police remained on site as a precautionary measure.

"No activist entered inside the buildings. These events had no impact on the safety of facilities, which are operating normally," local authorities said in a written statement.

Greenpeace wants Fessenheim, which has been in operation since 1977, to be closed immediately.

The activists hung a banner from the roof of the plant that said "stop risking Europe" and called on French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to commit to generating energy from alternative sources.

Hollande has pledged to close the plant by the end of 2016.

READ: Freed Greenpeace ship captain back home from Russia

CNN's Elaine Ly, Sandrine Amiel, Boriana Milanova and Marie-Louise Gumuchian contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:47 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Hamas: "Lift the siege." Israel: "End the rockets." The two sides' demands will be difficult to reconcile.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
updated 4:42 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 10:27 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
updated 2:09 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT