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Activists break into power plant in southern France


18:21, July 15, 2013

PARIS, July 15 (Xinhua) -- A group of activists from Greenpeace entered Monday morning a French nuclear power plant in Tricastin in southern France, demanding the French government to shut down the plant citing safety concerns.

"With this action, Greenpeace is asking Francois Hollande to close the Tricastin plant, which is among the five most dangerous in France," said Yannick Rousselet from the environmental campaign group Greenpeace France in a statement.

The activists hung banners on the wall above the picture of French President Hollande in the plant, reading "Tricastin: a nuclear accident" and questioning"President of the catastrophe?"

French energy giant EDF said the activists had not reached any sensitive areas within the site, but dozens of them were arrested by police for unauthorized access.

The Interior Ministry said the activists' action is "a media stunt that poses no danger to the site's security."

France is heavily dependent on nuclear power, with its 58 nuclear reactors producing some 75 percent of the nation's electricity.

President Hollande had pledged in his election campaign to cut the share of nuclear energy in France's electricity production to 50 percent by 2025, promising to close the oldest plant at Fessenheim by 2017.

The EDF nuclear power plant in Tricastin, some 200 kilometers North of Marseille city, was the third oldest of the French power stations. It came into service in 1980. Last year, it produced 24 billion kw hours of electricity.

The Greenpeace has taken several similar break-in actions at French nuclear power plant in recent years, a way it wants to use to warn people of the dangers of atomic power as well as revealing security problems at the power stations.

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