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Greenpeace Breaks Into French Nuclear Plant 561

dotancohen writes "Greenpeace activists secretly entered a French nuclear site before dawn and draped a banner reading 'Hey' and 'Easy' on its reactor containment building, to expose the vulnerability of atomic sites in the country. Greenpeace said the break-in aimed to show that an ongoing review of safety measures, ordered by French authorities after a tsunami ravaged Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant earlier this year, was focused too narrowly on possible natural disasters, and not human factors."
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Greenpeace Breaks Into French Nuclear Plant

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  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:16PM (#38273682)

    The only thing these activists managed to get through was the fence, they then hung their banners on the outside of the containment building. No risk to security.

  • by Ynot_82 ( 1023749 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:17PM (#38273696)

    Funnily enough, the whole tongue-in-cheek thing was started by a frenchman
    I forget the exact details, but he was sarcastically complimenting an englishman on his "invention", that the french had actually done years before
    pressing your tongue lightly against your cheek prevented you from accidentally smiling after making a sarcastic comment

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:18PM (#38273710)

    Actually it is the LEAST polluting, as well as the LEAST expensive way of boiling water that we know of. You need to read up on radioactivity.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:21PM (#38273754)
    actually, it was started by a french whore, and the cheeks were not on someone's face
  • Re:-Sigh- (Score:4, Informative)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:33PM (#38273916) Homepage Journal

    They didn't state it on the banners, but they do state it here. []

    Nuclear power is neither safe nor clean. There is no such thing as a "safe" dose of radiation and just because nuclear pollution is invisible doesn't mean it's "clean."

    Take action right now and tell the President that taxpayers should not take on the risk of building new nuclear plants.

    If a meltdown were to occur, the accident could kill and injure tens of thousands of people, leaving large regions uninhabitable. And, more than 50 years after splitting the first atom, science has yet to devise a method for adequately handling long lived radioactive wastes.

    For years nuclear plants have been leaking radioactive waste from underground pipes and radioactive waste pools into the ground water at sites across the nation.

    In addition to being extremely dangerous, the continued greenwashing of nuclear power from industry-backed lobbyists diverts investments away from clean, renewable sources of energy. In contrast to nuclear power, renewable energy is both clean and safe. Technically accessible renewable energy sources are capable of producing six times more energy than current global demand.

  • by Tyrannosaur ( 2485772 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:47PM (#38274072)

    yeah accidents to measurably shorten life spans, but in day-to-day runnings there is significantly more radiation around coal-fired plants than by nuclear plants. []

  • by mortonda ( 5175 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @08:10PM (#38274334)
    Got a link to that source? All of the stories I see fail to say anything about that.
  • So maybe for once they could take all this money from donations and build say a windfarm and sell clean electric energy to people?

    Guess what Greenpeace Germany is doing []!

  • by JonySuede ( 1908576 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @11:19PM (#38275872) Journal

    So, you're arguing in favor of compete sociopathy towards anyone not in your immediate family.

    there a big difference by being unmoved by a statistically normal event by a statistically unprobable cause (in that particular case the death of a 83 years grandmother caused by the a fallen piano) not affecting your immediate family and being a sociopath. If falling pianos would became something that occurred frequently I would be in favor of a public health campaign against falling pianos. I am a kind of small l libertarian. I believe in maximized personal freedom, however I understand that you need a certain level of government for things like health, education, territorial protection (against harm, thief and invaders), roads, money and contract enforcement to raise above the middleageous swamp.

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @12:49AM (#38276432) Homepage Journal

    I think the point was to generate press coverage. Greenpeace's greatest cause is self-promotion.

    Close. Greenpeace's main tactic is publicity: Doing showy stunts that bring popular attention to issues they deem to be important.

    So yeah, they want press coverage. That's their schtick.

    I worked for Greenpeace in the 1980s, and let me tell you, there is a LOT to complain about with this organisation. But this action is not one of them. It's a classic hacker tactic, showing with a single action what a thousand words of dry exposition could never convey: Civilian nuclear technology in France is not adequately secured.

    Everybody seems to focus on the 'Green' part of their name and ignore the 'Peace'. Greenpeace was actually founded by a bunch of folks on the West Coast of Canada [] who wanted to block underground nuclear tests in a tectonically unstable section of Alaska. Rather than march and Occupy and write letters and etc., they just got into a boat and sailed toward the test site. The front pages were covered with headlines to the effect of 'Who Are These Wackos', but in the process they got people to think about the dangers of nuclear testing in a geologically unsuitable location.

    I have no truck whatsoever with the insanely stupid 'Save the Seals' crap that Paul Watson [] and co. brought into the organisation. Personally, I think their take on environmentalism is crushingly stupid, for the most part. But their campaigns for nuclear security are often smart, focused and, while they're fraught with histrionics, they generally make a valid point.

  • by kuactet ( 1017816 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @12:58AM (#38276468)
    80000 died in the bombing of Nagasaki. In the 20th century, 100000 people died simply mining coal, in the US alone and the US has a better safety record than most. It's too depressing to look up more numbers.
  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @01:50AM (#38276696) Journal

    > Civilian nuclear technology in France is not adequately secured.

    Besides generating bad publicity, what exactly can most attacks do to the outside of a containment vessel? From Wikipedia:

    In 1988, Sandia National Laboratories conducted a test of slamming a jet fighter into a large concrete block at 481 miles per hour (775 km/h).[13][14] The airplane left only a 2.5-inch-deep (64 mm) gouge in the concrete. Although the block was not constructed like a containment building missile shield, it was not anchored, etc., the results were considered indicative. A subsequent study by EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute, concluded that commercial airliners did not pose a danger.[15]

    The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was hit directly by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Turkey Point has two fossil fuel units and two nuclear units. Over $90 million of damage was done, largely to a water tank and to a smokestack of one of the fossil-fueled units on-site, but the containment buildings were undamaged.[16][17]

    Any terrorist thinking that a containment vessel is a good target, relative to lots of other available ones, is frankly an idiot.

  • by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:20AM (#38279934) Homepage
    Disclaimer- I work for Toshiba Power Systems (Steam turbines)

    While it is true that Japan has a functioning grid now without most of their nuclear units, you can not look only at that fact. To get back to minimum capacity, they had to restart many of their old coal plants which had been partially or recently decommissioned. These plants were shut down because they were really filthy, and more expensive than nuclear- Japan imports 100% of their coal.

    They restarted some of their old hydro facilities also. Mostly those were shut down because of environmental reasons also. They are lucky that they were only recently shut down and the dams were not demolished yet.

    They borrowed a bunch of portable power units (generators in a container) from Taiwan, and purchased many also. These are diesel generators or gas turbines mounted in a container, producing maybe 3 to 7MW apiece. I am not sure about the details of Japan's pollution laws, but in the US, these container generators are only allowed to run in extreme emergencies, or for less than a few dozen hours a year since they have very little pollution controls.

    The conservation effort is also still in progress, but maybe you didn't notice it. Our factory still has power saving measures in place, mostly relating to lighting and heating/cooling. I was there recently and working at a desk in my winter jacket might not have been "the stone age", but it was not very comfortable.

    I did a quick calculation on how much energy would be saved by the earthquake victims and their companies not using electricity, but this is not that significant (around 25MW). Apologies if this is insensitive.

    The country is still on the edge of a stable grid also. There is a big concern that later in the winter when it is much colder, there might be a big problem. Most Japanese apartments and houses use electric-based heating. In the summer, cutting off the AC might be a viable, if uncomfortable option, but you can't let people freeze.
  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:41AM (#38280284) Journal


    A lot of the modern English language, particularly parts of the vocabulary related to law, justice, and rulership, are inherited from the Norman-French of William the Conqueror and his successors. Anglo-Norman [] was the language of the Norman ruling class, and by assimilation part of English.

    Now, it's fair to argue whether Norman-French is "French". I suspect it's as close to modern French as medieval Portuguese is to modern Castilian Spanish. But it is definitely French, not Latin, so those contributions to English are directly via French, not merely a common root of Latin.

    Note, too, that a lot of specific legal jargon (i.e., words and phrases specific to the practice of law) is derived from Law French []. Such words as "mortgage", "parole", or "tort" come directly from Ango-Norman or Parisian French.

I've got a bad feeling about this.