Greenpeace France in court : shouldn’t it be instead the trial of the EDF power plants ?
Thionville, February 26, 2018 – Eight activists and 1 employee of Greenpeace France will appear before the Thionville regional court tomorrow. They are prosecuted by EDF, following their intrusion in Cattenom nuclear power plant on October 12th 2017. Their action has shown significant flaws in the security of EDF plants, but the company still refuses to take over the problem.
Greenpeace France, which is represented by its executive director Jean-François Julliard, is prosecuted as a legal person. EDF claims to the organization more than 700,000 euros for damage, including 500,000 euros for « damaging its credibility ».
Yannick Rousselet, nuclear campainer at Greenpeace France, is personally sued as « an accomplice ».
The Greenpeace France activists who will be judged tomorrow entered the Cattenom power plant in Moselle and set off fireworks at the foot of the spent fuel storage pool. They wanted to warn about the high vulnerability of these buildings to malicious acts. These pools are the infrastructure that contains the most radioactivity in a nuclear power plant. And yet, with walls 30 cm thick and a roof made of metal sheet metal, they are poorly protected against the risk of external attacks.
« While the French National Assembly has opened a parliamentary inquiry into nuclear safety and security following two intrusions by Greenpeace France activists into the Cattenom and Cruas power stations, EDF refuses to face the extent of the problem » explains Yannick Rousselet, in charge of nuclear campaign at Greenpeace France.
« It is not by suing our activists and attempting to intimidate us by agsking for a huge amount of money that EDF will manage to make its nuclear installations less dangerous! The risk is there and is real: in the event of an external attack targeting these spent fuel storage pools, the consequences could be even bigger on the territory than those of the Fukushima accident. To avoid the worst, EDF must imperatively strengthen its facilities. »
The intrusion of Greenpeace France activists into the Cattenom plant followed the submission of a report by seven independent experts by Greenpeace France to the competent authorities on nuclear security. Since then, the Nuclear Safety Authority has asked for the integration of security issues into its prerogatives.
« EDF persists in denying nuclear risks. But it will not be able to claim for a long time that its nuclear park is secured in front of the institutions » concludes Yannick Rousselet.