Early yesterday morning a member of the environmental activist group Greenpeace paraglided over the Bugey nuclear power facility in Ain department, near Lyon, in eastern France. During the course of his short flight over the nuclear plant, the unknown man launched a smoke bomb. He then landed within the plant's perimeter security fence before being arrested, reports the UK's Daily Telegraph
A second man was arrested outside the plant. The operators of the nuclear plant, French electricity giant EDF, confirmed that the safety of the plant was not compromised at any time.
This is by no means the first occasion that Greenpeace activists in France
have sought to demonstrate what they claim are the failings of French nuclear plant security. As reported in Digital Journal
towards the end of last year, other Greenpeace protestors gained access to a different French nuclear plant in Nogent-sur-Seine and erected a protest banner before being arrested.
This video, provided to the press by Greenpeace, shows preparations for the protestor flying over the Bugey plant yesterday and his subsequent descent inside the security perimeter of the nuclear plant.
Greenpeace said in a statement that the action was directed at the remaining two candidates in this week's French presidential election, namely, current President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist rival François Hollande. The final round of voting in the French presidential
election takes place this coming weekend.
Greenpeace spokesperson, Sophia Majnoni, said:
The purpose of this action is to send a message to the two candidates in the presidential election who are denying the risk of nuclear power. We wanted to illustrate an external danger, like a fall of an aeroplane (into a nuclear plant).
A spokesman for EDF, the French energy company that operates France's nuclear power plants, confirmed that a lightweight motorised aircraft with one person aboard entered the Bugey nuclear plant, whilst another person had guided the aircraft from outside the nuclear facility.