Greenpeace activists target Europe’s nuclear power stations

Action underway at Beznau Nuclear Power Plant in Switzerland. Photo credit Flurin Bertschinger / Greenpeace.
By Anders Lorenzen

Across six European countries Greenpeace activists targeted nuclear power plants last Wednesday, that the environmental organisation claimed was ageing. This coincided with the launch of the campaign Out of Age.

Greenpeace activists in France unfolds banners at Le Bugey Nuclear Power Plant. Photo credit Pierre Baelen / Greenpeace. 
Greenpeace stated that the actions that took place in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain and Sweden protested that the nuclear power stations were having their life extended under standards that were not safe to the public. Greenpeace urged governments to instead adopt strong and ambitious targets on renewable energy.

Projection at Borssele Nuclear Power Plant in the Netherlands . Photo credit Jeroen Staats  Greenpeace
Nuclear energy has become a controversial issue and many cases have split greens on the issue. Proponents of nuclear energy such as journalist George Monbiot and climate scientist James Hansen argue that we need nuclear energy to deal with climate change, however a dozen of green groups say that nuclear energy is far too expensive, too dangerous, competes with subsidies for renewable energy and doesn’t actually contribute to reducing climate change.

Oskarshamn Nuclear Reactor Sweden. Photo credit Greenpeace
This week sees the four year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident. The catastrophic nuclear disaster occurred due to a powerful tsunami that hit the Japanese coast which was triggered by the Tōhoku 2011 earthquake. This resulted in a nuclear meltdown of three out of six nuclear reactors at the Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since the catastrophic incident the nuclear industry in Japan has struggled to survive, as the incident prompted a large movement against nuclear power in the country, which has seen the country’s CO2 emissions drastically increase after Japan turned to coal burning.

Greenpeace activists in Belgium outside Tihange Nuclear Power Plant. Photo credit Philip Reunaers / Greenpeace.

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton

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