Greenpeace activists broke through two security barriers and launched fireworks inside the grounds of a French nuclear plant on Thursday to highlight the vulnerability of the plants to attacks.
Greenpeace said the fireworks were set off at the foot of a spent fuel pool (SFP) - where nuclear plants store highly radioactive fuel rods that are removed from reactors after their use.
The environmentalist group issued video footage showing several of its members inside the fence of EDF's Cattenom nuclear plant in northeast France, and launching several rounds of fireworks over the plant.
Greenpeace spokesman Yannick Rousselet said the action exposed security risks because the activists reached within 100 meters of open pools of nuclear waste.
Police said eight people were arrested following the intrusion, which has been described as "irresponsible".
Italie : deux détenus profitent d'un repas avec le pape pour s'évader
En effet, le chef de l'Église catholique est sensible à la situation des détenus. Depuis, les deux fuyards, originaires de Naples, sont introuvables.
"Had they been ill-intentioned people, or had there been a doubt about that, things would have happened differently and within a different timeframe", Lamarre said. Greenpeace is lobbying for France to create special bunkers over its waste pools.
However, EDF hit back at the report and claims it consistently reviews measures in place to protect the area from criminals and terrorists and its plants are "safe, properly monitored and very well protected".
France now gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear power.
French President Emmanuel Macron's government has pledged to expand renewable energy and reduce its dependence on aging nuclear plants, the source of most of France's electricity.
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