Greenpeace activists set off fireworks inside a nuclear plant in eastern France early Thursday after breaking into the facility to underline its vulnerability to attack

Greenpeace activists set off fireworks inside a nuclear plant in eastern France early Thursday after breaking into the facility to underline its vulnerability to attack
Greenpeace activists set off fireworks inside a nuclear plant in eastern France early Thursday af...

That's a wicked action.

But they didn't get in the plant, they got in the parking lot.

Honestly Greenpeace is targeting the wrong thing. Clean nuclear power is exactly what the world needs.

But it's a boing plane, so it'll bounce right off.


They fired a tiny firework rocket which (according to them), detonated a foot away from the spent fuel pool. In practice, that is ignoring the relatively thick layer of concrete between the pool and the rocket.

If anyone has been an example of the good that nuclear can bring, its France. To my knowledge they haven't had a melt down and they've exported power to many EU countries for years now.

Next they'll take a boing plane and crash it into the plant to higlight the problem of crashing planes.

Semi-Relevent XKCD

I can't ever comprehend the amount of misinformation that always seems to get spread around whenever anything to do with nuclear power gets posted.

Nuclear power is a clean and efficient technology. The new generation reactors completely remove the possibility of a meltdown, and recycle previously used fuel!!

Please people, educate yourself on nuclear power. It is the future (Along with solar).

The thing is so fucking ironic. Germany shutting down its nuclear plants off due some people complaining. Building Wind turbines on mass which can not be utilized fully because infrastructure is not ready to transport the electricity into the south of germany. While strong winds, most turbines are turned off. Germany building new coal plants(brown too) which spreads radioactive particles into our air, more then any nuclear plant will. Because we dont get enough electricity and buying too much of france's nuclear electricity is to too expensive.

On top of building! Not inside!

Came here to post 'bomb has been planted' but then I read the article and they didn't even make it to the site smh

Both bomb sites on nuke are inside the facility

counter-terrorists win

Slightly more relevant XKCD

But they were at the foot of a spent fuel pool which was conceivably behind some layers of security

Because they don't understand what it is anything?

I never understood why green peace is so upset over nuclear.

Hey, that guy here. The phrase in English is still the French 'en masse.' It's absolutely understandable to mishear it as 'on mass' though. Just one of those really stupid things that gives English a certain je ne sais quoi.

Police said eight Greenpeace activists were in custody, and a local prosecutor said they faced five years in jail and 75,000 euros ($89,000) in fines.

That's good.

Re-use it. Breeder reactors are a fully matured technology buy they make up only a fraction of current reactor designs.

So what you're saying is that activist terrorists have orchestrated more attacks on nuclear plants than traditional terrorists?

Mostly due to the fear of nuclear power which causes lack of funding and refusal to grant authorizations for new facilities

Re-enrich it and use it as fuel again. Some of the waste can also be converted into lesser radioactive isotopes that are used for medical purposes.

As I understand it, The US and Russia have a treaty signed that disallows the re-enrichment process. Other non-signatory countries however can and do use that process with their spent fuel.

Mate, let me introduce you to this following concept. The outer layer of fences are a perimeter to keep out people most people.

The inner layers are basically the same thing, deterrence. If i wanted to get real close to a nuclear power plant, just give me some wire cutters.

The real defensive measures start with the building itself, blast doors that won't get opened without visual ID, patrolled 24/7 by armed guards authorized to shoot on sight, not with handguns but with fully automatic submachine guns, a reinforced structure capable of withstand direct hits from anything short of bunker buster/nuke.

Getting to the wall of the building or on top is easy. Getting inside (and leaving alive) is fucking impossible.

Source: my father worked security for a nuclear reactor for over 20 years. Not even the police itself is authorized on the premises without direct orders.

Hey its Greenpeace they don't have the budget for things outside of china.

Reminds me of XKCD comic.

What would happen if you tried to swim in the spent fuel pool? "You’d die pretty quickly, before reaching the water, from gunshot wounds."

Underline the vulnerability?

That's some pretty serious editorializing you're doing there.

The plant Chaim Nissim attacked was under construction, and his intention was to destroy the (empty) reactor core before the core containment could be completed. That's no activism, that's deliberately attempting to destroy a piece of equipment worth easily a billion dollars.

This was part of a wider campaign of sabotage and destruction, with the use of explosives against power pylons, and other measures of sabotage.

Quite simply, Chaim Nissim was part of what by any sensibility would be recognized as a terrorist group, and he committed a series of terrorist attacks.


In my opinion nuclear is a "Holy Grail" kind of answer to our energy problem. Solar is the least damaging energy source we currently have, but as is it cannot support us. Our energy networks are designed to handle a constant flow of energy. Solar delivers a lot at once and then nothing for hours on end. We need to redesign our energy grids for solar to replace fossil fuels. Nuclear is the answer for what we could use in that transition, it outputs energy the same way fossil fuel does with none of the atmospheric waste. When eco-minded people talk about nuclear like it's on the side of fossil fuels, it's really a shame. If a nuclear plant is closed today, it's going to be replaced with coal/oil/natural gas tomorrow.

There are 2 "greenpeace" organisations. One actually does decent work. The other (usually the one in the news) is a bunch of scare tactics and destructive crap that doesn't really do any good.

Btw, breaking into a nuclear power plant and doing anything near the spent fuel pools sounds like a good way to get shot.

It's pronounced Gyyyyna....

I hate when people act like the relatively small amount of radioactive waste that is generated is a big deal... We can put it in barrels and store it somewhere safe.. Like inside a mountain or on the moon.. Places where people won't have access to it. It's much better than burning coal and just letting it waft into the atmosphere to contribute to global warming which is currently a HUGE issue.....

Honestly Greenpeace is targeting the wrong thing. Clean nuclear power is exactly what the world needs.

Well they aren't exactly intelligent.

They mean well, but nuclear is going to bridge the gap between fossil fuels and fully-renewable solar or wind. Their shortsightedness loses them a lot of support.

"All the waste"?

Powering your house for 100 years creates 1 cubic inch of spent fuel. That little cube could be at least 50% reprocessed.

And you have to remember, nuclear waste is a feature. All the byproducts in a barrel you can put some place, instead of floating in the air like CO2 or drifting down on the country in fine dust.

How is it not? A politically active group broke into a secure facility and caused an explosion in the name of scaring people into taking their side of an issue. This is EXACTLY what terrorism is.

There's a fine line between activism and terrorism, breaking into a nuclear facility and lighting fireworks crosses that line by a long way.

they've literally done crash tests on these things and the structures weren't hurt at all by having a plane smash into them.

You say that sarcastically, but

They've been doing shit like this for a long time, previously mostly using graffiti to show they got within the perimeter to the building... or into auxiliary buildings.

But the relevant buildings are very secure and constructed to withstand a lot... Would take a very very big boom to breach the building, and even then that would be extremely unlikely to directly result in fuel or rods going critical.

Honestly when you understand the small amount of material involved and compare 'just bury it' to our putting coal waste into the atmosphere in huge quantities it's not silly to disregard it though perhaps careless.

Really the special part about nuclear waste is that there's way more possible solutions to clean up that are feasible due to the small quantity and high density. A good example of safe long term isolation was the plan to bury it in soft ocean floor clays.

The important part is that access to the exterior wall of the spent fuel pool zone (which is still very secure because fuel rods are brought in from the core on ceiling tracks) is secured behind 2 or 3 physical security perimeters. And that's 3 perimeters AFTER security have checked your car and you've been escorted to the main reception in the clean zone.

Thats what should be happening, anyway.

I can't really support them anymore. They're a textbook example of what happens when activism is all heart and no head.

My home province had been featured in an XKCD. My life will never be the same.

This guy fucks

It would have to be a mountain. Storage on the moon? No way. You'd have to get it there first. You risk spreading the waste around during a launch accident. No thanks.

If only they were honest about these breaches.

Usually, their announcements are quite misleading, and dramatically exaggerated.

You had me at

They do a pretty good job of keeping the water clean, and it wouldn’t hurt you to swim in it, but it’s radioactive enough that it wouldn’t be legal to sell it as bottled water. (Which is too bad—it’d make a hell of an energy drink).

If your argument is that security should also shoot Greenpeace activists to protect the power plant, I'm fine with that.

Downvoted because of misleading title

I'm no expert or anything but I feel like a lot of things are vulnerable to rockets

They won before even the pistol round. Amazing.

It's not really a legitimate question. We have a really massive pressing issue in Global Warming. We need to swap off of burning coal asap even if it means storing barrels of radioactive goo inside of hollowed out mountains. Better for waste to be contained than freely floating around in the air messing up our planet. Do we really want to keep going down the same path we currently are because people are afraid of nuclear waste? I'm much more afraid of the immediate effects of global warming (sea levels rising, food shortages) than I am for a future civilization stumbling across nuclear waste and not knowing what it is..

What do you expect Greenpeace to do? Research the risk vs reward tradeoff for all energy sources and reach the conclusion that properly managed nuclear is our best option for abundant clean energy?

Do you want to spark climate denial? because that is how you spark climate denial.

I'm right now in an environmental studies course for college, and my teacher recommended this book/site called It lists all of the ways that humanity as a whole can reverse climate change through peer-reviewed methods that are already in practice inside the world (yet not to the scale that is needed).

One of their top listing solutions happens to be nuclear power, at #20 out of 80. So being anti-nuclear power is detrimental to solving climate change.

Edit: a word

There's a fine line between activism and terrorism, breaking into a nuclear facility and lighting fireworks crosses that line by a long way

The most ironic thing is that coal is slightly radioactive due to traces of thorium and other radioactive elements and by this coal plants spread more radioactive pollution by just burning coal than any well built nuclear plant.

Seems kinda light punishment.

You could make a small hole in it, with weapons meant to kill tanks.

The plant security knows how bad it looks if they gun down greenpeace activists.

A tiny firework is a lot less threathening than the massive RPG's they'd need to have even a tiny chance of damaging the containment.

Why the fuck are so many environmentalists anti nuclear power?

Nuclear Plants are some of the most secure on the planet. My dad worked at one. Before 9/11 I could go in. After 9/11 their security grilled me the two times I went in with him. Random car searches on 20 year + employees. Literally trucks with security guys loooking like soldiers. They cut off access to the lake (used onallow fishing last a certain radius). Reinforced a lot of stuff. Had a lot of construction areas no one was allowed into. Tested everything. I was young then- about 6- but I remember what it was like going to work before, and then after.

Use their stupid symbol politics against them, charge them with nuclear terrorism and attempted mass murder. If they claim there had been no danger whatsoever, let them prove it.

You want them to have more than 5 years in jail for breaking in one place they shouldn't have been able to and doing no harm?

Nuclear is a better power. The problem is and always has been public perception of nuclear power. Its the main reason why nuclear power has been underfunded for ages, development has been slowed, maintenance and upkeep has slowed with it.

Wouldn't do a thing. The government did that in the 80s with a fighter jet to test it and it left less than a 1 cm scratch in the shielding.


The only terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant where some Bretonnian seperatists who blew up the powersupply of a french prototype reactor in the fifties.

Oh yes, because if I just slap on a shirt the guards are going to ignore the RPGs, explosives and guns me and my buddies are hauling in to try and breach the reactor.

slow clap

Greenpeace hasn't been about improving the world for several decades.

That's a pretty unique way to show security concerns. Hopefully some corrective action will happen after this demonstration.

Greenpeace hasn't been honest since the 80s, when they branched out from stopping whaling into spreading bullshit.



First time hearing that the Department of Education has snipers. Truants watch out!

Hopefully there's not steel beams there because it'll melt right through and collapse the plant

Then its a BS concern. Around a million people die per year in China alone due to waste from coal. Several thousand per year globally die mining it.

Meanwhile, if you take every single nuclear death to date (Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc) and average it out over the last 60 years, you end up with something like 100 deaths per year.

Compared to several million from coal.

Why are we still having this discussion?

If the security thought that it was a real threat the "activists" would be dead. And the only real way for them to have actually damaged any of the containment buildings is to have had a rocket launcher. Which I would hope security would notice.

Their goals are the propagation of affordable, clean, sustainable power,

You mean like nuclear power.

Bullshit. They weren't protesting security policies at that plant: Greenpeace hates nuclear power, period. Their goal is to use fearmongering over the threat of terrorist attacks to turn public opinion against ALL use of nuclear power.

Just highlights the ignorance of these people to what the different parts of a nuclear facility are/do and the related security of each. I'm a contractor that works on different nuclear facilities and this level of break in and its associated consequence is equivalent to breaking into your middle school gym at night to toilet paper the basketball court.

Nuclear is easy to demonize though. Coal companies are taking advantage of the fear of nuclear meltdowns that groups like Greenpeace are scared about

The backpacks of TNT (or even modern HE) would have had the same impact as the bottle rocket had.

It kills me how thorium reactors are almost entirely ignored. So what if it's pretty much entirely safe and quite literally cannot be weaponized? (Which seems to be the reason it was passed over in favor of more common reactors, anyway) it's NUCLEAR oooh scary scary~

It's not just the funding. It's also the plummeting of real estate values wherever one would be built, and the correspondingly understandable resistance from the locals.

An airplane would look like a gnat bouncing off an elephants ass. It would not damage the building that stores the spent fuel pool.

I don't know, but I know it is less of an issue than "what do we do with all of the airborne pollution from hydrocarbons?"

If you stack up the number of people dying from energy production on an annualized basis, nuclear is right at the bottom with wind. I'd suspect more people die on an annualized basis falling off of roofs installing solar than die from nuclear (IIRC like 100-200 deaths / year annualized)

And only available as pilots because we don't have materials capable of withstanding molten salt for that long. It's a wonderful idea, we still need breakthroughs for it to work.

DoE does not fuck around. Their snipers commonly go to the international sniper competitions

Or cut holes into an oil pipeline to save the environment.

Real estate values shoot up during construction though. Always has where I live due to the massive influx of money in the area and contractors. Then once it’s built prices drop again

Yeah, that's nothing compared to Chaïm Nissim, a Swiss activist who fired a rocket at a power plant, to underline it's vulnerabilities.

Typically the structural designers account for this possibility. A reactor building will normally have an outer wall of about 3 foot thick reenforced concrete, then 5 feet of vacuum void space, then another 3 feet of concrete before you reach the inner aux systems which surround the radioactive core. The core and fuel rods are encased in another 3-4 feet of steel and concrete. All this protects from radiation leaking out the building and from a direct impact from an airplane or missile.

Source: I use to work at a nuclear power plant.

But they didn't do anything worthwhile. Security likely needs to be better for some but most are NUTS security-wise. The process itself is safe.

Or Thorium reactors. Fraction of the waste, very stable, low to negligible threat of a melt down.

This was stated bluntly in XCKD author Randall Munroe's book 'What if?' the details of swimming in a nuclear power plants spent fuel pool. After explaining the science of it (TLDR: you would be fine in the water) he puts a quote from a contact who works at a plant:

“In our reactor?” He thought about it for a moment. “You’d die pretty quickly, before reaching the water, from gunshot wounds.”

underline it's vulnerabilities

No, the guy is simply an ill-informed and unhinged, and generally stupid terrorist. He just thought that the reactor design might be dangerous due to "fast moving neutrons" as if believing himself to be more qualified in making conclusions on fucking nuclear reactors than actual nuclear scientist/engineers.

Its a bottle rocket, they fly a fair distance and then blow up with a little pop.

Spent fuel pools are literally just a big pool full of water, with the fuel at the bottom. You would have to drain the pool so radiation could escape or vaporize the fuel rods to make them an airborne/dust threat.

Neither of these are going to be accomplished with an explosive charge you could smuggle in, and the pools are inside a building so there's still no risk to the public.

If they had tried to get into a more secure section of the plant, they probably would have been found faster, and potentially shot.

Thats what I thought too but the title said it was simply to expose how easy it was to break in.

One thing you would want in a nuclear power station would be competency and decent security.

F4 Phantom Jet Hits Concrete Wall at 500 MPH

here is the video for those interested

Fusion is the grail, not fission

Dude counties LOVE Nukes. Glen Rose Texas. Before Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant came it was one of the poorest counties in the state. Afterwards, it became one of the richest. They have a problem now- almost all that wealth is from Peak, and it is worth less every year- but from that they got new schools, houses appreciated, a small downtown developed, etc. Kids started going to college because now their parents had better places to work. If literally transformed this small town/county.

These are the same guys who permanently vandalized an ancient heritage site to get their point across. You are more correct than you might think.

So. Someone’s fired.