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Arrests During Night Of Armed Plutonium Transports


Press Update

January 17th 2001, Cherbourg/Valognes, France: Five Greenpeace France activists were arrested by French Interior Ministry police, CRS, this morning, while protesting at the gates and railway line of the Cogema nuclear transport depot at Valognes. The action, which began on Saturday, was in protest against the imminent transport of plutonium/MOX fuel from Europe to Japan. At around 1.00 am, the activists were bundled into a waiting police van after having their chains and neck locks cut from the gates of Cogema’s depot.

Less than two hours earlier, a large military and police convoy escorted a MOX fuel transport from Cogema’s la Hague reprocessing plant to the port of Cherbourg. Since 1992 all nuclear transports to the Cherbourg civilian port have been via the Valognes rail depot, 40km from la Hague. On this occasion around forty vehicles, including three eighteen wheeled trucks carrying the nuclear casks, left the la Hague nuclear site by road at approximately 9.00pm, arriving at the Cogema Cherbourg dock two hours later. “The massive military and police operation we witnessed last night exposes the reality of Cogema’s MOX business - a trade in nuclear bomb material. This is a company and an industry that has to operate under the cover of darkness because public exposure reveals their true sinister and illegitimate nature,” said Yannick Rousselet of Greenpeace France.

One and half hours after removing the Greenpeace France activists from the gates of Valognes, another plutonium/MOX fuel cask departed for Cherbourg. It arrived at 4.00am at the Cogema dock, flanked by an armed military escort.

Grassroots protestors from throughout France are due to arrive in Cherbourg this afternoon for a planned demonstration against the Japanese plutonium transport and Cogema’s reprocessing business.

For further information:

Yannick Rousselet - Greenpeace Cherbourg - ++33 (0) 6 8580 6559 (mobile) Jean-luc Thierry - Greenpeace France - ++33 (0) 6 1591 0237 (mobile)


For information on Greenpeace please visit:

High-bandwidth users can view current and archive streaming Greenpeace videos at:

For more information on this press release please contact: Greenpeace International Press Office T: ++ 31 20 5249515 F: ++ 31 20 5236212

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