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Greenpeace Activists Invade Nuclear Power Plant

Greenpeace Activists Invade Nuclear Power Plant In Protest At Company Reneging On 2004 Closure Date

AMSTERDAM, June 21, 2001 - Greenpeace activists climbed the nuclear power plant Borssele, in southern Holland, this morning in protest at the utility's intention to keep the plant operating beyond the December, 31, 2003, the closure date agreed with the Dutch government.

Six activists climbed the building and painted the slogan "Stop on 31-12-2003", on the dome of the power plant at 4.30 am. Police climbers later arrested all six activists.

The Dutch government has launched a legal action against the utility, Electricity Producer of South Holland (EPZ), in attempt to close the plant by the Dec 31 2003 deadline, which represents the end of the 30-year design life of the plant. The hearing has been set for tomorrow in Den Bosch. The government is seeking a 2 million guilder fine for every day the plant remains open beyond the agreed closure date.

The Dutch legal action follows a majority decision in 1994 by the national parliament to close the nuclear power plant by 2004. Afterwards agreements were made between Minister Wijers, then Minister of Economic Affairs, and the then co-ordinating organisation for the energy sector in the Netherlands, the SEP, of which EPZ was a member (SEP was dissolved with the start of the liberalisation of the Dutch electricity market last year). The agreement followed pressure from Greenpeace11 Bezwaarschrift Greenpeace tegen de goedkeuring d.d. 11-07-1994 van het Electriciteitsplan 1995-2004. for the plant to be closed before 2004. The Netherlands will be one of the first countries to phase out nuclear power, since Italy in the late 1980's.

The Dutch government has already made a $70 million loan to EPZ in order to facilitate the closure of the plant.

"The closure of the nuclear power plant at Borssele was based on a democratic decision, by which the current Dutch government is bound," said Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner Simon Boxer. "The reasons why nuclear power has no future have not been changed: Borssele produces radioactive waste that will be dangerous for ten-thousands of years."

Boxer said the nuclear industry's attempt to use climate change as an excuse for continued operation was both bogus and dangerous.

Greenpeace is organising, together with Vereniging Milieudefensie, WISE, Onkruit vergaat niet en Stop Borssele, a demonstration on Friday in Den Bosch.

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