Greenpeace protest at Valencia’s nuclear plant

Around 20 Greenpeace activists managed to get into the Cofrentes nuclear power station in Valencia early this morning in an attempt to get the Nuclear Safety Board and to the Spanish government to close the plant permanently when its permit runs out on 19th March this year.

Carlos Bravo who is in charge of Greenpeace’s anti nuclear campaign in Spain claims that 6 activists have climbed the 125 metre high refrigeration tower in the nuclear power station with the intention of painting the words ‘danger nuclear’ on it.

In addition Bravo says that another group of activists have attached a banner saying ‘Cofrentes: close now’ on it. According to Bravo the fact that Greenpeace activists have managed to carry out this protests demonstrates the lack of security at the plant which is also another reason to get the plant closed down immediately.

Bravo believes that nuclear power stations are high risk installations not only because they are based on the use of dangerous technology but also because they are a potential target for terrorist attacks.

Greenpeace has sent a letter to the Spanish president, Jose Luis Zapatero, asking for an energy policy which is completely safe and also asking him to fulfil his party’s promise to put into action a plan to close nuclear power stations and to promote the use of renewable energy.

Finally Greenpeace claims that the Cofrentes nuclear plant is dangerous and that it has a great many problems and unresolved security issues which are all proof that it is no longer viable or useful.

Amongst some of the deficiencies identified by Greenpeace are the fire fighting systems in place, access to the control centre, the increase in the amount of radiation received by workers at the plant, challenges to the plant’s security in the systems of emergency refrigeration and the time it takes to analyze problems.

According to Greenpeace ‘it makes no sense to carry on taking this risk given the potential high cost to human health, the environment and the economy when the benefits and technological viability of generating electricity based 100% on renewable energy sources is a proven fact’.

The Nuclear Safety Board has until 23rd February to make a proposal to the government over the future of the plant.