Greenpeace action exposes shockingly weak security at Swedish nuclear plants

On Tuesday this week more than 70 Greenpeace activists took action in what they said was “a peaceful stress test” of two Swedish nuclear power plants. The stress test took place shortly a week after a safety report was released by Greenpeace highlighting severe security problems, shortcomings and weaknesses at the aging nuclear reactors in Sweden. The action lasted for two days and revealed the unacceptable lax security at Swedish nuclear plants.

At 7:30 on Tuesday morning around 20 Greenpeace activists wearing lab coats managed to enter the Ringhals nuclear power plant on bicycles. At the same time about 50 other activists used ladders to climb into the Forsmark nuclear power plant.

“Today Greenpeace activists stress test the Swedish nuclear power plants to alert the public, the nuclear industry and minister Lena Ek on the serious safety deficiencies”, said Annika Jacobson, programme manager of Greenpeace in Sweden. “The stress tests are conducted in a peaceful and responsible manner and show that nuclear expose people to unacceptable risks.”

This is not the first time that Greenpeace activists managed to enter a nuclear power plant in Sweden. Two years ago several activists managed to enter Forsmark. That action caused a great deal of uproar and new security measures were implemented. But apparently those measurements were far from enough.

“We hope that the issue of security in the Swedish nuclear power plants from now on will be taken very seriously. Environment minister Lena Ek must ensure that the dangerous reactors are immediately removed from service, so that people and the environment are not exposed to the risks that the Swedish nuclear power present,” said Jacobson in a statement.

It took police 40 minutes to get to Ringhals and 15 minutes to get to Forsmark, mostly thanks to the fact that they had a training session not far from the Forsmark plant. The police and security staff initially arrested around 40 activists at Forsmark and around 15 at Ringhals thinking they had found all the intruders at the nuclear plants. In light of this, Vattenfall, one of the owners of the two nuclear plants, proudly said in a press statement that the security had worked “exactly as intended." But only hours later police found a couple of more activists hiding inside the nuclear plant area.

"As police searched the area two or three more activists were found hiding in a container in the area where the nuclear reactors are located," said Claes Inge Andersson, spokesperson at the Forsmark plant. "The hiding activists were found when the police searched the area, so security has worked as intended as far as we can judge, but we will of course conduct a thorough review of today's events,"
Andersson said
.

But the next morning Greenpeace announced that they still had activists hiding inside one of the two nuclear power plants.

“They evaded security all night, and were only discovered when Greenpeace Sweden phoned the media early this morning to reveal their presence at the plants. This is despite the fact the operator Vattenfall said yesterday that “security had worked exactly as intended”.”

One of the activists tweeted this from inside the Ringhals nuclear plant:

But wait, the humiliation continues. Shortly after the police had arrested the remaining activists at Ringhals, Greenpeace again announced that they still had activists located at the Forsmark nuclear plant. All in all, four activists at Ringhals and two at Forsmark had managed to hide from both the police and the plant’s security personnel for more than 28 hours.

The police and security personnel was unable to find the remaining two activists who were hiding somewhere inside the Forsmark nuclear plant. So after 38 hours the two last activists decided that they’ve had enough and announced themselves to the security staff. They had been hiding inside one of the electrical substations at the plant, where electricity from Forsmark goes in and out.

Greenpeace sure knows what they’re doing. First, they tell us about the security problems at Swedish nuclear plants. Then they prove it by completely humiliating the nuclear industry and responsible ministers.


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Simon Leufstedt
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