Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

France admits lapses after breach of nuke reactor security

Plant director Herve Maillart stands outside the nuclear facility at Nogent-sur-Seine, southeast of Paris.

Story highlights

  • Interior minister has ordered a search of all nuclear plants, spokesman says
  • Greenpeace: Action shows vulnerability of French nuclear security
  • French president calls act "irresponsible" but pledges transparency
France's interior minister admitted Monday that lapses in security made it possible for Greenpeace activists to gain entry to a nuclear power plant southeast of Paris.
Interior Minister M. Claude Gueant said there have been lapses in the nuclear plant's security system and has ordered a search of all nuclear plants, a spokesman for the ministry told CNN.
The environmental activist group said on its website that members gained entry to the plant at Nogent-sur-Seine at dawn and managed to climb the dome of one of its two reactors "in order to spread the message: 'Safe nuclear does not exist.'"
"This action shows how vulnerable the French nuclear centrals are: Peaceful activists have managed with a few means, to reach the heart of the nuclear central! Why? How? Because the security device is insufficient," the website stated.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the act "irresponsible," but said that the government will "absolutely publish all" of the audits related to plant security.