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Greenpeace activists protest at EDF nuclear power site

View of fireworks in an action by Greenpeace activists at the Cattenom nuclear power site run by France's EDF to protest against security and health risks posed by nuclear power, in Cattenon

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PARIS (Reuters) – Greenpeace activists staged a brief protest on Thursday at the Cattenom nuclear power site run by France’s EDF to highlight what it said were security and health risks.

Greenpeace issued video footage on Thursday which showed several of their members arriving at the Cattenom site in northeast France and setting off firecrackers.

Local police said eight people had been quickly spotted and detained. EDF added there had been no impact on the safety of the Cattenom site and condemned the incursion by Greenpeace.

Police said they entered the site but EDF added that they had remained outside the main buildings and nuclear zone,

France depends on atomic power for 75 percent of its electricity needs.

Greenpeace this week published a report which stated that the spent-fuel pools of EDF’s nuclear reactors were highly vulnerable to attacks. The report was written by nuclear experts and delivered to French authorities.

State-controlled EDF, which operates 58 reactors, denied its spent-fuel pools were at risk and said they have been designed to withstand earthquakes and flooding as well as terror attacks.

EDF also said this week it was repairing pumping station pipes at 20 nuclear reactors after discovering they might not be strong enough to withstand earthquakes.

(Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Michael Perry/Keith Weir)

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