UPDATE 12:15pm Nuclear Power ? Out of Africa!

Press release - 24 August, 2002

South Africa police intervene a Greenpeace inflatable with activists in a pre-dawn protest at Koeberg nuclear power plant.

Twelve Greenpeace activists were arrested following an early morning protest at South Africa's only nuclear power station, near Cape Town. Inflatable boats brought six climbers to a jetty alongside the Koeberg Nuclear Facility at first light.

The six activists - three men and three women - scaled a building in front of two reactor domes and hung two banners which read, 'Nukes Out of Africa!'.

On the water in front of the nuclear facility a police helicopter buzzed one of the Greenpeace inflatable boats coming within a few feet of the boat. Police then sent their own inflatable boat and launch out on to the water, and boarded the Greenpeace vessels.

All six crew, two women and four men were then arrested and were escorted in their boats back to the harbour at Koeberg. They are now in police custody.

When the action began the plant manager of the nuclear facility was telephoned by Greenpeace campaigner, Mike Townsley, and informed that Greenpeace was conducting a non-violent action at the plant and that the activists posed no threat to the workers or the facility. He was also informed of the reasons that Greenpeace opposes nuclear power.

With just two days to go before the start of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the Greenpeace action is a strong message to governments from South Africa and the rest of the world that dirty and unsafe technology - nuclear power and fossil fuels - are not sustainable sources of energy.

Government leaders must not allow the dumping of unsafe and unclean technology on Africa. Greenpeace calls on governments attending the Johannesburg Earth Summit to channel the US$250 billion annual subsidies squandered on nuclear and fossil fuels into clean, renewable energy alternatives.

Governments from around the world are also urged to make a commitment to provide affordable renewable energy to the two billion people, a third of the planet, who live without electricity, and to ensure that renewable resources provide 10% of global energy by 2010.

Notes: Note: The activists came from the Netherlands, the UK, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Lebanon, and Australia.