Eiffel Tower anti-nuclear protest

Feature story - 13 July, 2008
French state nuclear company Areva sponsored a ring of golden European Union stars for the Eiffel Tower, to mark France's term as EU president. Today, we added a nuclear hazard symbol.

Greenpeace activist unfurl a nuclear symbol banner on the Eiffel Tower in the middle of an illuminated European flag financed by French nuclear company Areva.

"The fact that Areva is sponsoring the EU stars on the Eiffel Tower gives a pretty clear indication about Sarkozy's agenda for the EU presidency," said Frédéric Mareiller, Greenpeace France nuclear campaigner.

Since coming into power in May 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy has been aggressively promoting nuclear energy, and attempting to sell French reactors at every turn. His government has signed agreements on nuclear exports and cooperation with nine Mediterranean and Middle East countries in the last year.

It took fifteen Greenpeace France activists to hang the nuclear symbol in the middle of the EU stars - as the Union for the Mediterranean summit, organized by Sarkozy, started in Paris today.

France's nuclear folly

Sarkozy is desperately trying to sell the French designed European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), the flagship of the so-called "nuclear renaissance" despite the fact that the only construction attempts of the EPR, in Finland and France have been disastrous.

The Finnish Olkiluoto 3 reactor is two and a half years behind schedule, and costs have doubled to just short of €5 billion. The French nuclear safety authority shut down the French construction site after just 6 months due to chronic safety problems.

Last week, a uranium leak contaminated two rivers in Southern France.  Swimming, fishing and drinking local well-water was banned after roughly 30 cubic metres of liquid containing uranium leaked out of a tank.

Over 80 percent of Frances electricity production is from nuclear power.

Nuclear energy undermines the solutions to climate change by diverting urgently needed resources away from the true renewable and energy efficiency solutions. Our Energy [R]evolution blueprint shows that renewable energy, and greater energy efficiency can deliver half of the world's energy needs by 2050, without nuclear power.


To maintain our independence, we only accept donations from individuals. Please donate to support our work.