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Nuclear vote condemned as activists face trial

Nuclear vote condemned as activists face trial

Published: 18 Jun 2010 08:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2010 10:07 GMT+02:00

Environmental group Greenpeace described a decision by the Swedish parliament to approve the construction of new nuclear reactors, as 27 activists were tried for illegal trespass at the Forsmark plant north of Stockholm this week.

"With a narrow majority, the members of parliament show they do not take the environmental risks posed by nuclear power seriously, and that they do not trust in the enormous potential there is for Swedish renewable energy," Greenpeace spokesman Ludvig Tillman said in a statement.

The parliamentary vote came as prosecutor Magnus Berggren asked a court in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, to sentence most of the 29 activists arrested Monday for breaking into the Forsmark nuclear power plant to fines and suspended prison sentences.

The court is set to rule on the charges of illegal trespass on July 1st.

The activists, dressed up as brightly coloured renewable energy sources wind, water and sun, were part of a Greenpeace demonstration calling on parliamentarians to vote against the nuclear proposal.

Berggren said there was no need to hold the 28 foreign activists, including 13 Germans, in custody.

However, he called for the court to sentence the lone Swede in the group, who had a record of similar protests across Europe, to a short prison sentence, the TT news agency reported.

Other Greenpeace activists meanwhile stood outside the Swedish parliament during the drawn-out debate, holding up a banner imploring parliamentarians to "vote no".

Criticism of the nuclear reactor replacement plan, which is set to take effect on January 1st 2011, was not limited to activists however with the three main left-leaning opposition parties voting against the proposal.

Green Party spokeswoman Maria Wetterstrand scolding the long-time nuclear critics the Centre Party for siding with its coalition partners.

Voting in favour of the proposal, she said, "could mean Sweden will be making itself dependent on nuclear power for 100 more years and there will be 100,000 years of consequences for future generations who will have to take care of the waste," she said during the parliamentary debate.

Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, of the Centre Party, meanwhile defended the government's energy proposal.

"It is a myth that nuclear power is forcing out renewable energies. (Renewables) have won the game. Why then exclude nuclear from the plan?" he asked.

Carlgren also stressed voters would be able to express themselves on the new energy plan, which is set to take effect at the beginning of next year, in the upcoming September 19th elections.

If the three-party opposition manages to climb to power, it is expected to try to reverse Thursday's ruling.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 June 18, 2010 by Nemesis
These so called activists tried to break into a nuclear facility.

They should be tried as terrorists and sentenced as terrorists.

All foreign activists involved, should be put on no-fly lists due to being involved in a terrorist activity.

As for the German activists. They should be told that Blitzkrieg ended in 1945 and that for Blitzkrieg they need a few tiger tanks, not a veggie dinner.
10:10 June 18, 2010 by flintis
Hang 'em, shoot them at dawn, send'em to Guantanamo
15:42 June 18, 2010 by jamtlandtom
Everyone has the right, in these supposedly Democratic Countries, to make their feelings known by demonstrating. They put themselves beyond the pale, though, if they break the Law in exercising this right and also lose any moral high ground they may have had.

I think the majority of the populace feel that Nuclear power is the future, as I do.Many are also concerned about the possible detrimental affects when disposing of the Nuclear waste - me too. However I have faith that, as has happened in several aspects of our modern lives, where technology has moved forward in great strides,new processes will be discovered that will render the disposal of Nuclear waste a simple and safe task.

So citizens, demonstrate to your hearts content, but don't break the law in doing so.
16:01 June 18, 2010 by bravedave
I hate Greenpeace, always breaking the law and harrassing me on the streets of Stockholm!
16:34 June 18, 2010 by dmj123
Nuclear power is far cleaner than fossil fuels and the wastes can be largely recycled, (how did the N Koreans get their nuclear bomb materials again?). The french get 80% of their power from Nuclear reactors. They dispose of the spent fuel by encasing it in succesive layers of concrete, steel, and plastic and then dumping it into one of the deepest parts of teh ocean where the plates are folding into the earth. the rest of the world could do the same. There has never been a case of their waste getting into the environment. Guess who is opposed to this process??? greenpeace. It is not an issue of worrying about the environment ot is a case of willful stupidity. They should all be sent to live in lapland with the reindeer and given a small candle ration to keep warm by.
17:17 June 18, 2010 by cblanquer
OK guys, next Tchernobil may happen on Swedish soil, they your words will be a waste because it shall be too late for all of us.

Why do you identify nuclear risks with Greenpeace propaganda, just siita och fundera a little.

You cannot be serious, are you?
20:45 June 18, 2010 by pearldrummer
Greenpeace have over the years couragously acted on injustices affecting our planet and in turn the people and animals that occupy it and as a result have averted many environmental disasters. It's always done in a non violent way so any mention of terrorism is ridiculous, they may break the law occasionally but unfortunately sometimes that's the only way to get the necessary attention. In Britain many years ago the Sellafield nuclear power plant was pumping untreated waste into the Irish Sea, making it the most radioactive sea in the world. Greenpeace acted on this and Sellafield was made to clean up it's act, had there been no Greenpeace around I dread to think what the position would be today. I could go on at enormous lengths extolling the virtues of Greenpeace and also why nuclear power isn't the answer but I'll just point out that nuclear power is not the "CO2 friendly" option it potrays especially when you consider the CO2 produced processing and mining the uranium, the transportation to the power plants and the disposal of the radioactive waste sometimes in huge blocks of concrete which also needs to be mined. Also cancer clusters around nuclear installations should not be ignored. In 2008 a study in Germany reported increases in leukaemias and solid cancers among children living near all German nuclear power plants. Nuclear Power a good idea? .............. I think not!!
02:51 June 19, 2010 by repat_xpat
Sweden does show some hope. Not that these idiots protest the nukes, but that Sweden has the balls to let more of their energy be sourced from nukes. Something the US could learn from.
15:04 June 20, 2010 by Attestupa
A really good decision from Sweden. It's the only way to go in the short to medium term. Meanwhile, invest in renewable R&D.
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