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SWEDISH NUKE PLANT SAFETY

GREENPEACE

‘I have been here for 27 hours’: anti-nuke activist

Several Greenpeace activists evaded police and remained in hiding inside two nuclear plants in Sweden for more than 24-hours after breaking into restricted areas on Tuesday.

'I have been here for 27 hours': anti-nuke activist

“I have been here for almost 27 hours,” said activist Isadora Wronski to newspaper Aftonbladet from within the Ringhals nuclear plant in southern Sweden early Wednesday morning.

The activists had been able to log on to social networking site Twitter and had spent time talking to the media.

“We slept here undisturbed. I’m about 75 metres from Reactor 1,” Wronski told Sveriges Radio (SR).

The Local reported on Tuesday how some 20 activists had managed to breach the restricted areas of Ringhals on bicycles. At the same time several activists broke into Forsmark plant, on the east coast.

According to Aftonbladet, the activists climbed a roof within the restricted area with the help of a ladder and subsequently hid under a tarpaulin.

Apart from a helicopter hovering over them for a while on Tuesday, they say they have managed to move around unimpeded.

“We haven’t seen any guards or police today. We think that the workers have gone back to work. When we look down towards the reactors we see no security at all,” said Wronski to the paper, adding that there is Swedish nuclear plant security is in a state of crisis.

According to Wronski there is nothing to indicate that security personnel at the plant have detected the activists or are even looking for them.

“We have food enough to manage and we can stay here until (minister for the environment) Lena Ek decides to shut down the Swedish reactors,” said Wronski.

Later on Wednesday it also emerged that Greenpeace activists had also managed to remain in the Forsmark nuclear plant since 5am on Tuesday morning.

“It’s totally bizarre for me that I, as a regular person, without any special knowledge, not in very good shape and without any special equipment, can gain access to such an important place,” an activist told the TT news agency from within Forsmark.

While two activists were arrested inside Forsmark around 10.30am on Wednesday, two additional activists remained in the facility as of 1.30pm, according to Greenpeace.

Police continue to search the area in hopes of finding the remaining activists.

At first, police were surprised when Aftonbladet called to say there were still activists inside the restricted areas of Ringhals:

“We’ll have to look into it. Do they want us to find them? I don’t suppose they will come out, in that case?,” said local police officer Stefan Dahlhielm to the paper.

Ringhals spokesperson Gösta Larsen is not convinced that the activists are really on the premises:

“I have been told that there are people who claim to still be here at Ringhals. That’s a hypothetical question. Anyone could call and say that they are without actually being here. We don’t think they are. Police have searched the area with dogs and equipment,” said Larsen to the paper.

”But of course it is possible, Ringhals is not a small factory. It has a lot of buildings, dumpsters and other things, so they could be hiding somewhere. I guess we’ll have to keep looking.”

According to daily Expressen, four activists were arrested at Ringhals by 9.30am on Wednesday morning.

Police will now carry out a more extensive search of the area.

Following reports that the activists had managed to evade capture, Sweden’s environment minister planned a meeting with the country’s nuclear energy regulator and power plant operators on Wednesday after activists on Tuesday were able to break into two nuclear plants.

“I have asked the authority responsible … and owners Vattenfall and Eon to come see me (on Wednesday) to explain themselves,” Environment Minister Lena Ek told news agency TT.

Annika Jacobsson, the head of Greenpeace Sweden, explained that the activists’ trespassing has revealing important failings in Sweden’s nuclear power plant security.

“Now it’s a peaceful stress test, done with great care, but it’s clear that if someone had wanted to threaten the security of Ringhals, that would have been totally possible from where [the activists] were positioned,” she told TT.

The Local/AFP/rm

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

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OIL

Swede leads Greenpeace Arctic oil mission

A 27-year-old former Swedish oil worker is leading a group of activists who remain on board a drill rig being transported across the Pacific Ocean as Shell seeks an injunction against the move.

Swede leads Greenpeace Arctic oil mission
The Crossing activists. Photo: Vincenzo Floramo/Greenpeace
Andreas Widlund, who says he became frustrated witnessing the hunt for Arctic oil, joined Greenpeace soon after quitting the oil industry and is among a team of six taking part in what Greenpeace has dubbed 'The Crossing'.
 
Widlund's biography on the campaign group's site says he "felt he could not continue to work actively for a business that drives the climate crisis forward".
 
Originally from Umeå in northern Sweden, he has joined activists from Germany, the USA, Austria and New Zealand for the trip.
 
On Tuesday, using inflatable boats and climbing gear, the campaigners managed to clamber on board the Polar Pioneer oil rig run by Shell which is heading towards Alaska to drill for oil. 
 
They then put up a banner in protest of Arctic offshore drilling, but promised not to interfere with the ship's navigation.
 
In a post on its website, Greenpeace described the crew as "determined to shine a white hot light on Shell’s reckless hunt for extreme Arctic oil. With them in spirit are millions of people from around the world who have joined the call for a global sanctuary in the Arctic".
 
"We don’t know how this journey will end or whether we'll succeed, but we know that we are not sailing towards this challenge alone," the statement added.
 
Widlund later tweeted: "I'm just an ordinary guy and I think that if you had the opportunity to do what I do you'd have the courage and strength to do it."
 
The youngest member of the group, Zoe Buckley Lennox, 21, from Australia posted several further updates on Wednesday. Describing the atmosphere, she said: "The wind is howling and the sound of flapping tarps fills the air". Other posts were about the crew's lack of access to toilets and coffee.

 

A spokesperson for the US government told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Tuesday that the activists were exposing themselves and the crew to "great risks" and Shell's US spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh sent an email to the UK's Guardian newspaper stating that Greenpeace was deploying "illegal tactics".
 
“We respect their views and value the dialogue,” she wrote.
 
“We will not, however, condone the illegal tactics employed by Greenpeace. Nor will we allow these stunts to distract from preparations underway to execute a safe and responsible exploration programme.”
 
After Shell formally lodged an injunction designed to get the crew removed from the ship, Greenpeace USA's executive director Annie Leonard said: “This injunction is Shell’s latest attempt to keep people from standing up for the Arctic. Shell thinks it can do whatever it wants, but there’s one thing the company still clearly fears — ordinary people standing up to save the Arctic."

“Shell wants activists off its rig. We want Shell out of the Arctic."

The Polar Pioneer set off from Malaysia last month. It is one of two rigs Shell is hoping to use for exploratory drilling later this year, although the company is yet to secure the permits it needs to do so.
 
The Greenpeace activists say they are prepared to stay on board for "days or weeks" in order to raise awareness of their campaign.
 
They argue that Shell and other oil giants have failed to demonstrate that they could clear up a major oil spill in icy waters.