Anti-nuclear movement in France
|Anti-nuclear Movement in France|
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In the 1970s, an anti-nuclear movement in France, consisting of citizens' groups and political action committees, emerged. There were many large anti-nuclear protests and demonstrations. More recently, targeted campaigns have been conducted, mainly by Greenpeace, and Sortir du nucléaire (France) has called for an official safety inspection of Areva facilities.
Atomic Situation in France
Between 1956 and 2002 about 60 nuclear plants have been taken into operation in France. The first research reactor for electricity generation was built in Marcoule by the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA). Some 58 commercial nuclear reactors are in operation in France these days. Besides these reactors, France has established a big number of all types of atomic plants to produce nuclear fuel and treat radioactive material for the commercial use. Some 80 % of electricity produced in the country comes from nuclear power stations.
Until the event of the Fukushima disaster there was a wide pro-nuclear consensus between all political parties expect for the Greens. In 2011 the situation changed a bit with the Socialists questioning their stance. During the last dozen years the anti-nuclear movement in France became stronger and stronger. The Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire as an association of about 600 groups and organizations was founded connecting and supporting anti-nuclear activities in France centrally. Blockades and mass demonstrations have formed the picture of the anti-nuclear movement since that time.
The supposed final disposal site for high level atomic waste is situated in the area of the village of Bure. An underground laboratory is preparing the later operation of the repository although doubts of the suitability of the sire have not been cleared. A protest house was bought in Bure by the movement as a gathering place and for educating and campaigning against the Bure final disposal plans.
A second prototype of the EPR was started in Flamanville some years after the construction begin in Finland as the Olkiluoto III project experienced too many difficulties to get finished soon. These days a main field of protests against nuclear power developments in France is the construction of new power lines. Construction site occupations took place as well as public campaigns, camps and other events. The transports of the high level CASTOR containers from the La Hague reprocessing unit to Gorleben in Germany were also cause for hundreds of French activists to demonstrate their protest, blockade the transport and to show solidarity with the anti-nuclear protests in Germany.
France began a nuclear power program in the 1950s and announced a shift to the Westinghouse light water reactor in 1969. Following the 1973 oil crisis, the government announced a dramatic increase in planned nuclear capacity. These major decisions were put forward as a fait accompli, with no opportunity for meaningful parliamentary debate. An intense extra-parliamentary opposition, of citizens' groups and political action committees, emerged. In the 1970s, there were many large and dramatic anti-nuclear protests and demonstrations in France.
In 1971, 15,000 people demonstrated against French plans to locate the first light -water reactor power plant in Bugey. This was the first of a series of mass protests organized at nearly every planned nuclear site until the massive demonstration at the Superphénix breeder reactor in Creys-Malvillein in 1977 culminated in violence.
Vital Michalon died on the demonstration, he was hidden by a police weapon .
In January 2004 thousands participated on a protest action in Paris against the EPR.
In 2004, an anti-nuclear protester was run over by a train carrying radioactive waste. In 2005, thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators marched to commemorate the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and demand an end to government plans to build a nuclear plant in western France.
On March 17, 2007 simultaneous protests, organised by Sortir du nucléaire (France) (Get Out of Nuclear Power), were staged in 5 French towns to protest construction of European Pressurized Reactor plants; Rennes, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Strasbourg.
In 2008, twenty Greenpeace activists delayed construction of a new nuclear reactor being built in Flamanville for 50 hours. In July 2008 there were a series of accidents at the French nuclear site Tricastin-Pierrelatte, and Greenpeace France launched two court cases in an effort to find out more details about these. In August 2008, Sortir du nucléaire called Areva's radioactive emissions 'very dangerous' and sought an official safety inspection of its factories.
Groups and organizations
- Anti-nuclear movement in Germany
- Anti-nuclear movement in the United Kingdom
- List of anti-nuclear groups
- Non-nuclear future
- Nuclear controversy
- France's Nuclear Failures (PDF) (Greenpeace)- The nuclear industry, in decline for several decades, has seized upon the climate crisis as a revival opportunity, aggressively promoting nuclear technology as a 'low-carbon' means of generating electricity and thus an important part of our future energy mix. However, nuclear power forms an expensive and dangerous distraction from the real solutions to climate change - the necessary greenhouse gas reduction targets can only be met through using the proven alternatives of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.
Press Releases + Media Coverage
- Touraine, Alain, Zsuzska Hegedus, Francois Dubet, and Michael Wieviorka (1982). Anti-nuclear protest: The Opposition to Nuclear Energy in France, Cambridge University Press.
Some past events
- anti nuclear bike tour (Southern Route) from Kahl/Main (D) to Freiburg (D) via France and Switzerland: 13/08/22 - 04/09/22
- political cultural festival "Les Bure'lesques" in Bure: 09/08/2019 - 11/08/2019
- film screening "Nucléaire la fin d'un mythe" at Cinéma Les Carmes, 7 rue des carmes, in Orléans: 12/01/2019 at 3.30 PM
- International Anti-nuclear Summer Camp near Narbonne: 06/08/2018 - 12/08/2018
- Fifth meeting for studies, exchanges, proposals, debates and celebrations of the ADN ("Arrêt Du Nucléaire") collective for the nuclear shutdown, in the Cotentin, near Valognes : 30/06/2018 - 01/07/2018
- A day against the burial of nuclear waste at Bure in Bar-le-Duc (Lorraine) : 16/06/2018
- Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly of the "Sortir du nucléaire" (SDN) Network in Lyon : 12/05/2018 - 13/05/2018
- Anti-nuclear action on the European highway bridges: 10/03/2018 at 10 AM
- Demonstration against Areva Malvesi TDN-Thor Project at Narbonne City Hall: 05/11/2017 at 11 AM
- Antinuclear World Social Forum 2017 in Paris: 02/11/2017 - 04/11/2017
- Areva's trial against CAN-SE at Criminal Court in Paris: 11/10/2017
- Demonstration against the EPR at Place de la Mairie in Saint Lo: 30/09/2017 at 2.30 PM
- Exhibition of depictions of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic aftermath as drawn by its survivors AKA the Hibakusha, in Joe Bousquet Museum, in Carcassonne : 01/07/2017 - 29/10/2017
- 4th study days on nuclear phase-out at the Causse du Larzac in the south of the Massif Central : 09/09/2017 - 11/09/2017
- Festival Les Burlesques in Bure: 11/08/2017 - 13/08/2017
- bike tour from Bure via Chooz and Tihange to Maastricht: 13/07/2017 - 23/07/2017
- Bure forest camp "endless birthday party in Lejuc Woods: 19/06/2017 - 26/06/2017
- MCCA's 2nd meeting "Arrêt immédiat du nucléaire" in Ile de France/Paris region: 12/11/2016 - 13/11/2016
- call-out for resistance huts construction weeks in the liberated forests near the proposed nuclear waste repository Bure: from 24/10/2016
- conference "Arrêt du nucléaire, énergie de destruction massive!" in Flamanville: 02/10/2016 at 9 AM
- rally "Arrêt du nucléaire, énergie de destruction massive!" in Flamanville: 01/10/2016 at 2 PM
- Massive reoccupation demo : we take the forest back ! on the proposed nuclear waste repository construction site in Bure: 16/07/2016
- action against final repository: "200 000 pas à Bure" in Bure: 05/06/2016
- double conference on Fukushima & Ukraine at FPH - Fondation pour le Progrès de l'Homme, 38 Rue Saint Sabin, in Paris: 06/05/2016 at 6.30 PM
- artistic anti-nuclear gathering with musicians and other artists on stage near Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône - 13): 29/04/2016 - 01/05/2016
- 3 NUITS POUR TCHERNOBYL at Maison de l’Arbre de Montreuil, 9 rue François Debergue, in Montreuil: 25/04/2016 - 27/04/2016
- Texts reading from the Japanese author Kenzaburo Oé at Ferme-théâtre in Moulidars (near Angoulème, Charente – 16): 26/04/2016
- Evening gatherings with lights, readings, music and choregraphy at Maison de l'Arbre in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis - 93), near Paris: 26/04/2016
- Theatrical reading of "Chernobyl forever" from Alain Gilles-Bastide at Anis Gras, Le lieu de l'autre in Arcueil (Val de Marne – 94): 26/04/2016 at 9 PM
- Theatrical reading of "Chernobyl forever" from Alain Gilles-Bastide at Anis Gras, Le lieu de l'autre in Arcueil (Val de Marne – 94): 26/04/2016 at 2 PM
- "Chernobyl day and night" - conference with many specialists and other events on place at City hall of the 2nd "arrondissement", in Paris (75): 23/04/2016 at 9 AM
- Works of arts exhibition, animations and readings related to radioactive contamination at old painting museum, Place de Verdun, in Grenoble (Isère - 38): 23/03/2016 - 03/04/2016
- Theatre play on Chernobyl according to La Supplication of Svetlana Alexievitch at Petit Théâtre (CREARC), rue Pierre Duclos, in Grenoble (Isère – 38): 03/04/2016
- "Radiation and radioactive contamination by low doses" ("Irradiation et contamination par les faibles doses radioactives") at Le Rafiot, 18 rue du château, in Flamanville, Basse-Normandie: 02/04/2016 at 9 AM
- Theatre play on Chernobyl according to La Supplication of Svetlana Alexievitch at Petit Théâtre (CREARC), rue Pierre Duclos, in Grenoble (Isère – 38): 02/04/2016
- Theatre play on Chernobyl according to La Supplication of Svetlana Alexievitch at Petit Théâtre (CREARC), rue Pierre Duclos, in Grenoble (Isère – 38): 01/04/2016
- Conference on the (non)-nuclearisation of the Middle-East with Patrice Bouveret with the examples of Iran and Israel in Clermont-Ferrand (Puy de Dôme - 63): 30/03/2016
- Theatrical reading of "Chernobyl forever" from Alain Gilles-Bastide at Tropiques Atrium scène nationale in Martinique, Fort-de-France: 18/03/2016 at 7 PM
- Theatrical reading of "Chernobyl forever" from Alain Gilles-Bastide at Tropiques Atrium scène nationale in Martinique, Fort-de-France: 18/03/2016 at 2 PM
- Evening gatherings with lights, readings, music and choregraphy at Maison de l'Arbre in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis - 93), near Paris: 11/03/2016
international anti-nuclear block at the climate demonstration on the occasion of the UN climate conference (COP) in Paris: 12/12/2015cancelled
- 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris: 30/11/2015 – 11/12/2015
- IAEA Technical Meeting on Capacity Building and Human Resource Development for New and Expanding Nuclear Power Programmes in Lyon: 23/11/2015 - 27/11/2015
- IAEA Third Research Coordination Meeting on Sodium Properties and Safe Operation of Experiemental Facilities in Support of the Development and Deployment of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (NAPRO) in Cadarache: 05/10/2015 - 09/10/2015
- annual Internationales Aktionsbündnis gegen Cattenom mass rally against Cattenom NPP at Place Saint-Louis in Metz: 03/10/2015 at 2 PM
- uranium transport action in Perl/Apach: 13/09/2015 at 10 AM
- anti-nuclear camp against nuclear power and nuclear waste in Bure: 01/08/2015 - 10/08/2015
- mass rally in Bure: 07/06/2015 at 8.30 AM
- EDF Shareholders' Meeting at Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, in Paris: 19/05/2015 at 10 AM
- mass rally outside Fessenheim NPP: 26/04/2015
- Chaine Humaine Anti Nucléaire Tricastine- Marcoule -Cadarache: 14/03/2015 at 2 PM
- Fessenheim rally at Place Kleber in Strasbourg: 07/03/2014 at 2 PM
- Résistance en Concert at Maison des Energies at Fessenheim NPP: 11/01/2015 at 12 PM
- nationwide action day for a nuclear phase-out: 15/11/2014
- anti-nuclear rally at Place de la République in Strasbourg: 15/11/2014 at 2 PM
- rally Cattenom Non Merci at Place Saint Louis in Metz: 27/09/2014 at 2 PM
- OECD/NEA: Constructing Memory (Construire la mémoire) An International Conference and Debate on the Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory of Radioactive Waste across Generations in Verdun: 15/09/2014 - 17/09/2014
- Tour de Fessenheim starting from Breisach (D): 21/06/2014 - 22/06/2014
- international bike rally near Cattenom NPP: 17/05/2014 at 11 AM
- European Nuclear Conference in Marseille: 11/05/2014 - 15/05/2014
- Marche antinucléaire pour la vie crossing six departments heading to the atomic sites Cadarache, Marcoule, Tricastin and Cruas: 25/04/2014 - 05/05/2014
- Fukushima disaster remembrance: international bridge actions in the Upper Rhine Valley: 09/03/2014 at 2 PM
- human chain Fessenheim at vallée du Rhône: 09/03/2014 at 2 PM
- Fukushima-Fessenheim protest press conference opposite to Fessenheim NPP, 4, Rue du Colonel Tulla in Fessenheim: 09/03/2014 at 11 AM
- Fukushima related actions in the Dreyeckland region: 08/03/2014
- "Widerstand in Concert" at Fessenheim NPP: 12/01/2014 at 12 PM
- anti-nuclear manifestation at Place du Quartier Blanc, in Strassbourg: 30/11/2013 at 3 PM
- Close Cattenom NPP rally at Place de la Réplublique in Metz: 14/09/2013 at 2 PM
- Petit festival contre la grosse poubelle nucléaire in Bonnet, Lorraine: 30/08/2013
- Joint Anglo-French Fast Action Against Nuclear Weapons 2013 in Paris (F) and Burghfield (UK): 06/08/2013-09/08/2013
- International walk for peace and nuclear phaseout in the Rhône valley: 01/07/2013 - 27/07/2013
- Tour de Fessenheim from Mulhouse to Colmar: 29/06/2013 - 30/06/2013
- Anti-nuclear Walk for Life in the nuclear heartland of Europe (Alpes de Haute Provence, Gard, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse): 15/04/2013 - 26/04/2013
- Fête-Rassemblement antinucléaire in Avignon: 21/04/2013 at 12 PM
- human chain to encircle the nuclear decision makers in Paris: 09/03/2013 at 1.30 PM
- permanent vigil at Kleberplatz in Strasbourg: 23/02/2013 - 08/03/2013
- rally against Fessenheim NPP outside the prefecture in Colmar: 12/02/2013 at 1 PM
- "Widerstand in Concert" on Rheininsel at the Fessenheim NPP: 13/01/2013 at 12 PM
- conference "Nuclear, money, power and lobbies" in Clermont-Ferrand: 03/11/2012 - 04/11/2012
- CATTENOM - BURE NEIN DANKE (other webpage): 13/10/2012 at 2 PM
- trial against Valognes-Stop-Castor 2011 activists in Cherbourg: 09/10/2012
- OCCUPY - NO - NUKE CATTENOM: 22/09/2012 at 10 AM
- Festival Bure: 14/09/2912 - 16/09/2012
- March for the live for the immediate phase-out of nuclear power in Cadarache-Marcoule-Tricastin: 18/08/2012 - 25/08/2012
- international Fasting for abolition of nuclear weapons opposite the Eiffel Tower in Paris: 06/08/2012 - 09/08/2012
- Tour de Fessenheim: 22/06/2012 - 24/06/2012
- Camp against high voltage power lines for French NPPs: 22/06/2012 - 24/06/2012
- rally and picnic at the Fessenheim NPP: 28/04/2012
- Chernobyl Remembrance Day in Metz: 26/04/2012 at 7 PM
- rally against nuclear power at Colonne Merten in the Rue Serpenoise in Metz: 10/03/2012 at 3 PM
- protest action at the Fessenheim NPP: 10/03/2012 at 2 PM
- first day of the trial against anti-nuclear activists due to the last Castor protests in Valognes will take place at 15 rue des Tribunaux in Cherbourg: 31/1/2012
- Thousands protest against N-power: Demonstrations across France
- Thousands march in Paris anti-nuclear protest
- Greenpeace resumes protest actions against Flamanville-3
- Greenpeace Climb Eiffel Tower in Nuclear Protest
- Uranium Leaks Rattle France's Nuclear Support, Anger Villagers
- French Doubts Up After Nuke Mishaps
- Nelkin, Dorothy and Michael Pollak, "Ideology as Strategy: The Discourse of the Anti-Nuclear Movement in France and Germany" Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 5, No. 30 (Winter, 1980), p. 3.
- Nelkin, Dorothy and Michael Pollak (1982). The Atom Beseiged: Antinuclear Movements in France and Germany, ASIN: B0011LXE0A, p. 3.
- Fatality fuels anti-nuclear protest
- Thousands march in anti-nuclear protest in western France
- Greenpeace activists block restart of French nuclear reactor construction
- Greenpeace to sue French Nuclear Industry
- Concern over French nuclear safety