A group of 40 Argentine environmentalists invaded the Embalse Nuclear Center in the central province of Córdoba on Mar. 11 to mark the second anniversary of the earthquake that caused meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, the second-worst nuclear accident in history. The protesters, members of Greenpeace Argentina, “entered [the complex] peacefully, waving flags and wearing orange overalls,” according to Greenpeace Energy Campaign coordinator Mauro Fernández. They proceeded to climb to the top of the reactor, where they unfurled a giant banner reading: “Enough with nuclear danger!” The activists were then “beaten and arrested,” Greenpeace said, and were taken to the Río Cuarto federal court, which has jurisdiction over the facility.
“This action by Greenpeace demonstrates, two years after the Fukushima catastrophe, that the Embalse Nuclear Center’s security, like that at all nuclear reactors, is vulnerable to any unforeseen contingency,” Fernández said. “It is a matter of urgency to close this plant, which is located over a fault and has passed its useful life, and to begin the abandonment of atomic energy in the country.” Asked how the protesters entered the complex, Fernández answered: “Through the gate, which was open.” The federal government’s 2006 Nuclear Plan includes extending the life of the plant, one of Argentina’s two nuclear facilities, at a projected cost of US$1.366 billion. (La Voz (Córdoba) 3/11/13; Adital (Brazil) 3/11/13; Cadena 3 (Córdoba) 3/12/13)