Greenpeace activists have broken into a French nuclear power station and set off fireworks to show the site’s vulnerability to attacks.
The environmentalist group said its campaigners breached two security barriers before setting off the fireworks next to a spent fuel pool where radioactive rods are stored after being used.
Yannick Rousselet, the head of Greenpeace’s anti-nuclear campaign, said: “Do we need to wait for a malicious attack on a nuclear plant before EDF gets out of denial?”
Police said eight people were arrested following the intrusion, which has been described as “irresponsible”.
EDF, which operates the plant, said the activists were a few tens of metres away from nuclear installations but were stopped eight minutes after entering the site in Cattenom, eastern France.
Oliver Lamarre, deputy head of the energy giant’s nuclear fleet in France, said: “Had they been ill-intentioned people, or had there been a doubt about that, things would have happened differently and within a different timeframe.”