Greenpeace protesters detained for blocking EDF's Paris HQ

By The Associated Press

French police detained dozens of Greenpeace protesters Wednesday who were blocking the Paris headquarters of EDF, the public electricity company that operates the nuclear power plants in France.

Members of the group Greenpeace unfurl a banner on the building of the energy giant EDF during a nuclear protest in Paris, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Banner with the photo of the CEO of EDF Jean-Bernard Levy reads, "74 billions in debt with nuclear power it's not finished". Dozens of Greenpeace protesters are blocking the Paris headquarters of EDF, the public electricity company which operates the nuclear power plants in France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — French police detained dozens of Greenpeace protesters Wednesday who were blocking the Paris headquarters of EDF, the public electricity company that operates the nuclear power plants in France.

Officers were seen rappelling down the front of the EDF building to take down a big protest banner and lower down militants perched on the rooftop.

Activists protesting the pro-nuclear policy of EDF had handcuffed themselves to heavy yellow barrels and lined up along the main entrance of the building beginning early Wednesday. At least two other militants had locked themselves inside a huge container placed on the forecourt.

Activists were taken away in police vans. EDF said in a statement it will file a complaint against Greenpeace over the disruption that lasted some six hours.

Hundreds of employees were asked by EDF company management not to go to work in the morning until police drive the protesters away.

Greenpeace was protesting what they claim is EDF's inability to maintain the safety of France's nuclear plants while sitting on a debt of dozens of billion euros and keeping on investing in nuclear energy.

Cyrille Cormier, a Greenpeace official taking part in the demonstration, told The Associated Press that "30 out of 58 EDF nuclear reactors have serious anomalies in tanks or steam generators."

EDF denounced as false the statements made by Greenpeace during its protest.

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