Eleven Activists Held After Greenpeace Protest at Nuclear Reactor

Updated 20:27

Greenpeace demonstrators climbed to the roof of one of the nuclear reactor buildings at Forsmark on the coast north of Stockholm in a protest over Thursday's parliamentary vote to replace aging atomic reactors.

Police arrested some 50 environmental activists, some of whom used a crane to lift their Greenpeace colleagues over the fence. Local police spokesman Christer Nordström told AFP that all activists have vacated the premises despite threats to stay until Thursday, and a number are being detained while under investigation.

Nordström also said that some of the fifty-odd activists arrested by police have since been identified and released, although eleven are being held on suspicion of aggravated trespassing.

Besides Swedes, French, German, Norwegian, and Polish nationals were among those detained by the police.

But administrators at Forsmark emphasize that security measures were sufficient and that the protestors were unable to enter the reactor building itself. Still, the very proximity of the protest to the nuclear reactors was found worrisome by many.

Environment minister Andreas Carlgren called the fact that the protestors got so close to the reactor extremely serious, adding that he wants security around Sweden's reactors to be strengthened.

Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin also commented that security must be tightened. "This time they may be peaceful protestors, next time it could be people with completely different motives", she maintained.

The protestors are demanding that Sweden honor a 1980 national referendum decision to phase out nuclear power. The parliament is set to vote on a measure to disregard the vote and replace old reactors on Thursday.

Greenpeace wants the money to be spent on developing alternative energy sources instead. Patrik Eriksson, campaign manager, told Radio Sweden he thinks the parliament vote is so important it justifies such extreme measures being taken.

Two reactors have already been shut down and ten more are still on line.

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