Nuclear power protests took place at more than a dozen locations throughout France and Germany on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The protests come as Japanese workers are still trying to grapple with the nuclear disaster that has befell Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant triggered by last month’s earthquake.
Some of the protests were staged near German nuclear power plants and along the Rhine River, near where France links to Germany, near France’s Fessenheim plant, according to The Associated Press.
Protesters called for the Fessenheim power plant, the oldest in the country, to be shut down. Some 200,000 people live within 12.4 miles from the plant on both the German and French sides of the border. In other words, that’s the number of people who would have to be evacuated in the advent of a nuclear similar to Fukushima’s.
Chernobyl, located in present-day Ukraine, was the site of the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history—the only accident until Fukushima to receive the maximum level seven on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. While Fukushima is also now rated a 7, it is still not clear how its impact will compare with Chernobyl.
On the Rhine, protesters yelled "Chernobyl, Fukushima, never again!" according to the BBC.
According to media photos, some protesters wore gas masks and donned brightly-colored hazardous materials suits.
Protests took place at power plants in Biblis, Grohnde, and Grafenrheinfeld. "After Fukushima it's now clear enough that the danger of nuclear power is real," Biblis protest organizer Erhard Renz told the BBC.