Monday, March 12, 2012

Thousands form anti-nuclear human chains in Germany, France

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Thousands of people formed human chains in Germany and France to protest against the use of nuclear power plants on Sunday, the first anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster that crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant, while protesters also gathered at antinuclear rallies in New York and California.

At least 24,000 people, holding torches, formed an 80-kilometer long human chain in areas near Braunschweig in Germany, which has decided to abandon nuclear power plants by the end of 2022, according to an organizer. The chain encircled three nuclear facilities including a temporary storage site for nuclear waste in the vicinity of the city.

In France, a country which depends on nuclear energy for around 75 percent of its power, an environmental conservation group and the Europe Ecology-Green Party organized a 230-km human chain event in areas connecting southern French cities of Lyon and Avignon, where over 10 nuclear reactors are located. According to the organizers, around 60,000 people took part, while police said about 30,000 participated.

About 200 people, including residents of Sendai in disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture, gathered at an anti-nuclear rally held in California, home to the San Onofre nuclear power plant. In New York, more than 100 people, including children, took to the streets in protest of nuclear plants. Read More