STOCKHOLM Ã¢â‚¬â€ Police arrested some 50 Greenpeace activists on Monday who broke into a Swedish nuclear plant demanding that parliament reject the building of new nuclear facilities, the environmental group and police said.
“Around 50 activists were arrested” at the Forsmark nuclear power plant near Uppsala, north of Stockholm, local police spokesman Christer Nordstroem told AFP, adding he did not know the exact number of arrests.
“Now we think there are no activists left” on the premises, he added.
Another police spokesman, Olle Rehn, told Swedish news agency TT that out of the 50 or so arrested, three were taken into custody and suspected of aggravated trespassing and breaching Swedish security law.
Swedish, German, Norwegian, French and Polish citizens were among those arrested, Rehn added.
Greenpeace put out a statement earlier Monday saying around 30 people would enter the Forsmark facility to conduct a peaceful protest against an expected decision to expand nuclear power production in Sweden.
Sweden, which currently has 10 reactors at three power stations, announced last year it had reversed a decision to phase out nuclear power, and parliament is set to vote Thursday on whether to expand nuclear facilities.
“The activists demand that Swedish members of parliament vote ‘no’ to new nuclear power on June 17 and instead bet on renewable energy,” Greenpeace said, adding its protesters were ready to stay put until the day of the vote.
On its website, Swedish public radio showed activists dressed as white wind turbines and yellow sunshines — allusions to wind and solar power — , with one activist preparing to go over the plant’s fence using a ladder truck.
Marie-Louise Marsh, a security guard at the plant, told the Swedish news agency TT that she saw a fire truck, reportedly with French plates, back up to the fence, with three activists then hopping over the fence using ropes.
“I saw two activists dressed in yellow and two dressed in blue on the roof” of the 60-metre (200-foot) high reactor building, she added.
The power plant moved swiftly to increase security, it said in a statement.
“We have heightened our preparedness level and secured all vital areas,” Forsmark chief Stegan Persson said in a statement.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt voiced concern, telling TT: “Security work is fundamental and decisive for the Swedish people’s confidence in Swedish nuclear power production.”
The Forsmark plant is owned by the Forsmark power group, whose largest owner is Swedish state-owned power giant Vattenfall.