French police clear nuclear waste protest site in pre-dawn swoop

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PARIS: French police launched a surprise operation at dawn on Thursday to evict protesters from a site earmarked for storage of nuclear waste in the Bure area of eastern France.

The interior ministry announced the evacuation after it was underway, with scores of police in body armor moving in before daylight to evict activists occupying the zone, backed up by an earthmover.

The plan to store long-life nuclear waste 500 meters below ground in impermeable clay has not yet got government approval and is strongly opposed by local groups and environmentalists.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government is keen to prevent a proliferation of such protester-occupation movements following one that lasted year at a site earmarked for a new airport near Nantes in the west of France – a building plan it dropped last month. —Reuters