Nuclear: the Assembly votes for tougher sentences for intrusion into power plants

Nuclear: the Assembly votes for tougher sentences for intrusion into power plants

The National Assembly voted on Thursday evening to tighten the penalties for intrusions into the power stations. The deputies validated this article of the bill of nuclear revivalwhich provides that the penalty for intrusion will be increased from one to two years in prison and from 15,000 to 30,000 euros in fines, the penalties being higher in the event of the threat of a weapon, action in an organized gang… “We have the right to be opposed to nuclear power, but this must be done within the framework of the law”, defended the rapporteur Maud Bregeon (Renaissance).

The left castigates “totally disproportionate” sentences

The Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher has curried a “kind of romanticism” around these militant actions, “completely off the mark”.

For its part, the left denounced a “criminalization of environmental action” and a new scale of “totally disproportionate” penalties to punish, for example, the simple deployment of a banner on a site. Amendments from EELV, PS, PCF, LFI and also from the former Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili (Renaissance), to delete the article, were rejected.

It had been added by the Senate during the first reading of the bill in Januarybut the deputies revised downwards certain penalties, and scratched in session the possibility of dissolution of a legal entity.

Spirits heated at the National Assembly

The tension rose a notch in the hemicycle when Emmanuel Blairy (RN) drew a parallel between the “internal threat” of militants and the “external threat” of “terrorist movements” on the power stations.

Tempers flared, and Laurent Jacobelli (RN) claimed that an elected LFI had shouted “shut up” to a member of his group. The Insoumis deputy Matthias Tavel was called to order by the session president Caroline Fiat (LFI).

The deputies completed in the evening the examination of the whole of the bill, which will be submitted Tuesday to a solemn vote of the Assembly. It aims to simplify the construction of six new EPR reactors in France by 2035.

The surprise came on Wednesday from rejection of controversial nuclear safety reform, some voices of the majority having joined the left to oppose the “dismantling” of the Institute dedicated to safety (IRSN). Agnès Pannier-Runacher indicated that she would not ask for a new deliberation of the Assembly on this point. The Minister indicated that she had “proposed to the Senate” a “second reading” of the entire bill.

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