PARIS (Sputnik) – French police launched an operation on Thursday to clear a site that had been occupied by activists since 2016 in protest against the creation of nuclear waste storage in the Bure commune in the country’s east, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.
“An operation led by the gendarmerie began this morning at 6:15 a.m. [05:15 GMT] to end an illegal occupation of Bois-Lejuc, the site, earmarked for the project of national interest Cigeo,” French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb posted on Twitter.
The 221 hectares (about 546 acres) of the Bois-Lejuc forest will turn into a nuclear waste disposal site if the French Cigeo project is approved by the government and comes to fruition. The project is strongly opposed by local environmentalist groups.
“Under the authority of the prefect of the Meuse, an operation led by the national gendarmerie began this morning at 6:15 to end the illegal occupation of BoisLejuc,” wrote Gerard Collomb.
The protesters started camping in the Bois-Lejuc in June 2016, when Andra, the French national radioactive waste management agency, started clearing the territory and erecting a wall around it. A dozen militants have been living at the site since then.