Protesters target E.ON's Ratcliffe plant

LONDON Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:43am EDT

A train passes Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in central England, October 30, 2006. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A train passes Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in central England, October 30, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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LONDON (Reuters) - Environmentalists campaigning against climate change said on Monday they would attempt to shut down German utility E.ON's power station at Ratcliffe in central England in a mass action planned for October.

The Climate Camp activists, currently camped on open ground in Blackheath in south London, said their invasion would take place on October 17 and 18.

The European Union ranked Ratcliffe, one of Britain's biggest power stations, as the 18th most polluting power plant in Europe in 2008 in its annual "dirty 30" carbon dioxide emissions list.

In April police released without charge 114 people arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and criminal damage at the coal-fired plant in Nottinghamshire.

"We will shut Ratcliffe by land, water and air," said activist Charlotte Johnson.

"People will break into the plant and occupy the chimney. Coal power stations must be shut permanently if we are to have any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change."

An E.ON spokesman said the firm would work with local police to ensure the plant remained safe and in operation.

"We are supportive of peaceful protest but it is unacceptable to us for people to attempt to break into our power stations to shut them down," he said.

"It is not safe for people to go into power stations when they don't know what they are doing."

(Reporting by Tim Castle)

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