Greenpeace activists hide overnight at Swedish nuclear plants

STOCKHOLM Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:34am EDT

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Six environmental activists evaded police and hid overnight at two Swedish nuclear power plants after the sites were invaded on the previous day by Greenpeace campaigners demanding the closure of the stations on grounds of poor security.

A spokeswoman for Greenpeace Nordic said on Wednesday the six had remained in restricted areas around the west-coast Ringhals plant and Forsmark on the east coast by hiding on rooftops.

On Tuesday, plant owner Vattenfall said police had detained in all 59 people who had climbed over or cut through fences into the grounds of Ringhals and Forsmark.

"There was a heavy police search yesterday and still they didn't find them," spokeswoman Birgitte Lesanner said.

She said police resumed the searches again Wednesday morning after one of those hiding at Ringhals tweeted her whereabouts.

"I'm inside Ringhals have been here for 27h + no guards seems to be looking. Security at Swedish NPPs (nuclear power plants) terrible," Isadora Wronski tweeted.

A Vattenfall spokesman said police had found and detained all six by mid-day.

State-owned Vattenfall said on Tuesday security measures had worked as planned, while Greenpeace said its "stress test" showed the plants had serious safety deficiencies and urged the government to shut the reactors.

Swedish nuclear plants have suffered several incidents in recent years, including a fire at a Ringhals reactor last year, fuelling criticism of nuclear power in the country.

Swedes voted in a 1980 referendum to phase out nuclear power. The centre-right government which took power in 2006 decided in 2010, however, to allow the replacement of existing reactors with new ones.

The country has in all 10 nuclear reactors at three plants, generating some 40 percent of the country's electricity. Vattenfall in July filed an application to Sweden's Radiation Safety Authority to replace one or two reactors in Sweden.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Anthony Barker)