Mar 14 - Dozens of demonstrators gather in Paris to protest against France's nuclear energy policies. Travis Brecher reports.
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Several dozen anti-nuclear protesters rally in Paris.
Fuelled by the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan following the country's most powerful earthquake on record, demonstrators are demanding that France end its dependence on nuclear power.
They say the radiation leak at a Japanese atomic power plant shows that safety guarantees cannot be upheld.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NORWEGIAN-BORN FRENCH MEP WITH THE GREENS, EVA JOLY, SAYING:
"The idea that it's dangerous and that we can cope with it, that is finished today. And we know hot to get out of the nuclear plants we need renewable energies, we need wind mills, we need geothermal and we need solar energy."
French officials met Saturday to discuss possible precautionary measures, but green energy groups say it is time to dump the program entirely.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER HEAD OF THE GREENS AND CURRENT MAYOR OF MONTREUIL NEAR PARIS, DOMINIQUE VOYNET, SAYING:
"When there was this nuclear accident in Chernobyl, people were saying the Russian state was not doing it's job, that the technology was old. The truth is that the most modern technologies, the most trained teams, are not protected, especially when nature is interfering, when it's strong, it's impossible to protect ourselves from it."
France has 58 nuclear reactors, compared to Japan's 55.
Nuclear power provides almost four fifths of the country's electricity, making it the second-biggest nuclear power producer after the United States.
Travis Brecher, Reuters
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