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This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Senior Staff at French Nuclear Giant EDF Accused of Spying on Greenpeace

[I try not to opine TOO much in these postings, but I feel this is "the pot calling the kettle black". Yes if the charges are true espionage is wrong, but Greenpeace uses illegal tactics as well (e.g., trespassing, blockades, etc.). I sense a double standard here...]


Senior staff at state-owned energy company, EDF, have been charged with engaging in industrial espionage against Greenpeace France.

By Michael Ross Published on 2 Apr 2009

Two senior members of staff at EDF, the world’s largest operator of nuclear reactors, have been charged with spying on environment agency Greenpeace.

However, while both individuals strongly deny the allegations, a computer expert - who also faces charges - has acknowledged plans to hack into Greenpeace France’s secure systems.

Police are now investigating whether French-government-owned EDF hired a private detective agency specifically to engage in industrial espionage.

Headed by a former member of the French Secret Service (who is also being investigation as part of this enquiry), private investigators Kargus Consultants are confirmed to have been working for EDF at the time of the alleged incident in 2006 but no further details have been given about what capacity this was under.

French newspaper website Mediapart however, suggested that EDF had charged investigators at Kargus with the task of infiltrating Greenpeace France and collecting information on anti-nuclear campaigners who would potentially oppose their proposal to build a huge new generation nuclear reactor on the north coast of France.

Unsurprisingly, both EDF and Kargus have officially denied these claims, instead suggesting that the already-charged computer expert was working alone without instruction from either party.

In fact, EDF are now claiming that they are the victims in this case and have filed a civil plaintiff against the private detective firm.

Greenpeace have since confirmed that they are carrying out a thorough security review of the systems used by key officials in both the French and UK branches – EDF have recently bought into the UK’s biggest nuclear company, British Energy.

Director of Greenpeace France, Pascal Husting has also publically expressed his concerns, commenting:

"Greenpeace is a non-violent environmental organisation. The fact that we are being treated like terrorists because we dare to question nuclear energy shows just how frightened the nuclear industry is of transparency and a democratic debate.

"How will public opinion in Britain and the US – where EDF is expanding – react to a company using criminal spying methods against people who contradict them?"

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