To the President of the French Republic
Copy to the Prime Minister
SUBJECT: Protection Measures against Nuclear Threats.
ATTACHED: media releases and press articles
Saintes, le 20 novembre 2015
Monsieur le Président,
In the dramatic circumstances facing France today, and after hearing the Prime Minister say at the National Assembly on 19 November that our country could be attacked with chemical or bacteriological weapons, we beg to draw your attention to the fact that such attacks could also be nuclear or radioactive in character.
Indeed the 58 electro-nuclear reactors spread around France would be choice targets for any terrorists (or states) determined to strike at our nation. We wish to believe that their protection has been increased since the recent overflying of several power-plants by mysterious drones. We hope that they are even better protected today, even though we consider that the only way to ensure lasting security would be to close them down definitively and to store all the fissile fuels in a safe place. From this security viewpoint, we suggest that you should ban all visits to power-plants, including those in the framework of the “Teaching Defense” programme co-organized by the Ministry of Defense and the National Education, for example the visit scheduled for Civaux on 26 January 2016.
However, the most vulnerable of all are the transports of radioactive materials and plutonium in particular – these represent a huge danger for the populaton. We know that every week several hundreds of kilos of pure plutonium are moved across France. The newspaper Sud Ouest has mentioned them (...) There is no doubt that the lorries carrying these loads could easily be targeted for an attack or could have an accident en route, planned or otherwise, capable of causing the dispersion of their cargo into the atmosphere. We remind you that one microgramme of Plutonium, if inhaled, is enough to cause a fatal lung cancer within six months.
For these reasons we urge you to ban these transports immediately, at least during the current state of emergency, and to reconsider France’s nuclear policies, both for power-generation and military posture, from the viewpoint of the safety and security of the French people.
Please accept, Monsieur le Président, our respectful greetings,
Jean-Marie Matagne, President