“You can’t see radioactivity, you can’t feel it, so people don’t care”: in Brennilis, nuclear power no longer mobilizes

We can’t miss it. From the top of the village, perched on the highest mountain range in the region, the concrete dome emerges from the hilly landscape of the Arrée mountains. The reactor block of the Finistère nuclear power station of Brennilis remains one of the last vestiges of the gigantic installation, in operation from 1967 to 1985. Despite the decades, its dismantling has not yet been completed. It is in this building, however, that the most radioactive elements of the infrastructure are stored, a prototype of a heavy water reactor cooled with carbon dioxide, never reproduced in France afterwards.

Thirty-six years he has waited for his fate to be fixed. After many twists and turns, including partial dismantling since 1996, a public inquiry is organized, from November 15 until January 3, for residents, and anyone interested, to present their point of view on the future of the site. . “Do you approve or not the complete dismantling plan proposed by EDF?” “

In the town hall of Loqueffret, a village of 350 souls where the power station is built, people don’t rush to the gate. “Before this morning, I had received no notice”, launches the secretary this Friday, December 17. In the orange sleeve, only four opinions. Online, there are about a hundred from all over France. The president of the commission in charge of the investigation, Danielle Fraysse, confirms: “For the moment, we have mostly seen elected officials and journalists. “ It must be recognized that the 2,500-page dossier, “Without the annexes”, can cool the ardor. “The local population wants this story to end. It is a mistake that she does not participate in view of what happened the last time ”, she continues.

64,000 tonnes of radioactive waste

It was in 2009. Same context: a public inquiry, local residents consulted, to know whether or not the site should be completely dismantled. Following this democratic exercise, the committee, worried about the future storage of radioactive waste, gave an unfavorable opinion to the work. Result: the prefect and the ministry followed his argument; EDF had to review its copy entirely.

“In our village, we all know someone who works or who has worked at the plant. She brought a lot of work. »Joël Baladine, owner of a bar-grocery store

Twelve years later, a new investigation is on the table. But, this time, interest falters. “You can’t see radioactivity, you can’t smell it, so people don’t care”, deplores, disillusioned, Bernadette Lallouet. This resident of Berrien, 15 kilometers from the old power station, has been following the file closely for the association Vivre dans les monts d’Arrée for years. Like other anti-nuclear organizations, it campaigns for the installation to remain as it is, while the radioactivity decreases.

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“You can’t see radioactivity, you can’t feel it, so people don’t care”: in Brennilis, nuclear power no longer mobilizes