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French Police Clear Nuclear Waste Protest Camp in Bois-Lejuc - Interior Ministry

© AFP 2021 / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEFrench gendarmes stand near a bulldozer being used to clear the entrance to the encampment during an operation to evacuate opponents of a nuclear waste burial site in the Lejuc woods in Bure
French gendarmes stand near a bulldozer being used to clear the entrance to the encampment during an operation to evacuate opponents of a nuclear waste burial site in the Lejuc woods in Bure - Sputnik International
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PARIS (Sputnik) - French police launched an operation on Thursday to clear a site that had been occupied by activists since 2016 in protest against the creation of nuclear waste storage in the Bure commune in the country's east, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.

"An operation led by the gendarmerie began this morning at 6:15 a.m. [05:15 GMT] to end an illegal occupation of Bois-Lejuc, the site, earmarked for the project of national interest Cigeo," French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb posted on Twitter.

The 221 hectares (about 546 acres) of the Bois-Lejuc forest will turn into a nuclear waste disposal site if the French Cigeo project is approved by the government and comes to fruition. The project is strongly opposed by local environmentalist groups.

"Under the authority of the prefect of the Meuse, an operation led by the national gendarmerie began this morning at 6:15 to end the illegal occupation of BoisLejuc," wrote Gerard Collomb.

READ MORE: Refugees in Calais Face Inhumane Conditions, Aid Efforts Restricted — French NGO

The protesters started camping in the Bois-Lejuc in June 2016, when Andra, the French national radioactive waste management agency, started clearing the territory and erecting a wall around it. A dozen militants have been living at the site since then.

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