FRANCE: Clash At Super Ph

Environmentalists lost a battle but still expect to win the war

They shall not pass," declared Prefect René Jannin of the department of Isère, invoking the immortal words of Marshal Pétain before the 1916 Battle of Verdun. This time, however, the attacking army was not only German but also Swiss, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, British and mostly French—perhaps 30,000 demonstrators in all. They were protesting against "Super Phénix," France's giant Plutonium breeder reactor, under construction near Malville, 28 miles east of Lyon.

The weapons on both sides were less than nuclear—concussion grenades, Molotov cocktails,...

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