Nuclear waste reaches Germandump after fatal protest

9th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2004 , GORLEBEN - A shipment of spent fuel rods arrived on Tuesday at a dump in northern Germany after a trip where a French protester was run over and killed by the train. Thousands of police were on hand as trucks slowly hauled the 12 containers of waste from a railway station to the facility in the small town of Gorleben. The number of anti-nuclear demonstrators on the route was lower than during seven previous shipments since 1995. Anti-nuclear groups not only oppose the existence of the dum

9 November 2004

GORLEBEN - A shipment of spent fuel rods arrived on Tuesday at a dump in northern Germany after a trip where a French protester was run over and killed by the train.

Thousands of police were on hand as trucks slowly hauled the 12 containers of waste from a railway station to the facility in the small town of Gorleben. The number of anti-nuclear demonstrators on the route was lower than during seven previous shipments since 1995.

Anti-nuclear groups not only oppose the existence of the dump, but also focus on the difficult-to-guard rail and truck convoys in order to highlight their opposition to nuclear power. They say the poisons will need to be kept under guard for centuries.

Lying down in the path of the convoys has become one of the rituals of the protests, with police then lifting the demonstrators out of the way. The police methods have been honed to minimize violence. Police made several arrests Tuesday.

On Sunday, a train was unable to stop in time when a 21-year-old French demonstrator chained himself to tracks in France. He was run over and died of his injuries. The train reached a station close to Gorleben, which is south of Hamburg, on Monday.

The waste is being brought back to Germany after being reprocessed under contract at a French factory.

German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, who is a Green and is opposed to nuclear power, defended the shipments Tuesday.

He said transportation of such waste had been reduced to a minimum. Berlin aimed to settle within seven years where to place the waste permanently, he added. As the minister responsible, Trittin has had to take a pragmatic line, ignoring his protester allies.

The media say a salt mine at Gorleben is the favoured site for long-term storage. The waste is being kept in a warehouse initially.

On Monday, protesters had placed candles and flowers along the rail lines in a German mourning ritual for the dead demonstrator.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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