Nuclear waste arrives after major protests
More than 120 tonnes of nuclear waste from western France arrives in Germany Tuesday, despite the largest anti-nuclear protest in years.
11 November 2008
BERLIN - A shipment of radioactive waste arrived at a German disposal site after a 20-hour delay early Tuesday after the largest anti-nuclear protests in years, police and protesters said.
Eleven lorries carrying over 120 tonnes of nuclear waste arrived at the Gorleben dump in northern Germany just after midnight, they said.
For most of the journey from western France, the waste travelled by train and was stopped for half a day at the German border by three activists who jammed their arms into a concrete block under the track.
Once in Germany, around 16,000 police carrying batons were sent to control the 15,000 demonstrators gathered along the route who tried to stop the train by setting fires on the tracks.
The train eventually arrived in the early hours of Monday morning at its final destination more than 14 hours late. The cargo was then transferred to lorries for the final 20-kilometre trip to Gorleben.
But along the final part of the journey some 1,000 activists were removed by riot police before the lorries could continue. Tractors blocked the way and activists chained themselves to tall cement pyramids.
The protests came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives seek to reconsider Germany's decision taken under her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder to abandon nuclear power, amid high energy prices and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
[AFP / Expatica]