Nuclear waste train reaches German rail terminus

28th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A rail convoy taking radioactive waste from a French reprocessing centre to storage in northern Germany, completed the rail stage of its journey Monday, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

The train, arrived at Dannenberg for unloading at 0404 GMT Monday, after a voyage from nuclear giant Areva's rail yard at Valognes, northwestern France, that started on Wednesday and was marked by fierce protests.

From there, its cargo of 11 containers of waste are due to be unloaded onto trucks for the final 20-kilometre leg of the journey by road to the Gorleben storage facility on the River Elbe.

That is likely to take several hours, after which the convoy of lorries will move at reduced speed the 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the former salt mine at Gorleben where they are to be stored.

On Sunday, German police battled thousands of anti-nuclear protestors, many chained to railroad tracks, as they tried to block a train carrying radioactive waste.

Thousands of activists swarmed the tracks along the route near the train's final destination in Dannenberg and boasted that the odyssey's duration had now topped the 92-hour record set during a shipment one year ago.

Police said they detained about 1,300 people, including some who had chained themselves to the railway, requiring tricky and time-consuming operations to free them before the train could slowly rumble on.

Some 150 people were injured in clashes, most of them demonstrators, according to security forces quoted by German news agency DPA.

© 2011 AFP

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