German nuclear waste train gets moving again

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A train carrying radioactive waste resumed its slow journey to a German storage site Monday after police spent the night removing some 3,000 protestors blocking the tracks, authorities said.

"The train starting moving again at 8:20 am (0720 GMT)," a police spokesman in Lueneburg in northern Germany said.

He said that the line was now clear to Dannenberg, where the 123 tonnes of waste were due to be transferred onto lorries for the final 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) to the Gorleben storage site.

After a weekend of heavy protests, which at times were violent with police with truncheons charging demonstrators, protestors aimed to block access to the underground site.

Shipments of radioactive waste to Gorleben regularly attract protests, but this year they have been fuelled by anger at German Chancellor Angela's aim to postpone when the country abandons nuclear power by more than a decade.

Around 20,000 police were mobilised for this shipment, the 12th, the head of the police union DPolG, Rainer Wendt, said.

Gorleben is a temporary storage site for the highly dangerous radioactive waste. Germany, in common with other European countries, has no permanent storage site.

© 2010 AFP

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