Nuclear waste train crosses from France to Germany

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A train hauling a massive load of highly-radioactive nuclear waste crossed the Rhine from France into Germany on the Kehl bridge just outside Strasbourg on Saturday, avoiding protesters.

Anti-nuclear activists had been expecting the train to head north to the French border town of Lauterbourg before crossing the frontier, but authorities apparently diverted it to avoid protesters trying to block the tracks.

The 14-wagon train was travelling under high security, with German riot police on board, French special forces from the elite GIPN unit on the bridge, a police launch under the bridge and a helicopter overhead.

Activists claim the 123 tonnes of waste on board makes the train "the most radioactive ever" and say the German site that will hold it is unsafe, but the French nuclear firm Areva insists the shipment is not unusual.

© 2010 AFP

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