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German nuclear waste train arrives at destination

08 listopada, 2010

A train carrying a cargo of nuclear waste from France to Germany arrived at its destination on Monday following severe delays due to mass protests, police said.

"The train arrived at the unloading station at Dannenberg at 9:25 am (0825 GMT)," a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The 123 tonnes of radioactive waste must now be loaded onto lorries for the final 20-kilometre (12-mile) stretch by road to the storage facility in Gorleben in northern Germany.

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

Activists had done everything in their power to delay the arrival of the train, including sitting on the rails, removing stones from the tracks to make them impassable and, in one case, abseiling from a bridge onto the line.

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

Around 20,000 police were mobilised for the consignment, the 12th such delivery, the head of the police union DPolG, Rainer Wendt, said.