French nuclear waste train enters Germany

STRASBOURG, France Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:44pm GMT

1 of 7. Two German police officers use a Geiger counter to measure the radiation of a Castor container on a transport train, during a stop in Neunkirchen near Saarbruecken November 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Related Video

Related Topics

Quotes

   

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - A French train carrying 150 tonnes of reprocessed nuclear waste entered Germany on Friday en route to a storage site after a 24-hour stop at the border following clashes between riot police and anti-nuclear activists who tried to block the transport.

"The train is crossing the border at this very minute with German police forces on board. Everything has gone well," a French interior ministry spokesman said by telephone from the area.

French officials said on Thursday the temporary halt was meant to help ensure public order on the train's route to the storage site at Gorleben in Germany's Lower Saxony state.

The "Sortir du Nucleaire" (Exit from Nuclear) activist group said on its website that French authorities had been forced to wait until Germany authorised the convoy to enter its territory on Friday, as originally planned.

Loaded with 11 tubular containers of highly radioactive nuclear waste, the train left Areva's nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Normandy on Wednesday after scuffles between police and hundreds of protesters who tried to foil the transport by occupying train tracks near the town of Valognes.

The train was the last of 12 shipments of treated German nuclear waste sent in recent years from France to Gorleben. German and French protesters have frequently tried to block the rail shipments and clashed with police sent in to remove them.

The protesters have maintained that the waste transports could endanger the environment and population if there were to be an accident en route.

An expired contract between Areva and German nuclear power producers is not expected to be renewed as Germany has voted against the transport of radioactive nuclear fuel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to shut down eight of Germany's nuclear power plants in the wake of March's disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan, and later said all its remaining nuclear capacity would be taken off the grid by 2022.

(Reporting By Marie Maitre; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
funnoy wrote:
Thank you ever soo much being the only GB Media talking about this!!!just wish this subject would be more public, stimulating growth in green energy :-)

Nov 25, 2011 10:40pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
funnoy wrote:
actually surprised, bbc was the other, but small publisher. But that’s it.

Nov 25, 2011 10:54pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.