Despite phase-out of nuclear power, more waste comes to Germany.
Barbed wire against anti-nuclear protestors in Dannenberg, northern Germany.
The Castor nuclear waste convoy reached Germany on Monday afternoon, accompanied by a strong police presence. The six containers are en route by rail to an interim nuclear storage depot in the northern German town of Gorleben. They originated in the French reprocessing plant at La Hague.
About 100 German anti-nuclear protestors failed in their attempts to block the convoy on the French border. However, the Federal Border Guard reported that they discovered several loosened nuts and bolts along the tracks. The police also discovered two heavy cement blocks in between the rails. In the past, protestors have chained themselves to such blocks.
Demonstrators protest in Lueneburg in the north German state Lower Saxony
On Sunday, over 2 000 people took to the streets along the route (photo), including farmers driving 220 tractors. Further demonstrations are planned. "We expect less people, but more militance in their actions," said Hans Reime, head of police operations for the convoy.
German police mobilized 15,000 officers to protect the Castor shipment. Authorities said aircraft are banned from flying low over the route to free airspace for their own helicopters. They said the flight ban was not prompted by fears of terror attacks on the convoy.
Castor is an abbreviation for "cask for storage and transport of radioactive material". Legislation was adopted in Germany last month to phase out nuclear power over the next two decades. The shipment is only the second of its type this year from France. The last was in May 2001.