Deadly shipment

Published: Wednesday 15 December 2004

After crushing a French environmentalist to death, a shipment of nuclear waste reached Germany's Gorleben storage site on November 9, 2004, despite strong protests. The rail convoy of 12 containers, heavily guarded by 11,000 German police, was forced to stop at several places in its route from La Hague reprocessing plant at Valognes, northwestern France, to the German site. As part of an agreement, Germany sends nuclear waste to the uk and France for reprocessing and has to take back the resulting waste.But determined protestors wanted to halt the movement of the 175 metric tonnes of spent fuel rods, saying it was unsafe and would contaminate Gorleben's water.

The 21-year-old slain protestor had chained himself to the train track near Avricourt town in eastern France. The train carrying the shipment hit him, following which it had to halt for some time, but it resumed its journey soon. In the German town, Dannenberg, the shipment was transferred to 12 trucks, which carried it in the last 20 kilometres of its journey.

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