ANTI-NUCLEAR feelings ran high in
northern Germany, when a 40-tonne
shipment of-plutonium and nuclear
waste recently arrived at the Gorleben
nuclear storage 0ant near Hanover. A
series of clashes between protesters and
armed policemen left several injured
and reopened the old disputes about the
country's nuclear policies. The
shipment of reprocessed nuclear
waste escorted by 15,000 policemen and armoured cars arrived
at the Gorleben plant from the
French reprocessing unit at La
Hague. The protests turned so
violent that police said the scene
resembled a civil war.
The opposition party, Greens, condemned the transport as a 'provocation' and called for an end to the shipments. Angela Merkel, the environment minister, defended the government saying that there was "no alternative" to the shipment. It was the first of around I 10 cargoes bringing nuclear waste and fuel back to German reactors over the next eight years. The waste was collected from German nuclear power plants and sent to France for reprocessing. But French law decrees that all foreign nuclear material reprocessed at La Hague has to be returned to its country of origin.
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