Hazardous journey

Published: Tuesday 15 April 1997

a train carrying nuclear waste from the southwestern town of Walheim to Dannenberg in the north has triggered violent protests in several towns en route. On reaching Dannenberg, the waste would be transferred to trucks for the final 19-km journey by road to Gorleben, east of Hanover, where it would be stored in a concrete warehouse for decades before being buried in a salt mine. In one of the biggest security operations in post-war Germany, the train carrying six containers of spent nuclear fuel is being closely guarded by 30,000 police officers. More than 10,000 protesters have lined up at different points on the last stretch of the convoy. They have dug holes in the road and blocked highways with tractors on the road route.

Anti-nuclear protests in Germany have been intensifying every year since the transport of nuclear waste to Gorleben started three years ago. Environmentalists view them as public antipathy to nuclear power. However, politicians and police officials say that these demonstrations attract people who want to pursue their own agenda and draw attention to themselves through violence.

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