Germany tries to head off nuclear waste protests

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Germany tries to head off nuclear waste protests

Germany tries to head off nuclear waste protests
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Anti-nuclear activists are getting mobilised in Germany as authorities prepare to receive a consignment of nuclear waste from France.

Some 200-300 protesters descended on the small town of Berg close to the border to try to stop the shipment travelling by train.

The demonstrators argue it presents an environmental hazard, a claim denied by the authorities.

“It’s all about showing our opposition,” said Andreas Raschke, a spokesman for the protesters. “The best protest would be to sit in front of the train. If we can stop it, that’s great; if not, we hope we can delay it a little bit. For us, it’s simply important to protest and to make it clear that we don’t want these carriages.”

The shipment is on its way back to Germany and the nuclear waste facility at Gorleben, after being sent for reprocessing in northern France.

It is the last consignment Germany plans to send to France as it prepares to phase out nuclear energy by 2022.

The train made its way across France before getting held up on Thursday morning at a town near the border.

The French protests are said to have forced the authorities to reconsider the route it is to take across Germany.

Following clashes between demonstrators and police, several people have been charged with various offences including the possession of weapons.

Among them is a 65 year old woman accused of stealing soft drinks cans from a police van.