A convoy of nuclear waste has arrived at a storage depot in northern Germany, defying the biggest anti-nuclear protests there for more than 20 years.
Eleven lorries carrying 154 tonnes of waste made the short 20 km trip to Gorleben under heavy police escort. Its arrival marked the end of a highly-controversial five-day rail and road journey from France. Anti-nuclear protesters had tried to stop the convoy by blocking roads, but were foiled by the police operation.
The waste actually originated in Germany, but was reprocessed at La Hague in France, before being sent back. The operation has provoked a furious reaction in Germany, although the protests were largely peaceful. 17,000 police officers were deployed to clear activists trying to disrupt the convoy’s journey.
Gorleben has been receiving atomic waste for years, but previous deliveries have never been so delayed. Protesters fear the depot, in an abandoned salt mine, could become a permanent storage dump, which Greenpeace says would be geologically unsafe in years to come.