These past days there have been heavy protests and blockades in Germany against a train carrying nuclear waste from France. Der Spiegel writes:
"A train loaded with radioactive waste ended its controversial journey through Germany on Monday. Its path had been blocked by up to 50,000 protesters over the weekend, sparking violent clashes between police and anti-nuclear activists."
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to, despite very strong public opposition, extend the lifespan of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors has helped highlight the issue of these nuclear waste trains. See my post from last year regarding this matter: Atomkraft? Nein danke! 50.000 people protest against nuclear energy in Germany. The anti-nuclear organizations in Germany have as a result of this seen the largest mobilization of protesters in recent years this past weekend. And the protests are expected to continue with severe long-term political consequences for Merkel and her political pro-nuclear friends in the coming elections. Apparently the current right-wing coalition in Germany never imagined that there would be this much and strong opposition against nuclear energy in Germany. An energy source that is expensive, dangerous, not cost-effective and will worsen climate change.
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, held a speech (see video) in front of around 50 000 protesters in Dannenberg, Germany, where he lashed out against the CASTOR nuclear waste transports which he called "an example of the nuclear madness" which must be stopped. Naidoo called on Merkel and Germany to end their investments in an "outdated" and "obsolete" energy source and instead focus on a "real energy revolution", a successful renewable energy sector which currently employs 380 000 people in Germany:
" The CASTOR nuclear waste transport is an example of the nuclear madness that must end. It is a train convoy carrying eleven 100-tonne containers of radioactive waste that is reprocessed in France and returns to Germany each year for storage. Measurements of these eleven containers done by ANDRA (National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management) show that the radioactivity in each container is higher than what was released at Chernobyl in 1986 – this makes the CASTOR transport effectively a Chernobyl on wheels.
The final destination for this dangerous convoy is Gorleben, Germany – where it is to be placed in a storage facility that is completely geologically unsuitable. Of course, there is no suitable storage site for nuclear waste – the nuclear industry has no permanent solution for the problem of radioactive waste."
Video of the “nuclear train clashes” in Germany:
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