Here is a great victory for the anti-nuclear power campaign in Germany:
Germany has halted a controversial plan to transport highly radioactive reactor fuel rods to Russia for reprocessing and storage of nuclear waste following strong protests from environmental groups and opposition parties. German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said that 951 spent fuel rods from an experimental reactor in former East Germany will remain at the present storage facility in Ahaus
The struggle continues, however. Cast your mind back to last month when 10,000 people - local residents, politicians, environmental groups, football clubs, unions and supporters coming from all over Germany and beyond - took peaceful direct action against the CASTOR transport taking nuclear waste to the interim storage facility in Gorleben.
The shipments are continuing. On Tuesday this week casks containing nuclear waste started their journey from France’s Cadarache nuclear complex to the Lubmin interim storage site in the North East of Germany. Greenpeace were there to meet them.
On Wednesday the transport crossed the border. In an action 15 kilometers from Lubmin, five Greenpeace climbers hung a banner reading ‘No Castor to Lubmin’ from a bridge crossing the railroads. Conditions were tough because of -7 C temperatures, very strong winds and heavy snow but the activists managed to stay there. Only after more than two hours were the activists removed and the shipment continued its journey.
It was only 500 meters later, however, when it was stopped again by two very brave activists from the Robin Wood environmental group who had attached themselves to the rails. It took the police an incredible six hours to remove them and so the shipment arrived at Lubmin after a delay of 11 hours.
The question of the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste remains unsolved. Nevertheless, the German federal government has decided to extend the lifetimes of the country’s nuclear reactors, meaning the production of even more waste with no solution. Where will it all go? There is a very clear message from the demonstrations against waste transports to the government: the German population does not accept this any more. The next appointment is at the state elections in Baden-Württemberg at the end of March. Recent polls show a clear majority against nuclear power. Political parties supporting the nuclear lobby in Germany will be sent home.
More details in German, along with more pictures can be found on the Greenpeace Germany website.