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Nuclear Ecology France Netherlands Holland Protests rail train Transport

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Nuclear waste convoy crosses France despite protests

Reuters/BenoƮt Tessier

A convoy of trains carrying nuclear waste was crossing northern France on Wednesday after being stopped by environmental protesters on Tuesday near the France-Belgium border.

Protest group Sortir du nucléaire said it had lost trace of the convoy, which is carrying Dutch nuclear waste, on Wednesday morning after it left the northern French city of Lille.

Officials said it was making “normal progress” towards the controversial nuclear waste treatment plant at La Hague on the Channel coast.

Energy company Areva confirmed on Tuesday that 6.7 tonnes of combustible waste was to be transported from the Netherlands without giving any details of times or route.

French officials say that about 200 such operations take place very year and insist that it is secured in completely safe casks.

Sortir du nucléaire and railworkers’ union Sud-rail claim that it involves “heavy risks in terms of security and safety” and that the waste being transported gives off an “enormous amount of heat and radioactivity”.