Castor train close to Gorleben

Diet Simon 08.11.2004 09:30 Themen: Atom
The Castor train that’s killed a French anti-nuclear activist, 21-year-old Sébastien Briat, is close to the north German village of Gorleben. The police command in Lüneburg said on Monday morning that the train with 12 caskets of German nuclear waste returning from processing in France stopped briefly in Göttingen at about 6 am because a group of activists were on the track. Briat’s legs were cut off 60 kilometres inside France when the train ran over him. He’d chained himself to the track. Three others with him were also injured.
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Message of support from Italy

x 08.11.2004 - 10:43
The No-Nuke association of Matera (South Italy), which struggled last year
against the building of a nuclear waste dump in Scanzano (Basilicata
region), expresses its solidarity with your going-on demonstration and
its anger for the death of one activist for this struggle that is the
same all over the world. Stop War Stop Nuke
Hasta la Victoria... Maurizio, Mariella, Zippo, Piero, Adele,


x 08.11.2004 - 11:10

Activists in Lüchow-Dannenberg county say they’ll go ahead with sit-down blockades on roads to slow the progress of the 2.000 tonnes of highly radioactive to a concrete hall near the picturesque village of Gorleben, where it’s to rest to 40 years. This eighth consignment will fill the hall to about a third of its planned capacity.

At the time of this writing (shortly before 11 am), 20 tractors were blocking a road near the village of Langendorf, one of two possible routes. Police said the tractors were only parked on the road.

The umbrella resistance organisation, Bürgerinitiative Lüchow-Dannenberg, has called for another mourning assembly in the afternoon in Splietau, near Dannenberg, where the 12 Castors will be offloaded on to trucks for the last 20 kilometres of the run. Police expect the train to reach Dannenberg Monday evening.

By then the consignment will have travelled 1,000 kilometres through Germany and about the same distance through France.

The resistance group X-tausendmal quer said mourning would predominate at further demonstrations. Planned “fun” elements have been scratched.

For previous coverage here see and


x 08.11.2004 - 11:44
The Atomplenum Hannover criticised that police on Sunday evening encircled about 150 mourning demonstrators and held them there for a considerable time.

Rebecca Harms, a member of the European Parliament for The Greens, called on the German government to table a law on searching for a final repository for waste.

“We need a law during this legislative period that takes up the ideas presented by the final repository working group,” said Harms, who previously led the Greens group in the Lower Saxony state parliament in Hanover and who used to work as a landscaper in the Wendland.

Cogema, the French company that processes the German waste, says the train contains the remnants of 600 tonnes of uranium from which electricity had been produced for 25 million Germans for one year.
The train is 660 metres long and weighs 2,900 tonnes.


x 08.11.2004 - 13:18
Most churches in the Wendland stayed open during the night. People gathered there with candles for devotions.

A spokeswoman for the resistance, Marianne Koch, said they’d heard from the French anti-nuclear movement that Sébastien Briat would have wanted protests to continue.

The Farmers Emergency Community has been blockingthe road between Dannenberg and the Gorleben storage compound with 80 tractors since the night. The vehicles were draped in black cloth.

"Either the highly radioactive waste transport is not secured any better than any regional train in France, or the death of the demonstrator was consciously taken into consideration,“ say the farmers.

About 10,000 police are said to be assigned to the transport in the state of Lower Saxony, about 2,500 fewer than last year.

It is unclear whether the trucking from Dannenberg to Gorleben is to start tonight or Tuesday morning.

Gorleben and Ahaus (near the Dutch border near Münster) are two large “interim” nuclear waste storage facilities in Germany.


x 08.11.2004 - 13:51
Media comments on the death of the French activist:

All concerned should now rethink their behaviour, demands the LANDESZEITUNG newspaper published in Lüneburg. "This death makes clear that what looks like a routine ritual is dangerous. Both things are risky – the obstinacy with which the nuclear waste is rammed through, and the obstinacy with which idealists throw themselves in the way. Both sides should shrink from taking their persistence as proof that they’re right. Claiming honourable motivations for one’s actions anoints no one with higher legitimacy.”

“It would be utterly amiss to stylise the man killed as a martyr,” wrote the HANNOVERSCHE ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, and went on: “There is unfortunately this danger, as was intimated by the mourning devotion in Hitzacker yesterday evening. It would be playing with fire. Much too quickly emulators could be found to succumb to the mania of also sacrificing their lives to a sad fame. The resistance movement in the Wendland has shown that it is able to express its rejection of nuclear policy with exceptionally creative means. It did well in its first response to urge restrained reaction and plead for level-headedness.”

The NEUE OSNABRÜCKER ZEITUNG is also convinced that “legend-building is the last thing that would now help. Those standing ready in the Wendland should finally grasp that blockades of railway lines are criminal acts that risk not only perpetrators’ own lives but also the lives of others. The girl pupil Marie was feted like a Jeanne d'Arc when she concreted herself into the Castor track three years ago. With all respect for dedicated environmentalists – the sad death in Lorraine should once and for all put an end to false heroism.”

The BERLINER ZEITUNG takes up another aspect. “Let us assume the locomotive driver did not see the young man. In that case neither did all those see him whose job it is to secure the rail route – police, helicopters, advance trains, etcetera. Or don’t they use them in France? Do the French expect so little protest that a nuclear waste transport can run around there like a suburban train? What would have happened if there hadn’t been a human being lying on the rails, but something that could have caused the train with its death-dealing waste to derail? It is an appalling occasion that proves those right who warn against the dangers of these transports.”


x 08.11.2004 - 14:50
Did Sébastien Briat get his foot caught in the rails, preventing him getting away, which three others who wanted to chain themsleves with him, managed to do?


x 08.11.2004 - 15:35
Before the current 12 Castors are placed into it, the Gorleben hall contains 44 of them. The hall has places for 420. That means just over a tenth of the space is taken up.


x 08.11.2004 - 17:50
Ahaus activists are up in arms about new waste transportation and storage plans in the works.

They say that the present consignment isn't yet in storage while great sorrow and rage prevail over the death of Sébastian Briat in France, when there are reports that leftovers from the shut down Greifswald reactor in east Germany, closed down when the two German ies merged, is to go to Ahaus.

The Ahaus activists also quote a report in the Berliner Zeitung that the North-Rhine Westphalian government has set up a planning staff to possibly transport waste from a shut-down experimental reactor near Dresden to Ahaus still this year.

On Wednesday North-Rhine Westphalian and Saxon officials will meet for coodination talks, the activists say.

"So we say: off to Ahaus!! Let us together bring our grief, our rage and our resistance from Gorleben into the Münsterland and to Dresden, from where the atomic waste is to leave.

"The best opportunity is the next Sunday stroll in Ahauson 21 November. It's to begin with a devotional for Sébastien and make clear our resistance to the insane plans of the federal and state governments."e-Mail:: ¦ Homepage:: ¦