Sunday, 25 April 2010

Nuclear protesters in Germany form 120-kilometer human chain

Opponents of nuclear power joined hands to form a 120-kilometer human chain across northern Germany. They were protesting Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to revoke a law that would shut down nuclear plants by 2020.

Tens of thousands of people attended demonstrations on Saturday aimed at protesting the German government's plans to extend the lives of its nuclear power plants.

Demonstrators formed a 120-kilometer (74-mile) human chain that stretched from a nuclear power plant in Brunsbuettel, near the city of Koblenz, through Hamburg along the Elbe River to another plant in Kruemmel, on the North Sea.

Kruemmel was the site of two minor nuclear accidents in 2007 and 2009.

Police in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein told the AFP news agency that there were "clearly more than 100,000 participants." Organizers estimated the total number at about 120,000.
"Today over 120,000 people have signaled to the government: You must change your pro-nuclear position," event spokesman Thorben Becker told the DPA news agency.

Demonstrations also took place at an atomic waste storage site in the town of Ahaus in North Rhine-Westphalia and at a nuclear plant in the state of Hessen.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her center-right coalition wants to revoke a law passed under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's center-left coalition that promised to shut down all nuclear power plants in Germany by 2020.

Merkel's government has called nuclear energy a "bridge technology" that helps the country keep its commitments to lowering carbon dioxide emissions.

The protests come just days before Monday's 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

 Deutsche Welle - 24.04.2010

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