300 in warm-up for anti-nuclear waste delivery protest

Lubmin niX da! Plakette

The Northeast German Anti-Nuclear Alliance has started protests against imminent delivery of nuclear waste to an out-of-sight out-of-mind dump at the seaside resort Lubmin with a mobilisation demonstration in the Baltic port city Rostock on Saturday 5 February.

Three hundred protesters turned up for a colourful action, the start of many ahead which will peak with attempts to stop the train carrying highly radioactive waste on the day it is due, which the local activists call “Day X”.


On 12 February demonstrations will kick off with a rally starting at 2 p.m. in the Greifswald market square (Marktplatz).  “We call on all people to actively stand in the way of the shipment which is expected around 16 February. The planned demonstration in Karlsruhe, [present location of the waste in a research establishment] from where the consignment will depart shows that the protest movement has arrived throughout Germany. The times of clandestine, silent nuclear was transportation are over,” declared Sophie Hirschelmann of the alliance (Anti-Atom Bündnis NordOst).


“This is about more than this consignment. Transportation of nuclear waste in general is useless because there are no safe final and temporary storages and the waste is just moved to and fro between the locations. Pure waste tourism,” Daniel Holtermann from Rostock comments on the insanity and futility of it. “There is no permanent nuclear waste repository on the globe, yet nuclear waste keeps being produced.”


“The only way out is an immediate stop to nuclear power and a transparent search for a disposal solution. Ignoring good arguments and taking unnecessary risks, the federal and state governments are again rolling this consignment through [the state of] Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and probably also through Rostock.


“The only purpose of nuclear waste transportation is to ensure the further operation of nuclear power stations,” adds Holtermann, citing the law that disposal procedures must be in place to produce nuclear power. [Explanation] He says the law exists only to pretend that disposal is assured, although it is not. “Waste transports and the interim storage halls in Ahaus, Gorleben and Lubmin, as well as the interim storages at the nuclear stations, are solely to ensure continued production of nuclear power.”


“We demand cancellation of the consignment by the state premier in line with §4 of the Atomic Energy Act and because of the continuous over-exertion of the state police,” says Felix Leipold of the alliance.


The Mecklenburg-West Pomerania state parliament in 2010 voted its opposition to transportation from nuclear installations other than those in Lubmin and Rheinsberg, nuclear industry sites in the former communist East Germany. “Interior minister Lorenz Caffier must now obey the decision of the parliament and reject the application for further transports of low and medium radioactive wastes,” demands the alliance.


The waste is to be delivered to an interim storage hall in Lubmin, near Greifswald, site of a former nuclear power station. The consignment is the second in weeks, following one in December opposed in bitter cold by 3,600 activists.


Activists hold the view that Lubmin is being brought into play more because it’s been a more or less out-of-sight, out-of-mind dumping location. The government of neighbouring Lower Saxony, where the currently most used Gorleben dump is situated, has suggested that more waste should go to Lubmin because Lower Saxony shouldn't have to carry the financial burden of policing waste consignments alone.

Lubmin is primarily known as a seaside resort and holiday destination on the Baltic, less known for the Baltic Sea gas pipeline, solar installations, successful resistance against a once planned hard-coal power station, and practically unknown outside the region as a nuclear dump. Germans in general are still getting to know places in what was once the communist Germany, almost as if it had been a foreign country.

The Baltic is the most radioactively polluted ocean in the world. It’s more or less like a big lake, with not much water exchange with other seas; all radioactivity reaching it gets concentrated there. The biggest (historical) atomic polluters of the Baltic were the 1986 reactor catastrophe of Chernobyl, the earlier worldwide open-air nuclear bomb tests and the discharges of the nuclear facilities in Sellafield (UK).

Later impacts came from the nuclear power plants around the Baltic seaboard. The Swedish reactors have the biggest impact to the radioactivity of the Baltic Sea, followed by the Finnish reactors and eventually by the Russian facilities. Nuclear waste, uranium and fuel element transports across the Baltic Sea are increasing the atomic risk as well as the proposed final repositories for radioactive waste beneath (!) the Baltic Sea (Sweden) and Olkiluoto (Finland). If plans for uranium mining and power plants construction projects in Scandinavia go ahead, the radioactive contamination of the Baltic will increase further.




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