UPDATE - Greenpeace occupies German nuclear dump
GORLEBEN, Germany - Greenpeace activists occupied a watch tower at a German nuclear waste dump on Friday but ended their protest after police evicted most of them.
The environmental groups said 40 protesters entered the Gorleben storage facility southeast of Hamburg to protest against imminent nuclear waste shipments from France.
Police ejected most of them, but 16 kept up the protest until some of them were also forced out. The protest was then called off, a Greenpeace spokesman said.
Police in the nearby town of Lueneburg said they held several Greenpeace members for questioning but released them.
After a suspension of about three years, waste originally from German nuclear plants is due in late March or early April to be sent by rail back from Frances La Hague reprocessing plant for storage at Gorleben.
Police expect thousands of demonstrators to try to block the transports. During the last transports, police and activists fought running battles.
The resumption of shipments has been a major headache for the anti-nuclear Greens party, junior partner in Chancellor Gerhard Schroeders coalition.
With the transports expressly permitted under the long-term withdrawal from nuclear power negotiated last year by Greens Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, the environmentalist party has urged members to demonstrate peacefully.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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