(25 Oct 2010) SHOTLIST
1. Mid of protesters marching outside parliament
2. Close of anti-nuclear flag
3. Mid of anti-nuclear float; replica of the Castor containers carrying nuclear waste
4. Mid of protester wearing radiation suit and holding placard reading (German): “Nuclear waste: back to sender!”
5. SOUNDBITE (German) Florian Phillips, protester:
“I’m protesting because I’m against the government’s decision to extend the shutdown deadline for nuclear power plants and because I’m against nuclear power.”
6. Mid of protesters unloading barrels from truck, to represent nuclear waste
7. Pan of woman holding banner reading (German): “I block the Castor! You too?”
8. Mid of barrels being unloaded from truck
9. Mid of barrels outside parliament
10. Wide of protest outside parliament
Anti-nuclear protesters marched to the German parliament on Monday to voice their anger against the government’s decision to extend nuclear power and an upcoming shipment of nuclear waste to arrive in the country in the coming weeks.
A crowd of around two hundred, many wearing radiations suits, stood outside the German parliament in Berlin waving placards in protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet decision to extend Germany’s reliance on nuclear energy.
Protesters marched alongside a replica of the Castor shipment of nuclear waste, later unloading around 70 barrels of mock-radioactive waste in front of the parliament.
The Castor shipment – a reference to the nuclear waste containers’ acronym – will arrive in the second week of November from the French reprocessing plant in La Hague to be stored in a nuclear waste dump in Gorleben, North Germany.
Protesters are already planning demonstrations in Gorleben amid safety concerns.
A majority of Germans oppose Merkel’s plans to put off the shutdown of the country’s nuclear power plants by an average 12 years.
Merkel has defended the decision as part of an overall strategy to increase the nation’s sustainable energy resources.
Merkel maintains atomic energy is a “bridging technology” that will allow the government to focus on developing more sources of wind and solar power and biofuels.
The government’s plan reverses a decade-old decision from a previous government to shut down all German nuclear plants by 2021, and calls for renewables to make up 60 percent of Germany’s overall energy sources by 2050 and 80 percent of electricity sources.
The four companies that operate Germany’s 17 nuclear plants, E.ON AG, RWE AG, EnBW AG and the German subsidiary of Sweden’s Vattenfall, had pushed hard to keep them running.
In return for the expected additional profits, they will have to pay an annual nuclear fuel tax expected to bring in 2.3 (b) billion euros (3.1 (b) billion US dollars) annually starting next year, and will have to contribute to a fund to boost renewable energy.
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