French Greenpeace activists blocked a train carrying some 650 metric tons of radioactive waste in protest against the export of nuclear waste to Russia, the Greenpeace Russia website said.
A shipment of depleted uranium hexafluoride was due to be loaded onto the Captain Kuroptev in the port of Le Havre and sent to St. Petersburg. However, the ship weighed anchor and headed towards the port of Montoir-de-Bretagne pursued by the Greenpeace ship Esperanza.
The Greenpeace statement said the activists chained themselves to railway tracks, delaying rail traffic towards Montoir-de-Bretagne for more than four hours.
The activists said that the radioactive nuclear waste shipment from their country to Russia violates French law and an EU directive banning the import and export of dangerous waste.
In February, activists conducted several protests against nuclear waste transportation to Russia and its storage in the country.
The dangerous cargo belongs to the French nuclear group Areva, which has a contract with Russia, the only country in the world accepting uranium hexafluoride in industrial quantities. The deal lasts until 2010 so a few thousand tons of depleted uranium may be transported to the country.
Areva claims the waste is send to Russia for reprocessing and is to be returned to France, but critics say it is actually just waste. Over the past 15 years, Areva and its Brussels-based counterpart Urenco have dumped 140,000 tons of waste in Russia.
MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti)