Thursday, September 23, 2010

to gorleben

After Chernobyl, nuclear power lost whatever legitimacy it had managed to attain by relentless spin and obfuscation. Aside from safety problems in the plants themselves, the radioactive waste produced is a problem that has never been solved or honestly confronted. Moreover, the nuclear power industry is practically the condition of the nuclear weapons complex with which it merges on many levels. So long as nuclear power persists, nuclear weapons remain possible; only by shutting down the nuclear power complex will the abolition of nuclear weapons be realized dependably. In this light, IAEA and NPT are the administrative-diplomatic instruments of the dominant states, with the US at their head: crucial parts of an enforcement regime by which the global social process is reproduced. The re-branding of nuclear power as the great clean hope for managing climate change without relinquishing the logic of accumulation and infinite growth doesn't change the underlying reality. Anyone who doesn’t want to talk about imperialism had better keep silent about nuclear energy.

The radioactive waste produced by Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants is stored in Gorleben, in the Wendland region of Lower Saxony. The waste first goes for reprocessing to the La Hague facility in France. From there it is shipped back to Germany by train on the notorious annual “Castor” transport, always in November. Two interim depots close to the Elbe River hold the toxic material while construction continues on a “permanent” depot in the underground salt dome there.

Resistance to the Castor trains has been broad and determined. Direct action tactics have included locking sit-down blockades on the tracks. In 2004, the police failed to clear the tracks near Harlingen, and a protester was killed when the Castor train severed his leg. This is enforcement by state terror, against which pulses the re-gathered courage and resilience of those who won't be cowed.

For more, see Ausgestrahlt and Castor Nix.

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