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Police and protesters clash at French nuclear waste site

Ten days after their forced evacuation from a wood near Bure, hundreds of opponents of the project of burying the nuclear waste have met again on 3 March, 2018.
Ten days after their forced evacuation from a wood near Bure, hundreds of opponents of the project of burying the nuclear waste have met again on 3 March, 2018. AFP/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen

Police used tear gas during clashes with anti-nuclear protesters at a waste site in northeastern France on Saturday.

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Demonstrators threw missiles at officers who have been blocking access to woodland at the Bure plant, halfway between Paris and Strasbourg, since a protest camp was dismantled 10 days ago.

Lejuc wood was selected by France's radioactive waste agency (ANDRA) for exploratory drilling ahead of an application to create a nuclear waste storage site.

Police evacuated the forest of about 15 protesters during a major operation on 22 February.

Saturday's rally began calmly with a march of about 300 people, according to police, as demonstrators held meetings and debates.

But during the afternoon a group of protesters, many wearing masks, headed for Lejuc wood, where scuffles broke out with police.

Bure was chosen in 1998 to house a laboratory, 500 meters underground, in preparation for the burial of the most radioactive or long-lasting nuclear waste in France. As yet, no radioactive waste is on the site.

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