German police clashed with anti-nuclear activists yesterday outside a German power plant shortly before a shipment of spent fuel rods was due to be transported to France.

Riot police repelled about 250 demonstrators who repeatedly tried to break through a barricade near the Philippsburg power plant in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in an effort to disrupt the transport.

Several skirmishes broke out between police and demonstrators.

German television showed some protesters with bloodied faces and wearing bandages. Police said about 20 activists had been detained.

Several thousand police were escorting the nuclear waste, the first transport to a reprocessing plant in France in four years after France and Germany agreed in January to resume transports.