An eclectic group of activists including scientists, surfers and a member of the Welsh band Super Furry Animals is attempting to halt the dumping of “nuclear mud” excavated as part of the vast Hinkley Point C construction project. The activists are appearing in court in Cardiff on Tuesday to try to obtain an injunction to stop 300,000 tonnes of sediment from the power station site in Somerset being disposed of a mile and half from the Welsh capital. If the legal action does not succeed, a Welsh assembly member, Neil McEvoy, is calling for boat owners to form a “people’s flotilla” to take direct action and blockade a sandbank called Cardiff Grounds, where the mud is being dumped. McEvoy has already boarded a barge disposing of the mud to try to block the operation. Campaigners claim the mud has not been tested properly and could contain particles that may pose a health risk. They have dubbed the sediment “nuclear mud” and nicknamed the sea off Cardiff “Geiger Bay”, a play on “Tiger Bay”, the old slang name for the city’s docklands. One of their main concerns is that the sediment could be washed ashore in a storm. Among those backing the objectors is the physician Emeritus Prof Keith Barnham, a distinguished research fellow in the physics department at Imperial College London, who argues it is possible that large amounts of uranium and dangerous levels of plutonium could have reached the mud when cooling water from the decommissioned Hinkley Point A was discharged.
Guardian 1st Oct 2018 read more »