Plans to dredge hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of mud from a Somerset nuclear plant have been postponed. As previously reported, EDF Energy obtained a marine licence to dump up to 300,000 cubic metres of dredged material in the Bristol Channel – just a mile off Cardiff Bay. The French company says the dredging is essential to build the six vertical shafts for the cooling water system for the Hinkley Point C development in Bridgwater. Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the body monitoring the work, announced the scheme will be delayed.
Somerset Live 15th Aug 2018 read more »
The Cardiff nuclear mud row: The facts and the fiction. Plans to dump mud off the south Wales coast that has been dredged from near the Hinkley Point nuclear sites are the focus of fierce controversy. Work is expected to start next month but opponents are not backing down. A protest took place on Wednesday evening outside the Senedd and a fresh call has been made for Natural Resources Wales to suspend the licence. Those opposed to the dredging argue we cannot say for sure that the 300,000 tonnes of mud that could be deposited on the Cardiff Grounds site is safe because the full range of tests needed to establish there is no radioactive risk have not been carried out. EDF Energy, the company building the two new Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors – which are expected to provide power for around six million homes – is adamant there is “no threat to human health or the environment”. These assurances have failed to satisfy campaigners who argue there are too many unanswered questions for the work to go ahead. Champions of the Hinkley project will see the objections as attempts by anti-nuclear activists to stall a multi-billion project. But those at the forefront of the efforts to stop dredging going ahead insist their concerns must be addressed. Tim Deere-Jones, a self-employed marine pollution consultant, who came to prominence when he spear-headed a petition campaign which netted more than 7,000 signatures and secured a debate in the Assembly, argues that years of discharges from the existing nuclear stations mean more detailed study is needed. He said: “Those sediments had been in receipt of discharges from the Hinkley A nuclear station and the Hinkley B nuclear station… If you’ve got 300,000 tonnes of that stuff being dredged and dumped so close [to south Wales] you need to know exactly what you’ve got in it in terms of radioactivity.”
Wales Online 16th Aug 2018 read more »