The Chairs of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh and English Forums have written a joint letter to the Welsh Government First Minister noting their disappointment that independent and more critical expert voices are unlikely to be included in an expert panel considering the safety of over 600,000 tonnes of mud and sediment from the Hinkley Point site being dumped into the Cardiff Deep Grounds close to Cardiff Bay. The matter was discussed at a joint NFLA English and Welsh Forum webinar held on the 12th June, at which independent marine radioactivity consultant Tim Deere-Jones provided an overview of the application process and the issues around it. The issues around this matter start as early as 2013, when the then Welsh Environment Secretary Alun Davies had signed an original license to permit EDF Energy to dump up to 300,000 cubic metres of material from the Hinkley Point site to the Cardiff Grounds marine dump site, just a couple of kms off the Cardiff sea front. The signing of this licence took place in the interregnum between the winding up of the old Welsh Environment Agency and the inauguration of the new Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which has had to deal with this application. After a long campaign through 2017/2018, by which over 150,000 people signed petitions of concern on this application, in the summer of 2018 the Welsh National Assembly debated the public concerns led by Welsh anti-nuclear groups to stop the planned dredging campaign. At the Senedd debate only one of nine speakers supported the EDF dump proposal and eight spoke against. Despite that outcome, Lesley Griffiths, the then Environment Secretary then stood up and announced that she would permit and license EdFs proposed dump, which went ahead later in the year. However, as an acknowledgement to public concern, the Welsh Government made various commitments to ensure transparency and public engagement in the future. (It was later discovered that the Government had already licensed the dump in advance of the Senedd debate, but had not publicised the decision).
NFLA 16th June 2020 read more »