A Cardiff court will play host to a group of activists on Tuesday, as they fight for an injunction to stop 300,000 tonnes of “nuclear mud” from a Somerset power station being disposed of just outside Cardiff. The unusual dispute centres on the “Hinkley Point C” building site, where energy supplier EDF are currently in the process of constructing two new nuclear reactors. In order to drill the six shafts needed for the reactors, EDF is clearing 300,000 tonnes of mud and sediment – and planning to dispose of it just off the Welsh coast, on the Cardiff Grounds sandbank. The prospect of that amount of waste being ditched a mile and a half away hasn’t exactly excited locals or environmental campaigners, but there’s another factor causing added concern. For decades, Hinkley Point has been a nuclear power hub, with its first station – “A” – operating for 35 years before closing in 2000. Hinkley Point B was opened in 1976 and is still functioning today. The presence of these two plants has led to concerns over whether the mud there is radioactive and when the plans were announced, various online petitions calling for the Welsh Assembly to look into the matter were launched online, gathering a total of 100,000 signatures by mid-September. Keyboard player Cian Ciarán has become something of a spokesperson for the campaign. His worries – shared by his fellow campaigners – are centred on the validity of the tests carried out. “They try to convince us that the mud is safe and there’s nothing to worry about but I can’t take the nuclear industry’s word for it,” he told the paper. “The Welsh government has had ample opportunity to stop it but they haven’t. They’ve put their heads in the mud rather than sand.
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