Controversial plans to dump 300,000 tonnes of mud from the site of a new nuclear plant into the sea off Cardiff Bay will be scrutinised by AMs. Campaigners want further testing of the sediment, which will be dredged from near the disused Hinkley Point A and B power stations in Somerset. The disposal is needed as part of the £19.6bn Hinkley Point C building work. Developers EDF insist the work presents no risk to the environment or human health. An official petition calling for a suspension of the marine licence issued by the Welsh Government in 2013 has received 7,171 signatures. Meanwhile, another petition by Greenpeace to EDF has been signed by more than 87,000 people. An open letter has also been presented to Energy Secretary Lesley Griffiths on behalf of a coalition of 10 international ocean conservation charities. Campaigners fear the mud could have become contaminated by discharges from Hinkley and want a more detailed investigation of samples. Dr David Richards, a reader in physical geography at the University of Bristol has also carried out research on levels of radioactivity in the Severn Estuary. His samples were taken from salt marshes near the coast at Portishead and Sand Bay. He told BBC Wales the levels of radioactivity he detected were in the “same order of magnitude” as those identified at Hinkley Point. “At all times it is low, barely above background radiation,” he said. “There’s a large amount of sediment involved here, but if you total the amount of radioactivity it is still quite small.” Dr Richards said more needed to be done to improve the public’s understanding about radioactivity and what constituted an acceptable dose. Marine pollution consultant, Tim Deere-Jones, who has spearheaded the campaign, said his petition was “principally aimed at persuading the National Assembly to undertake a review of both the available radiological information and any new NRW data, before any dumping of radioactivity was permitted”. The chairman of the assembly’s environment committee has called for a third party to test samples of the sediment before it is moved. Writing to NRW, Mike Hedges AM said if concerns around the dumping prove to be unfounded, “a considerable amount of work is needed to translate that message to the public, both locally and more widely”.
BBC 5th Dec 2017 read more »
Dr David Richards, a reader in physical geography at the University of Bristol, has carried out research on levels of radioactivity in the Severn Estuary. He said the levels of radioactivity he detected were “not a public health hazard”.
BBC 5th Dec 2017 read more »
Letter Katy Attwater: Following on from Peter Farmery’s thorough explanation of the very major difference in the way nuclear waste will be processed at Hinkley C compared to Hinkley B (Letters November 24), I want to clarify one point. When EDF say they want to store the high level waste at HPC for a minimum of 60 years, they actually mean 120 years. HPC will be producing high level toxic waste for 60 years. Due to the nature of the new EPR reactor, the waste it produces is twice as toxic and twice as hot as the B station and therefore cannot be transported for 60 years, so total length of storage will be 120 years minimum. This was always in the plan but it was so complicated that no one seemed to notice it. The plan assumed that the government will persuade a community to host a deep geological storage facility (GDSF) to take this waste after 120 years paid for by us. Currently EDF in France do not have a DGSF for the waste from their own nuclear plants and fierce battles are being fought by protesters in Beure in France for a community which is having one forced upon it. Lastly, reprocessing high level waste has long been considered way too expensive apart from in those countries that want to extract plutonium for nuclear weapons. This is a terrible legacy to leave to our children’s children.
West Somerset Free Press 3rd Dec 2017 read more »