Nuclear power station Hinkley Point C is set to begin dumping mud from the Bristol Channel into the sea off Portishead after its plans were approved by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). EDF Energy will dredge and then deposit hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sediment into the Severn Estuary as part of works to install water cooling tunnels under the channel. In February, independent analysis of the controversial plans, which previously drew backlash from environmental campaigners in Wales, found the operation posed no risk to humans or the environment. Government marine scientific agency CEFAS confirmed that low levels of radioactivity found in mud samples was “predominantly naturally occurring”, with artificial input from human activity “very low” and compliant with UK law. Granting of the licence and conditions followed a public consultation between February 12 and March 26 by the MMO. In an update the plant near Bridgwater, Somerset, said it would begin work “shortly”, with the first of two phases of dredging and disposal beginning this summer, and the second to be completed in 2022. EDF had also been considering another disposal location at Cardiff Grounds, two miles off the coast of the Welsh Capital, which is closer to its operations than the privately owned site off Portishead.
Business Live 4th Aug 2021 read more »