Mud dredged as part of Hinkley Point C nuclear plant construction could start being dumped off Somerset instead of south Wales. Developer EDF Energy is considering two sites in the Bristol Channel. They include Cardiff Grounds, where sediment dumping in 2018 provoked extensive protests over concerns the mud was contaminated by nuclear waste. But a private disposal site off Portishead, on the England side of the channel, is also under consideration. A public outcry over the original mud dumping led to protests and petitions attracting hundreds of thousands of signatures online, a full Senedd debate and an acknowledgment by both the developers and Natural Resources Wales that better communication with the public was needed over the plans.
BBC 7th Jan 2021 read more »
Hinkley Point C is due to restart planned mud dredging in 2021 as part of works to install cooling water intakes in the Bristol Channel. Dredging first began in September 2018. The project is now making applications to regulatory authorities for disposal of mud from the second phase of dredging later in 2021. Hinkley Point C is making applications to Natural Resources Wales to carry out disposal at the Cardiff Grounds licensed disposal site and to the Marine Management Organisation for the Portishead licensed disposal site. An EDF spokesman says: “The sediment is typical of sediment found elsewhere in the Bristol Channel, and under UK law it is not radioactive.” “For this second phase of dredging we have proposed a testing plan that goes above and beyond internationally recognised best practice, with more samples at greater depth and with a greater range of analysis.” “The applications will include a full Environmental Impact Assessment and the results and analysis of the latest testing of the sediment.” The maximum volume of mud and sediment being applied for dredging is 469,000 m3, compared to the previous estimate of 600,000 m3. Either the Cardiff Grounds or Portishead site will be used for the entirety of the disposal – the volume will not be split across the two sites, adds EDF.
Burnham-on-sea 8th Jan 2021 read more »