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Campaigners dismayed as application to dump Hinkley Point mud in the Bristol Channel is approved

03 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Construction of new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Photo by Nick Chipchase and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Anti-nuclear campaigners have expressed ‘deep dismay’ following confirmation that the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has approved EDF Energy’s application to dump mud and sediment from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into a coastal site close to the north Somerset town of Portishead.

In January campaigners on both sides of the Bristol Channel called for a full independent review into proposals to dispose of the waste into the sea after EDF announced its intention to apply for a licence to dump at Portishead, while also making a further application to dump at the Cardiff site.

EDF had originally applied to National Resources Wales in February 2020 for a licence to dump 800,0000 tonnes of mud dredged as part of building work for the new plant being built on the site of the disused Hinkley Point A facility after previously disposing of mud at the site two years earlier.

A statement issued by the two groups says legal advice is now being sought on the decision document and questions why the controversial approval was issued over a weekend in the middle of the holiday season.

“Our concerns, like that of local councils and a wide range of environmental and community groups, appear to have been simply ignored,” they added.

Endangers health

“The MMO document endangers health all around the estuary, including the coast of south Wales, as the Welsh Government Davidson Committee’s independent report makes it clear that material dumped at Portishead travels anticlockwise round the estuary,” Geiger Bay spokesperson Richard Bramhall said.

“This includes a long-term threat from inhalable particles of uranium and plutonium. We are facing a culture of deliberate ignorance. Future generations will pay the price.”

Historically the Portishead site was always used for the disposal of port and harbour navigation channel dredging and there is no evidence that it was ever used for the disposal of more controversial wastes.

According to the MMO, the site has been disused for some years but, was still “open” for disposal permit applications.

It has since emerged that, in the run up to their first dump at the Cardiff Grounds in 2018, EDF had rejected a proposal from the Environment Agency to use a proposed deep water offshore disposal site at the Holms Deep area near the centre of the Bristol Channel. No reason has been given for the rejection of the Environment Agency offer.

EDF claim that the Bridgewater Bay sediment is “not radioactive under law”, but campaigning groups point out that the UK Government’s official radioactivity monitoring reports annually confirm the presence of human-made radioactivity, derived largely from over 50 years of discharges to sea from the Hinkley Point reactors, including Plutonium, Caesium 137, Tritium, Technetium 99, Carbon 14 into the Bridgewater Bay sedimentary and marine environment.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

I wonder if they asked Herself…

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago

It does not matter if it’s safe or not. Dump your rubbish in your own land!

Last edited 2 months ago by j humphrys
Dyfi Dreamer
Dyfi Dreamer
2 months ago

It’s “Natural Resources Wales”, not “National” (Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru)

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

Why do they have to dump it off the coast – why not further out into the Atlantic? (costs of course). Better still – let’s get rid of nuclear all together – a dirty way to produce energy. Yes, I know zero emisions great unless you live next to those dumping sites!

Richard
Richard
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Yes it’s filthy, Steve. You say “zero emissions” and I suppose you mean “no carbon dioxide”. The oft-repeated claim is one of the nuclear lobby’s many lies. Nuclear is low-carbon only in the generating phase of its life, but the full nuclear life-cycle is far from zero. We have to consider mining the uranium fuel, transport, fuel enrichment, plant construction and operation, decommissioning and very, very long term waste management. Dr. Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex looked at more than 100 studies and concluded that the average value for nuclear in terms of life… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago

Today’s 3.8.21 “A Different Bias” on You Tube, has a Very clear account of Tory Lies!

#1Chris
#1Chris
2 months ago

Well “One Britain Great Nation”. Let’s share the burden and dump some of this radioactive mud in the Thames. It’s “perfectly safe” apparently

Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Great suggestion Chris. As usual, however, England will get any benefit, Wales will get the s*it.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Why not simply put the power stations there, it is where the demand is.

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