The red area is the “Dredge disposal site” barely a  mile offshore from Penarth at where the mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station site will be dumped – starting next Thursday

A start is to be made on Thursday next week on the controversial dumping of 320,000 tonnes of allegedly radioactive mud in the Bristol Channel just a mile off the Penarth sea front.

The mud comes from the vicinity of the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor site where a third nuclear power station is now being built by the French energy company EDF –  and will be dumped at the so-called “Cardiff Grounds” site .

The Hinkley Point nuclear power complex in Somerset – as seen from Penarth

EDF has given the Welsh Labour Government’s environmental arm –  Natural Resources Wales – the absolute bare minimum of notice.

EDF is required by its licence to give at least 10 days’ notice of the commencement of the mud-dumping operations off Penarth – and EDF has given exactly the minimum amount of notice it’s required to give – just 10 days – and no more.

Swimmers may want to think twice about taking a dip on Penarth beach from next Thursday on week or letting their children play there in the water.

Both the Welsh Labour Government and Natural Resources Wales claim the mud is “safe”  – but the evidence on which that claim is based is hotly disputed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth who last night held a protest meeting in Cardiff.

Thousands of local people signed a protest petition last year against the dumping scheme   The Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee entertained the petition and asked for  further – deeper – samples of the mud should be taken – but this wasn’t done .

Friends of the Earth held a protest meeting over the mud dumping in Cardiff last night

Friends of the Earth (FoE)  held a protest meeting on the issue in Cardiff last night at which Independent Assembly Member for South Wales Central (which includes Penarth)   Neil McEvoy was keynote speaker .

Friends of the Earth say further sampling should have been conducted at the depth of sediments accumulated a few decades ago (when nuclear discharges were higher and poorly controlled )  but no such samples have been taken.

Penarth resident and South Wales Central Conservative AM David Melding – a proponent of the nuclear mud dumping – received a CBE this year

Meanwhile one of the Conservative AMs for South Wales Central – David Melding – who actually lives in Penarth, contends that the  mud is “safe”.

David Melding – who is not a scientist but just a career politician who has been in the Assembly since it was established  –  claims there is “no scientific evidence that the mud is in any way nuclear” .

Mr Melding has already met one of the campaigners opposing the dumping off Penarth and has dismissed his complaints. He said  “I did not think that the level of doubt that he had was reasonable.”

Melding says that anyone who has any concerns about mud dumping should write to all four of the Assembly Members for the South Wales Central Constituency ( which includes Penarth) – and to Vaughan Gething (Labour) who represents Cardiff South and Penarth.

[The four South Wales Central AMs are Gareth Bennett (UKIP) , David Melding (Conservative) , Andrew R T Davies (Conservative) and Neil McEvoy (Independent)  ]

This mud at the site of the old Hinkley Point nulcear power station – which campaigners say could be radioactive – is to be dumped in the sea off Penarth beach – thanks to the Welsh Labour Government

Friends of the Earth insist the mud is NOT as safe as Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Labour Government think it is.

The organisation says “few samples of the deeper mud show elevated radionuclides and metals”. FoE say Natural Resources Wales failed to require assessment of impacts on wildlife and humans, the Welsh Government failed to require EDF to take sufficient samples .

Welsh Labour Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths approved the award of a licence for the dumping of potentially radioactive  “nuclear mud” off Penarth

Friends of the Earth also accuse  the environmental Minister Lesley Griffiths  of acting “ as a rubber-stamp for Natural Resources Wales” rather than maintaining an independent stance, –  as she should have done .

The FoE “Campaign against Hinkley-Mud Dumping” wants the Welsh Assembly to sponsor joint fact-finding research into the “hazards and uncertainties of nuclear materials in the Severn Estuary and wider environment, to include radioactive “hot” particles.”

The campaign also wants the Welsh Labour Government to suspend the dumping licence until it can be demonstrated to comply with international standards .

The mud dredged from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station complex will start being dumped off Penarth on Thursday August 16th 2018 and dumping  can continue until March 4th 2019.


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Penarth Daily News email address newsnet@sky.com. Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. mikeyorke says:

    So if it’s safe then they why should hey worry about it being tested?

  2. Lesley Monger says:

    A leaving present from Andrew Davies!
    Well done and thanks a bunch!
    Totally disgraceful and criminal surely? 😨

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    Reminiscent of the “Cold War” when Gwent County Councillors reassured us there were no nuclear weapons in the Caerwent American air base-and we all slept soundly in our beds!.

    • Penarthur says:

      You slept soundly because of the nuclear weapons.

      When will you people realise this?

      • Chris David says:

        Hmm- so it didn’t make the base and so the area a target then? When will you people learn you have to have a brain, before you can explain 🙂 And it’s OK to lie and supress! It’s what Labour Wales is built on and I do not trust the Council down the bay to be honest and open. In fact they’ve proven it’s their policy not to be. That’s official ha ha.

    • Le Compte says:

      No mud Thank you…

    • AK says:

      and no-one died as a result

  4. Michael says:

    Why off the coast of Penarth? is it because our political representation is not strong enought to challenge EDF ? why not dump it out to sea ?

    • DLO says:

      The Cardiff Grounds dredge deposit site is a well established disposal site that has been in operation for years, there’s no need to go further afield which would actually create a much greater level of pollution in emissions from the ships used to transport it.

  5. Vince says:

    Surely if it’s going to be dumped then it makes sense to do it downstream. Somewhere closer to France perhaps seeing as it’s so safe.

  6. jp says:

    Complete allure of government at every level, EDF surely can hardly believe their luck – and will assume probably correctly thatbif anything goes wrong then the taxpayer will pay to clean up (????) after them.
    If David Melding is so keen on the mud, perhaps he’d like to come to the seafront and handle some? Lesley Griffiths, one of those perpetual always failing ministers, could join him. Melding’s quote about the mud not being in any way nuclear is alarming and frightening too – we’re worried about the mud being radioactive Mr Melding. The power plant is nuclear – eeek!!

  7. gareth says:

    Worry more about the radiation you get from flying every time you fly across the Atlantic you get a chest X-rays dose of radiation.. I would worry more about about the increase in toxic bonfires, rats and fly tipping that is about to start once the new Vale waste regulations come into force.

    • tonto76 says:

      Couldn’t agree more

    • Paul Beswick says:

      There’s a critical difference between natural background radiation (NBR) and the radiation emitted by novel isotopes like Strontium 90; that has a much shorter ‘half life’, so is far more likely to cause cancer over a human life spaP

      • Even more relevant in the context of the mud is the amount of Uranium and Plutonium in the form of ceramic particles. This is a totally man-made form of radioactivity – insoluble respirable particles of Plutonium and Uranium oxides. UNSCEAR reported trillions emitted from Hinkley Point annually. None were found in samples taken before the dump licence was approved. This is because the wrong technique was used – they should have used alpha spectrometry. The sampling and testing regimes are completely unreliable, yet no-one in Natural Resources Wales has enough knowledge to spot the deception.

      • Particles inside the body, are much closer, so the damage is greater. Plutonium atoms get included within the DNA and RNA molecules, so when they go, they damage your genetic code. Strontium goes to teeth and bone, which is close to your marrow, and that has a phenomenal rate of generation of new cells. Plus when it does decay, it produces a daughter product, which has a small half-life, and has circulated your blood, and impacts your soft-tissue organs. The worst tho, is the heaver atoms, possibly near your DNA molecultes, ovaries/testes/cell-nucleas, are so large, they stop X-rays, that would normally pass thru, and with the basic light-electron quantum effect, fire an electron, like a bullet through your DNA. This is the same as your microwave firing electrons at a metal plate, emittting microwaves. Then the electron (ion) is replaced, and it can do it again, and again.

  8. Andrew Worsley says:

    If you really want to destroy Penarth as a tourist or holiday attraction dump some nuclear contaminated mud in the sea or lets say just approx. a mile from shore , in my book may as well have dumped it on the beach at that distance. I think we can be assured the angling groups or individuals will think twice about catching fish from nuclear tainted water!?. Is there a plot afoot to turn Penarth into ghost town or what?…Shops being left empty eyesores like the Monty Smith showrooms or Blockbusters etc being left for months (if not years) as just a mess. I think even the Penarth point of obsession ie Penarth Pier will be affected by the irresponsible dumping of this mud . And why can it not be dumped out further to sea? when the channel needs to be dredged from time to time ,as it is the mud will be disturbed , plus knowing that the channel silts up in places and needs dredging why add to that problem by using the channel in the first place?.

  9. Paul Adsett says:

    Unbelievable that this is being done without thorough scientific test data being presented to the public. The risk to Penarth beach is huge if the so called ‘experts’ are wrong on this. As it is, many people will probably now elect to avoid the beach altogether.

  10. snoggerdog says:

    the fishermen are going to need more hooks in a couple of years,–to catch those two headed glowfish!

  11. Chris Franks says:

    Labour in Wales hand in hand with the Tories of Westminster.

  12. Rosemary Knights says:

    The Welsh Assembly had the ideal opportunity to insist National Resources Wales carried out the proper in depth testing when they had the Plenary Debate on the issue recently. Almost 200k people signed petitions against the dumping & the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee were sufficiently concerned to request the full Assembly debate. Almost all Assembly Members who spoke at the debate stressed their constituents concerns & called for the suspension of EDF’s licence to dump. However when it came to Lesley Griffiths , the Cabinet Member responsible for this type of .Environmental issue, she gave a speech which showed she had not really listened to the AM’s or the Welsh public’s concerns. She made no attempt to respond to questions & fears raised & appeared to simply read a pre prepared cop out statement. I attended that debate & was astounded that one AM could totally ignore everything that had been said & dismiss the public’s concerns, & the strong scientific case for further testing of the mud, out of hand. It occurred to me then what is the point of having that tier of the Welsh Assembly if Cabinet Members just ignore AM’s views so blatantly. It was a sad day for democracy & the safety of the Welsh public & environment when Ms Griffiths stood up & opened her mouth.

    • Chris David says:

      Yes but this isn’t a democratic state. Its a small county run by a large Labour council dictatorship. Witness suppression of the Sargeant report. Witness an awful lot forced on the people of failing Wales to enable the Ill Piccolo Fascistas as to have their way.

    • Dafydd Pritchard says:

      But don’t blame the Assembly, blame the Welsh Labour Government – better still, stop voting for them or their Tory pals!

  13. Andrew Worsley says:

    The whole thing is irresponsible , shows contempt for the people of Penarth , dismisses any concerns they may have and indeed should have , one wonders why this mud needs to be moved at all surely it is safer where it is, surely account was taken for this waste years back?. And just pause for a minute to think , they are now constructing Hinkley Point ‘C’ so will be churning out even more waste in the future . By then I expect you can stand on the pier at Weston in the evening and watch the little points of lights given off by radiation moving around on Penarth sea front this will provide a novelty , the street lights on the front wont be needed. I also imagine expect any esteemed café owners and the like on the sea front to take advantage of this also.

  14. Shirley Hodges says:

    England refused to take this “safe” mud on land. What more can I say.

    • Dennis Lear says:

      So do you think that in a tidal estuary the mud will not affect the English side? The English people have not even been told this is happening probably for dear of further protests. The Welsh can say whatever they like we English have to put up with this on English Soil to begin with. It’s about time the English and the Welsh worked together on things like this.

  15. Lesley Monger says:

    Is this why they have closed Penarth Head park in anticipation!
    Gates locked today…….

  16. Anthony says:

    Is there nothing that can be done to stop it from happening? Has it been reported in the local papers/media other than Penarth news? I don’t believe there has been much awareness that this is about to happen in the local community and it is extremely worrying. Can the Welsh Government/ EDF give firm assurances that there are no risks posed to people’s health participating in sea swimming, sailing and other such activities?

    • whatsoccurin says:

      Used to regularly post on the “Echo” letter pages-most were published, some were not-nowadays any contribution to the “Echo” or “Wales On line” about WAG or Local Government is usually ignored-I am sure they had lots of contributions about the recent sad Sully-Hicks Safeguarding review and the “dumping” issue has not been mentioned at all. At least PDN gives us the chance to share our views.

    • Rosemary Knights says:

      Have a look at Richard Bramhall’s comment below. Lots of information including a sa ample letter you can send to your AM’s & MP.

  17. Tony B says:

    The severn estuary has a natural tidal current of roughly 5-6 knots, the mud from the barrage was also dumped in the same area , it is not there now, its being dumped there as it has a natural wash away which nobody seems to comprehend, how people think its radioactive is beyond , all that comes out of the plant is water from the cooling of the reactors, if there was any radioactivity coming out ,the whole of the river severn and the estuary surrounding ares would already be contaminated.I have done this same job at Sellafield nuclear plant in approx 1998/99 all fine i’ve still got all my body parts and i have not turned green or anything weird like that, please people get a grip or stop using electricity…

    • Penarthur says:


    • CS Man says:

      Sellafield eh? Oh my. Not a glowing example (excuse the pun).

    • Rosemary Knights says:

      Tony B
      I’m afraid the points you make in trying to justify the mud dumping are exactly why we should be concerned. The very fact that the Severn Estuary is tidal & that mud dumped there already is there no longer shows that the Hinkley mud will also end up wherever the tide takes it. Presumably up the estuary for many miles & onto beaches & into stream banks. I understand that NRW have not carried out studies as to where the mud will end up or evaluated what the impact could be on the marine environment. There are plenty of studies showing that there is a correlation between radioactive particles found in sediment on coasts & pockets of cancers in humans at a rate higher than would normally expected.
      You state that the mud is safe. I’d be interested to know how you work that one out when no one else seems to be able to say if it is safe or not with any certainty – including EDF, NRW! Campaigners are simply asking for more testing by independent scientists so that we know what is present instead of taking the word of NRW who admit they aren’t nuclear specialists? If you have followed the whole debate on this issue you will know that testing of the mud has shown that there is radioactivity present , all be it at low dosage by International standards. However campaigners can show that the testing hasn’t been comprehensive enough & that there are serious omissions – testing for plutonium & uranium for example.
      To avoid repetition I suggest you read Richard Bramhall’s comment below & click on his link for more information.

  18. PB says:

    as with Brexit, we simply don’t understand and our political masters know better. We can’t be trusted to decide, just as they said about women before they got the vote, so the politicians can do as they please. No point complaining now, we all voted for these people to rule us.

  19. snoggerdog says:

    the future——–i walk into plassey st fish & chips—–cod & chips please —-thank you sir,is there any particular colour,we have bright green,prettyinpink or pulsating blue!

  20. Tracy says:

    I just hope that lady in the picture actually gave her permission to show it! 😳

  21. The Low Level Radiation Campaign says Natural Resources Wales are acting illegally. NRW issued the licence and could suspend or revoke it. NRW are required to take account of all relevant evidence and to gather evidence in respect of uncertainties (Environment (Wales) Act 2016 section 4).
    LLRC gave NRW evidence on scientific uncertainties showing how unsafe the decision to allow the dump is. NRW has answered none of it.
    NRW Chair Diane McCrea claimed to be required to follow IAEA procedures. LLRC wrote to point out that, on the contrary, Welsh law requires NRW to gather evidence and take account of uncertainties. A few days later McCrea resigned. The new Acting Chair, Madeleine Havard, has claimed that NRW has responded. I repeat, NRW has answered none of it.
    Ask your Assembly Member to demand that Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths takes the decision back from NRW and answers in full the submissions she has received from the Low Level Radiation Campaign. If she doesn’t, she will be breaking the same law in the same way.

  22. antonyowen says:

    If the water dries up have they done tests to see what happens if this stuff is ingested? Do they care? Would this be dumped in the Thames?

    When did England ever give a toss about anyone

    • Dennis Lear says:

      Grow up English people have not even been informed what’s happening and in case you are also so uneducated you don’t realise the estuary is tidal so much of this will end up on English beaches as well as Welsh. Isn’t it about time we started working together to fight things like this rather than petty racist arguments?

      • In a way I agree, but in another way I don’t. The objections in Wales are about colonialism, not race. The same point has been made many times about failing to site nuclear power stations in London so it’s just as much about the colonies in the north and west and east of England as it is about Wales. And of course Scotland went nuclear free once they could (unfortunately too late to stop Dounreay and Hunterston etc.) Campaigners from Somerset are as exercised about the dump as we are in Wales but the decision to allow it has been taken in Cardiff by a Labour government, so this raises party political considerations as well as colonial ones – perhaps more than colonial ones. Finding a site for a high/intermediate-level waste dump is going to bring up the same issues. Welsh Labour has to sort out its priorities, I think.

  23. T morris says:

    No to nuclear waste dumping in our seas

  24. Pingback: Controversial dumping of 320,000 tonnes of allegedly radioactive mud in the Bristol Channel « nuclear-news

  25. John davies says:

    I’ll bet it wouldn’t have happened of the coast of Bournmouth or Brighton!

  26. Garry says:

    “The Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee entertained the petition and asked for further – deeper – samples of the mud should be taken – but this wasn’t done”

    They understand how this makes no sense right?

  27. emma says:

    Why don’t they dump it on their own coast? Why bring it from England 2 Wales???? Wouldn’t it be better to dredge it and put it in the estuary of the rive they got it from??

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