A new on-line petition has now been launched to oppose plans by the French energy company EDF to dump 320,000 tonnes of allegedly ‘nuclear’ mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex – just a mile off-shore from Penarth.
The ‘nuclear’ mud dumping had been due to begin the day after tomorrow (Thursday August 16th) after EDF gave the bare minimum of advance notice to the Welsh Labour Government’s environmental watchdog Natural Resources Wales
However in a 180-degree U-turn at the weekend, EDF – possibly prompted by growing public concern – changed its mind and said the dumping project would be postponed until “September” (no precise date was given).
More than 7,000 members of the public had already signed a previous on-line petition against the scheme – but this was arbitrarily rejected by the Welsh Labour Government.
Labour ministers – none of whom are scientists themselves – decided to follow the official advice they had been given and declared that the dredged-up mud is will be “safe”.
Despite their supposed obligation to “represent” the people of Penarth , the two Labour politicians Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) and Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) have remained uncharacteristically silent on the project.
The Conservative run Vale of Glamorgan Council and its leader Cllr John Thomas had demanded more thorough testing before the go-ahead for any dumping was given – but the council’s plea was over-ridden and ignored by the Welsh Labour Government.
Local Conservative AM David Melding (South Wales Central) – who lives in Penarth – has declared his support for the nuclear mud-dumping project and says he is not convinced by the arguments that environmental lobbyists have marshalled against the plans.
The new petition is aimed at the Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister Carwyn Jones and says “We call on you to suspend the license to dump mud and clays from Hinkley Point in the Severn Estuary.
The petition to Carwyn Jones goes on to state “Your ministers have failed to meet your duties on safeguarding our marine environment (UK Marine Act) and to comply with the international agreements (OSPAR, London anti-dumping Convention) on assessment of effects upon human health and marine flora and fauna. The mud was insufficiently tested at depth, with only 5 compared with the minimum 7 under OSPAR for the 300 000 tonnes. The Senedd Petitions Committee was right to ask for further testing and NRW wrong to refuse it, as the few deeper samples show up to 3 times more uranium and radium. The data are reproduced at
There was no testing for radioactively “hot” microparticles, as found near other nuclear reactor sites, which would be serious if inhaled or ingested. The testing for toxic heavy metals found abundances above “Action Level 1″. Especially as the dumping ground is in the Severn Estuary SAC (Special Area of Conservation), it was essential for the harm to wildlife to be assessed and mitigated or avoided.”
The petition goes on to say “This mud will deposit on mud-flats in the Estuary and up its tidal rivers, blow ashore as dust when drying out, or blow ashore from micro-spray generated by white-water bubbles, so contaminating food-growing sites and gardens. No-one knows how much of a problem this could be – a precautionary approach must be taken while it is studied.”
Anyone who wants to sign the protest petition can do so on https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/halt-the-dumping-of-hinkley-mud-in-the-severn-estuary?source=twitter-share-button