One of the two Belgian hopper dredgers – which will scoop 320,000 tonnes of mud from the sea bed at the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex – is now en route to the Bristol Channel
The ship, MV Sloeber has been working in the Baltic Sea this week but left the area late on Wednesday to head for the Bristol Channel.
At 10:30 this morning Sloeber was in the English Channel off Brighton , destination Barry Docks where she is expected some time tomorrow.
Campaigners claim the mud being dredged from tidal sea bed near the site of three nuclear power stations (Hinkley A, Hinkley B and the new Hinkley C station – currently under construction) – could have been contaminated by radioactive effluent .
They believe there has been insufficient testing of the mud by the French company EDF which is building the Hinkley C nuclear station. The dredging is being carried out to enable cooling water pipes to be laid for Hinkley C .
Permission for the dumping of the dredged mud off Penarth was given by the Welsh Labour Government who ignored a 7,000 signature protest petition and deliberately cut short debate on the issue.
Local Labour MPs and Labour AMs have retained a Trappist silence on the project as has the new Conservative leader in the Welsh Assembly Paul Davies.
Local residents say that irrespective of whether the mud is radioactive or not, 320,000 tonnes of the stuff is far too much to be dumped at the Cardiff Grounds off Penarth – and it will inevitably wash ashore at Penarth.
The companion dredger MV Pagadder – which will also work on the Hinkley Point dredging project – still working off the coast of Germany near Peenemunde – the remote site where the Germans secretly developed and launched devastating V1 flying bombs and V2 ballistic missile attacks on the civilian population of the UK during World War II .
Pagadder is expected to join Sloeber to begin work at Hinkley Point within the next few days.