On her way: The hopper dredger MV Sloeber which will dump ‘nuclear’ mud off Penarth

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.

A Marine Traffic chart tracking the progress of MV Sloeber towards Barry

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 .

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

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.

A 400 strong crowd gathered lat week outside the supine Welsh Assembly to demonstrate against the mud dumping off Penarth

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 nuclear mud dumping site – marked in red – Is just a mile off the Penarth shore. Burnham on Sea is on the opposite shore

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

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.


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  1. Lesley Monger says:

    If I had a boat I’d go and get in their way to try and stop this!
    What is wrong with the people who are allowing this to go ahead!
    Is it brown envelopes again?
    Can’t think of any other reason whether it’s dangerous or not ( which I think has to be proved satisfactorily)

  2. Cogan nomen says:

    Bananas are more radioactive than this mud !
    Look it up on Google !!

    • Christopher David says:

      Well eat more bananas (how apt) then. Circa 320 tonnes should do you.

    • and don’t forget to google why Banana Equivalent Dose is nonsense. No hot particles of alpha emitters like Uranium in bananas. The radioactivity in bananas is Potassium 40. It was created at the same time as the planet. We evolved a DNA repair system to cope with it. Uranium Oxide particles from nuclear power stations and bombs are a new exposure and we have no defence against the high-density ionisation they cause in body tissue. The dredger crews will be exposed to inhaling these particles as the mud dries out on their boats. What is their trade union doing to protect them? We already know the Welsh authorities are doing nothing to protect us from particles blowing onshore.

      • Penarthur says:

        Balderdash. How is Uranium supposed to oxidise and get through two at least sealed cooling systems and into the mud without triggering monitoring alarms. You’re just praying on people’s ignorance.

      • Cogan nomen says:

        There is no uranium in the mud !
        It remains in the tractor and goes
        Nowhere near the effluent .

      • Cogan nomen says:

        Spell checker put tractor instead of reactor !

      • prismsuk says:

        I’ve described to you before that we already eat, drink and inhale alpha particle emitters in the form of natural uranium and thorium, every hour of every day. You keep using this term ‘hot particles’ it has no meaning!

        An alpha-particle is an alpha-particle from natural uranium or any man-made uranium or plutonium isotope. Stop trying to spread your morbid fear of ionising radiation [radiophobia] to innocent people.

        You need to be honest and have the guts to answer a very simple question: Were you to contract cancer would you deny yourself life-saving radiotherapy treatment? Yes or No?

        If you were to turn one person away from choosing life-saving radiotherapy, if offered as a treatment, that would be an absolute tragedy. What you choose to do yourself is your own business.

        Please people – do not take any notice of the radiophobic garbage that emerges with any news item of this type.

    • JP says:

      And 300000 tonnes of unwanted slime and sludge will be good for us too?

  3. Lesley Monger says:

    Will really help tourism as well!!

  4. parsons says:

    Stop this, who has allowed this? could someone name and shame them please.

    • JP says:

      Equally folks just write to Geiger Gething c/o the assembly and ask what he’s doing and where he stands. If he doesn’t reply, complain to the pr siding officer and his constituency chair. The more that do the more they will rdo amuse that this y have misjudged this scam massively.

  5. Lesley Monger says:

    Even so why why is it being dumped here!!!

  6. gareth says:

    At least they could have painted the tatty tub, maybe “uranium green”

  7. Pete says:

    Geiger Gethin’s keeping tight lipped.

    • JP says:

      He’s finished. How can you say you’ll be an effective first minister when you won’t even try to help defend the tourist industry in his own constituency. If the anti-nuclear corbynites don’t remove him and Doughty first.

  8. Jon Ratcliffe says:

    Could, may? Not real news. If its radio active in Wales, is it not radio active in England? Or is there a wormhole in the middle of the river. Get a grip on reality people! There are much more important issues to deal with than this. Don’t get distracted from reality.

    • Jm says:

      Like what? Perhaps some of us don’t like our town being used as a dustbin for an unimaginable amount of sludge for the sake of (overseas) private profit. It says it all that Belgian contractors are dumping English sludge for a Franco-Chinese company in, err, Wales … just because they can.

    • Peter says:

      Jon, you miss the point. The sludge is being disturbed. Who knows just how safe it is at deeper levels as it hasn’t been tested.

  9. Penarthur asks how Uranium gets into the mud. UNSCEAR published data on airborne particles from reactors all over the world including Hinkley Point. Does Penarthur think none of them fell into the estuary, and why does he think EdF doesn’t want anyone to look for them?
    Parsons asks for names to shame. Welsh Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths and First Minister Carwyn Jones. Diane Griffiths, chair of Natural Resources Wales (now resigned) and her successor Madeleine Havard. All are failing to apply the caution required by the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 Sect.4 when there is uncertainty. I have given NRW the evidence. They haven’t addressed any of it. Dr. Havard can’t even say how she would assess whether it raises an “uncertainty” under the Act. She and Griffiths just said I should take it back to the Westminster government. Ok, it’s on the agenda in Westminster in a few days time. That doesn’t mean the authorities in Wales are absolved of responsibility. My AM is seeking a meeting with Griffiths to look for a sensible way forward.

    • Peter says:

      Great work Richard. Well done.

    • Penarthur says:

      Thanks for that, I will read it. However I suspect any small particles that fell into the sea would have washed miles away and not congregated just in the mud by the cooling outlets.

      • You could be right. The point is that EdF refuses to check.

      • Colin Megson says:

        You are radiophobic; you have a morbid, unnatural fear of ionising radiation. You are trying to spread your peculiar condition to innocent people on the non- issue of dangerous levels of radioactivity in this mud. It is only dangerous to you and it’s you that’s the danger to the rest of the people reading this article.

        By all means take up the issue of dumping mud in someone else’s back yard, but don’t use the season that it’s dangerously radioactive.

        And you haven’t answererd yes or no to my question of whether or not you would decline radiotherapy were you to contract cancer.

      • Leaving aside the abuse, I would have no problem with radiotherapy if I needed it. That kind of exposure has been in use for well over a century and is now well understood. The mud is contaminated with microparticles of Uranium which are easily resuspended and inhaled. A single alpha decay hitting a body cell confers a dose 200 times greater than a whole year’s-worth of natural background, and the particle still contains billions of atoms that can do the same thing ad infinitum. Damage to public health from this kind of exposure is totally ignored by the authorities because it destroys any case for nuclear power and weapons which inevitably cause such exposures. That is why EdF refused to have the mud tested properly and why our pro-nuclear politicians let them get away with it.

  10. parsons says:

    Thank you Richard

Comments are closed.