Docked in Barry today MV “Sloeber” – the ship that’ll be dumping 320,000 tonnes of allegedly radioactive mud into the sea off Penarth

The Motor Vessel Sloeber – (the Belgian barge hired to dump 320,000 tonnes of allegedly radioactive mud just a mile out to sea from Penarth) –  has been refuelling in Barry Docks and is due to sail tonight across the Bristol Channel to Hinkley Point.

The Sloeber – dubbed the “Ship of Shame” by environmental activists opposing the Welsh-Labour-Government-approved mud dumping scheme – will become a regular caller at Barry as it’s the nearest port to the Hinkley Point nuclear complex .

The dredger “Peter the Great” will be digging up the Hinkley mud and putting it into the barge Sloeber to be taken to the Cardiff Grounds off Penarth for dumping (Photo Hamon Denis)

The barge is expected to link-up tomorrow with the dredging vessel “Peter the Great” and start receiving thousands of tonnes of mud dredged from the tidal mudflats adjacent to the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex.

Sloeber is expected to dump her first consignment of mud from Hinkley in the Cardiff Roads – just a mile from the sea front at Penarth – tomorrow.

Sloeber – known as a “motor hopper” – can transport more that 2,000 tonnes of mud on every trip to the waters off Penarth. She left Barry on tonight’s high tide for Hinkley Point.

The nuclear mud dumping site – marked in red – Is just a mile off the Penarth shore.

Sloeber  arrived on Saturday after a long trip from the Baltic Sea where her sister vessel Pagadder – which was supposed to be joining her at Hinkley – is still engaged on other work.

The Hinkley Point nuclear power station – as seen from Barry

A retired seafarer monitoring the ship-movements at Barry has told PDN that the absence of a second vessel will mean the Hinkley mud dredging operation will take at least twice as long as it would have done with two barges jointly operating a shuttle mud-dumping schedule.


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  1. Claire Pezzack says:

    I cannot believe we have signed up to this. I lost my husband to bowel cancer last year aged 41. Why are we accepting this is acceptable? Do we even know the risk for our children? I imagine the financial payment was put ahead of the possible health consequences.

    • Penarthur says:

      Don’t let yourself be frightened by these doom mongers, who are only interested in publicity for their fading careers.

  2. Paul says:

    Blockade the dock.

  3. parsons says:

    Tragic that this has been allowed to happen. You know how to vote next time.

  4. Claire Pezzack says:

    Too late to vote next time damage ✅

  5. whatsoccurin says:

    Binocular time!-let’s see if the barge workers are wearing special protective suits.

    • Quite right. They need face masks. I have been trying to contact seafarers’ unions in Belgium, as Sloeber is a Belgian ship but so far without success. In the 1980s unions in the UK played a vital role against sea dumping of radioactive waste leading the London Convention and OSPAR.

      • Penarthur says:

        It’s not radioactive waste for goodness sake. It’s out in the environment anyway, if you have concerns now, where have they been for the last 30 years?

  6. Chris Franks says:

    Why has Alun Cairn’s as the Vale MP and apparently the Secretary of State for Wales supported this outrage?

  7. Arthur says:

    Geiger Gethin and Dumping Doughty – remember the names.

  8. Gethin says:

    Total pay and pension for an MP of more than £100,000 — a £76,000 salary and £24,000 pension. With their 50 pieces of silver Geiger Gethin and Dumping Doughty can afford to move anywhere they like – any ill effects won’t effect them.

  9. Janet says:

    What happened to the £5000 raised by Neil McEvoy for an injunction to stop the dumping? He’s been in Barcelona this weekend – just at the crucial time for this issue to be confronted. He needs to provide answers on where that money has disappeared to – and why he went AWOL at exactly the wrong moment.

    • An application to the courts is being prepared. I’m not part of the team that’s doing the legal work but as Chair of WANA I am supporting it. Neil is in pretty constant touch by email.

    • Rosemary Knights says:

      Don’t worry Janet, the money hasn’t disappeared anywhere. Lead campaigners & lawyers are working flat out to get an injunction. Neil McEvoy isn’t working alone on this protest so work can continue in his absence.

  10. Liz says:

    I won’t clean the beach from now on.

  11. Dizzydeb says:

    Keep voting Labour then Wales, for more of the same. Shame on them.

  12. Rosemary Knights says:

    I wish the press & media would stop using the words ” allegedly radioactive ” . EDF & NRW admit it IS radioactive but the argument is about HOW radioactive the mud is. Only limited sampling & testing was carried out before the license to dump was granted & campaigners want more samples at depth to be collected & stringent , up to date testing to be carried out. This newspaper article doesn’t include the fact that an Environmental Impact Assessment of the dump site hasn’t been carried out either, contrary to Welsh Government laws. Why are the politicians prepared to risk the safety of human lives & the environment? I suspect they just don’t understand the science of radiation risk.

    • Richard says:

      Yes, I agree, the default setting of the labour-friendly press and media does seem to be falling in with this.
      Makes you wonder what other shockers the slavish Assembly-supporting reporters let go under the net that we never find out about.

    • Arthur says:

      Politicians risk lives and the environement all the time. Ever heard of fracking?!

  13. JP says:

    If the craven politicians here in wales won’t dontheir job, we should hold them to account – we need to monitor the beaches for radiation for years to come and – god forbid we do find a problem – sue the hell out of National Reaources Wales and the Assembly members who acquiesced – personally and by office. Carwyn Jones, Lesley Griffiths, yes Geiger Gething (and Dump Doughty) but also every board member and trustee of NRW and any other board that did not do its job properly.
    Personally I cannot see how Penarth people could let the wider Labour Party or thenpeople of Wales have any doubt about Gething’s mettle – craven silence when dealing with a major threat to your own constituency says it all about him.

    We may or may not throw them out of office but the threat of being sued for their part of this is something they should never get away from, just as they have exposed us to this threat for the rest of our lives just to make moneymftr Belgian shipowners, the french/Chinese power company and some site workers in Somerset. 😡😡😡

    • Georgina says:

      Agreed. Politicians need to be held to account. They can’t have all the peks, over inflated salary / pension and be allowed to swan off into the sunset when their decisions and policy making effects the lives of so many. Simply voting them out isn’t enough of a deterrent either.

    • Penarthur says:

      All you have to do is go to hinckley point at low tide and sample some mud yourself, no need to do it for years to come. You will get the evidence immediately. Get a grip.

      • Rosemary Knights says:

        Georgina has every cause to be concerned. Some experts on low level radiation risk did just that some years ago & tests of the samples did show higher levels of radioactivity than EDF are reporting.
        As dredging is being done down to bed rock sampling at full depth should be carried out .
        No one knows for sure what is actually in this mud.

  14. Such things as Skype for remote conferencing and email for written documentation now exist so it is possible to conduct such business from almost anywhere in the world. There is no need for Neil McEvoyn to be anywhere in particular to conduct this business.

  15. JOhn says:

    Why not start the recall process for Geiger Gething and Dumper Doughtt?
    Even if the actual sacking of them isn’t allowed it would finish the careers of both – and definitely save Wales from one of them as first minister.

    You need 10% of an electorate to agree they are not doing their job – if they stood in the new election they could then face one opponent runningnon an anti-nuclear waste dumping platform.

  16. Andrew Worsley says:

    I expect the lifeboats will be out along with other boat owners to make it difficult for the dredger to dump the mud once dredged and im expect Penarth Marina normally full of boats of all sizes will be out and about too until the danger has passed with the mass blockade.

    • Penarthur says:

      Really? That would be ridiculously dangerous and irresponsible.

      • Rosemary Knights says:

        Yes , the same as dumping radioactive mud is ridiculously dangerous & irresponsible.
        You keep repeating that the mud is not radioactive , well you’ve got it wrong. EDF, NRW & CEFAS all admit that the mud IS radioactive! The question up for debate is just HOW radioactive it is. See my comment above – 10.21 a.m. 10th Sept.
        I add – where are the tests & data for plutonium & uranium ? Either none were carried out – why not , or the tests were carried out & the data hasn’t been made public – why?

      • Penarthur says:

        Rosemary. Nearly everything is radioactive. But why are these experts only worrying about it now, if it’s been polluting the sea for decades?

        It’s a red herring, and to my mind, distracts from the real issue of why we should accept this mud, even if it’s perfectly safe.

      • Penarthur says:

        Rosemary, can you provide a plausible means by which Uranium or plutonium could escape from the reactor core, travel through multiple sealed cooling systems and out into the Bristol channel without being detected? I’m all ears.

    • Rosemary Knights says:

      Andre Worsley
      I hope you’re right. Any idea how we can contact the boat owners?

  17. Debs says:

    Why are some of you people acting so ridiculous about this?. Like sheet being let to slaughter. Radiation is radiation. Shite is shite. Blue is blue. If it was so okay why have they been so hush hush about it. Why aren’t people in the streets protesting. I am ashamed of all of you who are so accepting to this.

Comments are closed.