The odd-looking Belgian motor-hopper MV Sloeber splits herself open from stem to stern to disgorge hundreds of tonnes of ‘nuclear mud’ into the sea off Penarth after dark last night

The first of hundreds of consignments of allegedly radioactive mud from the Somerset coast (adjacent to the Hinkley Point nuclear power station) was deposited off Penarth last night under cover of darkness.

The curious looking Belgian motor-hopper Sloeber made her first round trip from Hinkley Point to the Cardiff Grounds – a mile off shore from Penarth. She then  opened-up her belly underwater to disgorge thousands of tonnes of mud on one massive “bowel movement” –   last night .

As darkness fell the MV Sloeber with at least 2,000 tonnes of mud aboard, had set out from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex and skirted around the Monkstone Light en route to the Cardiff Grounds

Although the Conservative-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has protested about the mud dumping scheme, not a single Labour Assembly member, councillor or MP has raised a so much as a peep of protest about what is easily the worst-ever case of deliberate pollution ever witnessed in Wales.

Last night the Belgian hopper MV Sloeber – loaded with 2,000 tonnes of mud dredged from the sea bed adjacent to 3 Somerset nuclear power stations – sailed around the far side of the Monkstone light and skirted the sandbanks.

Pointing towards Penarth; MV Sloeber brings the first cargo of ‘nuclear mud’ to be dumped in Penarth waters

As night fell she turned to port and headed directly towards Penarth,  pausing just a mile offshore to dump her controversial cargo into the shallow sea of the “Cardiff Grounds” – which up to now have only been used to deposit dredged mud from the approach channel to Cardif Docks .

Moving her bowels: Splitting herself open along her keel, Sloeber can open herself up beneath the waterline to let her cargo of mud fall to the sea bed of the Cardiff Grounds . Observers said it almost seemed as though the ship was defacating in Welsh waters.

Sloeber’s party trick is to split herself open from stem to stern with both halves of the ship opening up wide below the waterline to allow her cargo of mud to fall out of the ship under its own considerable weight .

In 3 months or so, when  all the thousands of tonnes of  mud from Hinkley Point have been dumped in the sea in Welsh waters,  the French energy company EDF will be able to wash its hands of all responsibility for this material and whatever lurks within it.

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

…As of last night the first consignment of English ‘nuclear mud’ become Wales’s problem.  The mud dropped from the belly of MV Sloeber last night will soon be washed ashore on the coastline between Penarth  and Lavernock – and could permanently change the shoreline.

Experts say the consequences of this operation – which involves the dumping of over 320,000 tonnes of English nuclear mud in Welsh Waters – may not become apparent for generations.

Meanwhile Sloeber returned to Hinkley Point to load more mud for another visit to Wales later today.


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  1. Neil McEvoy says:

    NRW now admits the mud is radioactive. We couldn’t get an injunction yesterday, but we have a hearing next Monday at 2pm. We will be demonstrating outside from 1pm.

    • Penarthur says:

      EDF admitted it was very slightly more radioactive than sediment from elsewhere years ago, but by so little exposure to it would be like eating 20 bananas.

      • Zak says:

        Really???????????????????????????????????? Then get the CEO of EDF to eat it….

      • Ian Shanes says:

        All sorts of problems could arise from this health wise. I wonder what other agreements were made behind closed doors. It might be bananas to some but it’s merd to others.

    • Andrew says:

      Read this. All about the testing standards and who approved them. Basically an infitesimally small amount of radiation and completely harmless.

      Hinkley Point’s Cardiff Bay toxic mud claim ‘alarmist’ –

      “It found levels of artificial radioactivity in the mud were so low they would equate to being “not radioactive” in law.”

      “At all times it is low, barely above background radiation”

      Is this really a problem? Hardly what I’d call “nuclear mud”, what a load of bs.

      • Dazzalaar says:

        If it’s so harmless, why does anyone or company, corporation or Government, need to transport thousands of tonnes of mud from one point to another (across a border, ahem) by ship to put back underwater again? Talk about BS Andrew.

  2. Lesley Monger says:

    If they confirm it is radioactive surely this is illegal
    Doesn’t public opinion and opposition count
    Do these people who have allowed this pollution live where it will affect them
    It’s a total disgrace that this has been allowed to happen

    • Chris Peach says:

      They don’t give two cats my friend, as long as you buy it, they will keep doing it.

      • mark bowes says:

        Were all in Great Britain if that so called dumping is taking place would it not be easier to drop it out at sea were its not seen rather than sailing inward

  3. Georgina says:

    And if cases of cancer should rise in the next 5, 10, 15 years will the politicains be held accountable?!?! They damn well should be.

  4. George says:

    Its costing billions to do the third reactor at Hinkley. Surely dumping on the cheap isn’t going to even factor into the budget. For heavens sake spend a bit more and dispose of it responsibly. Must be bad if they have to hide under cover of darkness for the first load.

    • Peter King says:

      Unless it had something to do with tides.

    • Penileaks says:

      It’s not dumping on the cheap that is the attraction, it’s dumping where a government will allow it and it appears that the Welsh one is, which is particularly handy, because it’s so close to Hinckley. I don’t imagine the Irish, French or other geographically close European governments would have been so accommodating.

      • Al says:

        Let’s face it conservative or Labour. They are all to blame. Green energy projects such as Swansea bay tidal lagoon and further plans for Cardiff and other spots along the severn are a lot more sustainable and cheaper in the long run than nuclear power. Will ever be. There is no such thing as public opinion merely keeping those in power in power regardless of what the masses want.

      • Jonny says:

        Edf is owned by the french state so i’m not too sure they’ll be arsed tbh mate…

    • Hesther Bate says:

      Is it possible to dispose of this ‘responsibly’? Unfortunately, our varied Governments have done nothing to stop this work, because of economics.. no thought for the future.

    • Randall McLean says:

      60 years ago when these plants were being started up they promised that by the time they are spent the scientist would have a way to safely treat the waste. Well they spoke and mankind listened but could not argue with this farie tale. Now the Genie is out of the box and this is the answer from the scientists who cash the cheques and take the money of the big companies.

  5. Flick says:

    This disgusts me. If a vote was taken on whether this sludge should be dug up and dumped off the shore of Cardiff/Penarth then the outcome would be landslide NO.

    Shame on Geiger.

  6. BluesMan says:

    Sickens me that instead of the tidal lagoon we get some radioactive mud instead! The money being spent on this new style nuclear reactor is eye watering they could probably put renewable energy supplies (solar/wind/heat pumps and do on) in hundreds of thousands of homes for the cost of this reactor.

  7. Dizzydeb says:

    We have a vote in the next election, it should be a landslide NO!

  8. parsons says:

    Where is the demonstration Neil? Yes George they felt the need to do it at night so they know
    it’s wrong.
    It is a disgrace this has been allowed to happen and I feel very sorry for Cardiff and Penarth.
    Will be too late in five years when the increase of cancer unfolds.
    Shame on the people who allowed it to happen, there must have been a huge reason
    for agreeing to it and we know what that is. They have even jeopardised their own families.
    Hope they can sleep at night.

    • Penarthur says:

      Wow. Just wow. They have to do it when the tide is right. Looking on they have done two runs already, not just at night. Use you brain and get a sense of perspective.

      • Scouse says:

        Has to be done at high tide times to allow the mud to spread out more, and do you really think government is letting them dump harmful amounts of radioactive waste, I don’t think so 🤦🏻‍♂️

  9. Ocobblepot says:

    Geiger … Counting his backhander no doubt.

  10. Tog says:

    Reblogged this on sideshowtog.


  12. Archibald Haddock says:

    Well done Neil McEvoy AM for bringing this to light. We get a lot more from the sea than many realise and the proximity of this nuclear contaminated waste dumping should make us all extremely uncomfortable. Yet where is the public outrage? Reason being its happening covertly and like many things ‘newsworthy’ it’s an insidious debacle kept out of mainstream news. Here in Wales we should all be gravely concerned for the potential dire public health ramifications in both the short and long term.

  13. Geraint says:

    WTF is the Assembly thinking of?
    Why is Wales taking English waste???
    Is it because no other bu&&er would?
    How the hell can this be justified – radioactive or not?
    Has the Assembly received cash for this?
    Why aren’t the politicians, newspapers and TV asking questions?
    Plaid appears the only political party with any thought for future generations.
    I am fu**ing fuming. How can this be allowed to happen?
    reminds me of an old cartoon in Viz about diseased chickens on the loose and one of the characters says, ‘They’re heading for Wales’ and another replies, ‘That’s all right then.’
    Nothing changes.
    Wales still getting all the sh!t.

  14. Joy Goodyear says:

    Makes you think who is making money out of this and why wind turbines are not being placed around our windy shores? Benefiting the the sea bed giving anchorage for sea weed, shell fish etc. and therefore creating a food chain with us at the top and providing relatively clean electricity!
    The production of anything that gives an end result of toxic waste of any strength should be banned world wide.

  15. Kevin Bridger says:

    How is this happening? Just recently the ‘ plastic islands’ in our oceans were in the news and on politician’s agendas!! This will kill any rejuvenation of our coastal much for the millions spent in Cardiff Bay and Barry! Somebody somewhere has had their palms well and truly greased!

  16. Sadlab says:

    Everyone should boycott EDF and spread the word via social media for their fiends and relatives to do so ..actualy makes me wish I had Facebook at times like this.

    • Ian Shanes says:

      I’ve left EDF recently because of their excessive use of nuclear power and limited interest in anything else.

  17. William Macdonald says:

    This is ridiculous, even when dealing with NORM, we had to treat the contamination to defined levels before dumping. British Govt treating colonies as dumping grounds

  18. Phil Rowe says:

    I’ve been trying to draw people’s attention to this, it’s remarkable how little known it is. I publish a community magazine in the Swansea Valley ( ). Would you be happy for me to use the image of the ship dumping in my October issue please? Obviously I’m happy to credit the image to PDN (or whoever you wish).

  19. David W.J. Moorman says:

    I am a retired Royal Engineer who fishes pots for Lobster Conservation…If this was happening on Our Doorstep here in Portstewart the whole Country would be up in arms…Sorry Wales but this dumping is a BLOODY DISGRACE…Your families will suffer for generations to come…Time you all spoke with one voice…Get it stopped…!!

    • Ian Shanes says:

      Totally agree. If the Welsh public want to stop this they must get out on the streets and protest. That will make the headlines and show the government how high feelings are about this situation.

      • We did on Bank Holiday Monday at The Senedd steps at Cardiff bay. Many like myself have written to MP’s ,assembly members, AM’s and parties who use the sea for work and recreation. We await hearing about an injunction hearing , but this will not be till Monday….

  20. Ivan turley says:

    Just like the gutless labour not opening there mouths never should be voted for again

  21. Yvonne bradley says:

    Omg what about all the living beings in and around the water, disgraceful

  22. kevin payter says:

    why do it at night time if they have nothing to hide, why dump it on our side of the bristol channel , why can’t it be taken further out of the channel altogether.
    this is an absolute total disgrace, why haven’t anything been done about this.

    • Pat says:

      Dom – You do know that cases of cancer are always higher in the surrounding areas of a nuclear power plant right?!

    • sandymwatson says:

      “according to stringent UK law” – doesn’t count for much when vested interests are acknowledged.Other than stopping the use of nuclear power installations, I can see no safe/reliable/acceptable way to dispose of the waste materials produced.

    • Diane says:

      Do you really trust this big company, they just want to get rid of it. Why not take it to France where they live or somewhere else?
      They can’t, nowhere else will agree, not surpringly.
      EDLF actually said Green Peace had had it tested and it was safe.
      That turned out to be a complete fabrication of the truth, this never happened.
      How can people stick up for a rich company with no regard for our environment
      or human safety. Welsh salmon swim up to our rivers through this.
      We and our children swim in the water and play on the beach.
      I’d like to know bottom line who gave them the red light to go ahead and empty toxic waste in Wales? Shame on you! How much money changed hands.
      Someone needs to wake up and stand up before it’s too late!
      Please stop saying it’s safe it’s not.

  23. Arron says:

    This isn’t a new development. Amersham International dumped radio isotopes into the Taff. Then we have the emissions from Europe’s largest silicone plant in Barry. Port Talbot, Llanwern and Cardiff steel works which still produces emissions in heavily populated areas despite reduced size. Then the old smokeless fuel plant at Abercynon that removed all the nasties in coal, releasing all the bad stuff, to make phurnacite (brickettes) to be used in the major cities of England. Then we have a mysterious peak in breast and blood cancers in the Usk valley.

    Essentially Wales in where England prefers to put it’s dirty industries – and WAG are complicit. The Green party might be the best choice for Wales and Labour and Cons just roll over…

    • Pat says:

      Agreed -, the WAG is nothing more than theatre to give the illusion of independence and democracy.

      If we can demonstrate that the dredger isn’t abiding by welsh language rules the assembly members would probably put a stop to it. It’s the only thing they seem to care about. Don’t you worry about the local environment and the health of the welsh public. It’s infuriating.

    • Ian Shanes says:

      In the Thatcher years dumping of nuclear waste was considered and Scotland was to be the place to do it, Stranraer area specifically. There was coverage on tv but it was not, as far as I know, ever mentioned again. And now I’m wondering if it just went ahead with out us knowing.

  24. manandboy says:

    True British Colonial Colours shown here in dumping toxic carcinogenic waste on the natives of the Welsh colony.

  25. Cogan nomen . says:

    I notice , someone mentioned windfarm .
    Please do not further provoke the
    Whingeing Penarthians .

  26. Katie says:

    OK, I’m disgusted. This is an appalling piece of news.

  27. I don’t think the Welsh Aasembly has any say in this matter as it is not a devolved matter. The UK Government has control of this. We need to be independent and fight for our rights. This is a disgrace and should be stopped. We don’t want nuclear power here and we definitely don’t want radioactive waste in our seas.

  28. tazerd duck says:

    Do you realise the danger to human life in this area? Why not dump it off-shore? The English government should take full responsibility for allowing EDF to do such a crime. THERE ARE FAMILIES THAT USE PENARTH PIER AND PEOPLE THAT LIVE ALONG THE COASTLINE!!! The radioactive material will spread for miles. Why not dump it near it’s place of origin…PROBABLY SO THAT YOU CAN BLAME IT ON ABERTHAW POWER STATION!!! what a fking joke. I hope EDF burns to the ground along with anyone else involved with this appalling event. Curse you all.

    • Dennis Lear says:

      The English do not have a government, assembly or anything.The UK was devolved by a Scottish Parliament (look it up Blare Brown etc, all Scottish) That is why Scotland is the only part to end up with its own parliament. Wales and Northern Ireland were given an assembly with minimal powers, The English have nothing apart from the second Scottish Parliament based in London. Blame the Scots not the English.
      Oh and in case you missed it at school the Severn Estuary is Tidal, what is placed on one side is washed by the tide to all parts!

  29. Mr huggins says:

    Out rage this needs to be stopped kids swim in these beaches

  30. Leanne williams says:

    Sounds like fly tipping 🤔. Surly this is illegal. Blows my mind what the goverments are aloud to get away with nothing but crooks the lot of them.

  31. Mags Eldridge says:

    This is disgusting and should be made national news. How dare the government turn a blind eye as it will cost the NHS more in health in years to come and it will affect the younger generation. What can people do about this as this is the 1st I have heard about it

  32. Kaylee Nicholas says:

    Isn’t all mud radioactive though?

  33. Howard brook says:

    This is disgraceful and wrong on all counts. What about the marine life. At this time of year hundreds of blond rays cod and conger are all using this area to feed and spawn. This needs to stop ASAP

  34. This a a new world order draconian scum act this kind of thing should never happen anywhere

  35. Barrie V Evans says:

    That nuclear crap was created in England and should bloody well stay in England, N R W and Carwyn Jones pathetic government should be hung drawn and quartered FACT !!!

  36. Bryan Tattum says:

    Well if it’s a French company go and dump your crap in there waters see if they stand for it. It should be disposed of properly not just dump it a mile from shore. Then in time the Bristol channel and the tidal part of the river seven will be ruined. The environment offices and government should put an admidate stop to the dumping before causes an environmental problem later. It must be problem now for them to try and get rid of it now. Avnt we learned anything yet chenobl the one in Japan

  37. james says:

    dont worrie you only have to wait 10000 years for it to half the radiation level

  38. Blair Green says:

    If it’s so harmless let’s see the Thames estuary get some it’s only happening there because if they dumped in Scotland like the rest of their nuclear crap they would add to the case for another independence referendum

  39. well this is disgusting whats the point of recycling going plastic free if this it what is going to happen kiss the fishing good bye and i live in aberporth

  40. Somerset boy says:

    This is really bad and obviously unwanted, but the consumer demands power and power creates mess and mess doesn’t go away – yes there are alternatives for the future but for now it’s what is needed to give the people the power they need. Also there is no need to make this article political and passive aggressive towards a party, that’s where you lost me.

  41. Mjr. silt—spillage says:

    I’m sorry. A ship that splits in half and dosent sink!!!

    I think we are missing the point here!


  43. davey macGregor says:

    We saw what looked like a dredger not far from Hinckley during our cruise aboard PS Waverley on Monday evening last week (3 September) as we steamed back toward Clevedon

  44. Pat Williams says:

    Absolutely disgusting that they are allowed to get away with this. Cardiff is Labour led where are our Councillors, and MP’s, what is the matter with the Welsh Assembly for goodness sake. Cardiff needs to stage s major protest, this should not be allowed to continue. It will contaminate our waters, the fish, and other marine creatures. STOP this now for goodness sake Can diff Council.,

  45. DaiCly says:

    Thank you for your email below, received at the Welsh Government’s Complaints Advice Team on 12/09/2018. The Welsh Government’s complaints policy allows us to consider complaints about Welsh Government’s administrative actions (i.e. maladministration). The policy is available by post on request and can also be found on our website at:

    The Policy does not allow us to consider complaints about a decision which has not involved maladministration, complaints about Government policy or a means to change legislation or complaints about other public bodies and/or organisations.

    I have contacted colleagues from within the Welsh Government’s, Marine and Fisheries division who have provided me with the following information:

    The marine licensing determination process provides for a thorough and robust assessment of proposed activities including consideration of the need to protect the marine environment and human health. A range of assessments to support the marine licence determination process were undertaken including robust and fit for purpose radiological assessments which concluded the material is safe and suitable to be disposed at sea. The assessment is based on specific expert advice, in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency procedures. All the tests and assessments carried out by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and their experts in this specific field, concluded the material poses no radiological risk to human health or the environment.

    NRW are the marine licensing authority for Wales, and they act on behalf of the Welsh Ministers. This is a ‘live’ licence and as such this is a matter for NRW, and concerns should be addressed to them.

    If you wish to contact National Resources Wales to raise your concerns, you are able to do so using this link:

    Yours sincerely

  46. DaiCly says:

    I wrote a complaint on the welsh government website. Everyone should do it. The reply I had was above.

  47. mark bowes says:

    so first you all think its radioactive then why would anyone dredge it up and then drop it off closer to shore when its easier to sail out to dump it

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