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.


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. John P. MULLEN says:

    What is the cost, What is the End Product. Who Benefits. Who pays. Plastic we can see, we can not see IF there is any contamination in the Mud?

  2. Robert Moran says:


    • Kevin Scott says:

      certainly not the same as Briget Bardot’s waist is it .

    • Andrew says:

      Get a grip everyone, this is scaremongering rubbish. Multiple tests have been carried out and the levels of radiation in this “dumping of toxic sludge” are barely above background levels:

      This is highly alarmist, it’s not “toxic sludge / nuclear mud” it’s merely sediment that is typical of that everywhere else in the Bristol channel being moved from one place to another place in the channel. So you can hardly call it dumping either??!!

      For whatever harm anyone thinks this is doing, think of all the good that the nuclear power station has done for the environment in avoiding pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere as a fossil fuel power station would have done.

      • Me says:

        Then dump it on Brighton’s Beach line not Penstths

      • Penarthur says:

        Agreed. There are quite a few Chicken Little impersonators out there clearly.

      • Penny Pope says:

        Thank you for this, but why was it dumped at night and why no comment from main stream press?

      • yoganarchy says:

        “all the good that the nuclear power station has done for the environment” hahahha hehehehe hilarious

      • Paul Anderson says:

        Thank you. Precisely my points. There are lots of myths surrounding the dangers associated with nuclear power. Governments propagate these myths to retain fear of nuclear weapons.

        Most people seem to forget that nuclear radiation and electromagnetic radiation are both entirely natural phenomena. We’re surrounded by the stuff all the time and 99.9999% is completely harmless. In fact it’s essential for life on Earth.

        The thing many cite is the four billion year half life of spent U238. What that actually means is that it’s decaying very very slowly and thus is barely radioactive at all. The more active isotopes are gone within a few weeks.

      • Julie milne says:

        So why not leave it where it is then if it’s not doing any harm …. why move it at all . 😳😳😳mmmm thought not ……

      • Darren John Edmonds says:

        They can break down the radiation with avocado flesh – or paw paw or aloveria or green watermellon – the secret is green converts radiation into sugars – this helps to begin the break down process – love Yellowstone House Eden Australia

      • Claudia says:

        What are you talking about? Nuclear station face to be closed because of the damage they did and could do in the future on the population and others beings. You are swallow the news of the companies/ power institutions/ people that always change the truth. This is going to contaminate everything alive, near and far as well , and all the fishes than then we are going to eat. And then more illness, more Bayer selling us medicaments….never ends

    • Rich West says:

      I am English and I don’t want this stuff happening any more than you do. So please don’t tar us all with that brush.

    • Andrew says:

      This sounds appalling – the English taking advantage of the Welsh and so on – until you look at the map and realise it’s just a parochial moan. This mud is being moved a few kilometers from one part of the same river mouth to another, obviously for operational reasons. Or do the Welsh think the English think they are escaping it by moving it to the Welsh side?! Does nuclear contamination respect your small tribal boundaries?

      • Penileaks says:

        Interesting post Andrew.
        In many, many earlier posts you have denied that the mud is toxic and in fact been an obvious supporter of the nuclear development over the water at Hinckley.
        Now suddenly you are referring to ‘Or do the Welsh think the English think they are escaping it by moving it to the Welsh side?!’. Escaping what exactly ? You will reply,’ The mud of course’.
        You then go on to say, ‘Does nuclear contamination respect your small tribal boundaries?’
        The answer of course is no, but you refer to ‘…your tribal boundaries’. This infers does it not, that there is some contamination of ‘our’, boundaries and that it may well affect ‘your’ boundaries as well. What’s the contamination then ? Well, you answer that question as well, it’s ‘nuclear contamination’.
        So, after all your previous denials and blustering about how harmless this mud might be and how wonderful the nuclear power dream is as a whole, you too actually believe the opposite.
        I live in Penarth and would not like the thought of any sort of contaminated mud or anything else being dumped near the Penarth shore, nor anywhere else in the Bristol Channel to be honest, but whether this particular mud is contaminated or not is still not proven in my opinion.
        The problem has arisen because the Welsh Assembly has approved this action by EDF, by only listening to their own and EDF’s arguments, which are obviously going to be heavily weighted in EDF’s favour with their argument and most probably the same with the NRW’s on behalf of the Assembly’s, as there must surely be some financial incentive on offer from the company dumping, or via the Westminster government who are so keen to get the place built. Either way, I would not consider any such report to be independent.
        What should have happened prior to any licence being granted and should happen now, is that a totally independent investigation should have been/should be, carried out (if that is ever possible these days), and whatever the results of that, should have told the Welsh Assembly whether to grant a licence, or not.
        Transparent and open discussion is what is missing here and totally independent scientific research to back it up. Only then will we truly know the possible damage or not of this dumping and whether it is toxic or not and only then should it go ahead or not.

    • Susan Mantuano says:

      This is insane. There should be arrests.

      • Darren John Edmonds says:

        Dont dig it up in the first place – Love Yellowstone House Eden Australia

  3. Vanessa Clode Roberts says:

    How totally shocking to read this. Aren’t we all supposed to be cleaning up our seas!! Unbelievable also that the company won’t be responsible for any long term damage.

  4. Andrew says:

    Get a grip everyone, this is scaremongering rubbish. Multiple tests have been carried out and the levels of radiation in this “dumping of toxic sludge” are barely above background levels:

    This is highly alarmist, it’s not “toxic sludge / nuclear mud” it’s merely sediment that is typical of that everywhere else in the Bristol channel being moved from one place to another place in the channel. So you can hardly call it dumping either??!!

    For whatever harm anyone thinks this is doing, think of all the good that the nuclear power station has done for the environment in avoiding pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere as a fossil fuel power station would have done.

  5. Pete says:

    Blockade are beautiful Welsh 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Coastlines and send their filthy ENGLISH nuclear waste back to their own bloody doorstep,are coast is known around the world 🌍 for being beautiful and clean not as a dumping ground for ENGLISH nuclear waste!!! Send it back,what the hell is the government thinking 🤔🤬🤬🤬🤬 And as for the Prime Minister she needs to take her head out of her arse and stick the waste up there 👆 coz she uses her mouth 👄 to talk enough shit so theirs enough room for the waste,talk about going green,yeah we will all be glowing bloody green 🤬🤬🤬

  6. Maria Maya says:

    EU is a cancer

    • Sean says:

      What does this have to do with the EU? This is a totally British controversy about British disregard for protecting our environment.

  7. debbie says:

    if they keep dumping toxic crap in our waters does not matter where their will not be any fish left or you will not be able to eat fish any more as they will be to toxic to eat and will make you very sick or kill u so hopefully these idiots that are dump the shit in all of our waters stop and think about what they are doing

  8. Arron says:

    If it isn’t a risk, why dump in the channel? If it is, why a mile from the largest habitation in Wales? Last, if it’s a problem, why use nuclear in the first place? It’s an outrage!

    Is it not a coincidence this is being dumped exactly where Hafren Power had proposed to build a tidal barrage that would generate the same amount of electricity as three nuclear power stations?
    Incidentally, one of Hafen Power’s directors (local man Richard Bazley) was unfairly smeared at the same time Hinckley C received initial government approval. MP Peter Hain even gave up government to fight for it. The cost per unit was the same as Hinckley yet no nuclear waste.

    Dirty politics and corruption in highest levels of government highly probable!

    • Linda Manley says:

      I agree!! A totally manipulated and corrupt operation. The tests carried out were limited just to scrape past the licensing which no doubt was stamped in approval just to get rid of this toxic waste. EDF are in the governments’ pockets!!

  9. GARY says:


  10. Susan corbet says:

    If it poses no threat then why is it being done under the cover of darkness and why is it not being taken further out to sea, I would call it worrying not scare mungering….

    • Phil says:

      They do it at night and during the day because there is a lot to move. International experts have claimed its not nuclear mud and it isn’t. Huge care is taken to ensure the area around nuclear power plants is not contaminated.

  11. Jebear says:

    I would like to see what type of protective equipment the dredging operators are wearing. That might give us greater insight into the safety of this “mud”.

  12. All I want to know is who gave the green light to dump this waste in Welsh waters, waste disposal for any coming from England that in the future could cause untold damage to our coast line. Not to mention what it could do to humans, is it just a case of money having president over life again. Someone needs to expose the people who gave this the go-ahead sooner rather than later.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s not waste and it’s not dumping! It’s merely mud from one part of the channel they are removing for building purposes and moving it elsewhere.

      • Martin says:

        All I want to know is why it has to be discharged here???
        Please someone give a perfectly logical reason why this could not take place further out to sea.

  13. Christine blackwell says:

    Why in the darkness then if it’s all above board ! 🤔 😡

    • Steve Clarke says:

      Possibly to do with the tidal flow being best to dump the mud at that time – I don’t know – but is worth considering

    • Phil says:

      Sometimes people work at night if they have lots of work…. What so suspicious?

  14. David says:

    Anyone actually got any factual information on this rather than alarmist soundbytes. Why is the movement of this waste even necessary if it is contaminated and as argued by some as providing no risk. Seems a waste of money to shift something which some people argue as safe. Let’s have facts so we can assess what’s really going on including who is actually financing the operation and who profitts? Any politicians with fingers in pie here?

  15. Ceri Jordan says:

    Shocking….if it’s fine, why not dump it in their own waters?!!!

  16. Dazallaar says:

    Why does “mud” have to be moved at all??????????? can someone at least answer that?

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  19. Alan Brockway says:

    hideous!!! penarth is a tourist attraction restaurants shops buisness,s even if the mud wasnt contaminated dumping there will wash it up on to the beach were children go there to throw pebbles in the water the joe public who like to go for a walk down penarth will say “” o no lets not go to penarth its a mud hole “” we will go else were buisness suffer theres charter buisness that take partys out fishing in that channel they will suffer as people will say why do you want to fish in that water and if the mud is contaminated then the devastating effect it will have for the wildlife the enviroment and maybe peoples health i really dont think the welsh goverment gave this a thought or really dont care for the lovely tourist attractions we have here
    totally discusting!!!!

  20. Max Wallis says:

    Digging up contaminated soil/mud always has to be assessed. This mud comes only from the jetty berthing basin and digging for the exit/entry ends of huge (7metre diam) cooling water pipes. Perhaps twice more will come from boring the tunnels from on-shore to these ends. Dumping the waste here is NOT part of the construction, just simpler and cheaper for EdF. All the waste from the tunnels will be used on-site as fill etc. Clearly that from the marine dredging could have been used there too, or dumped to landfill and EdF’s application mentioned. But the Welsh authorities fell over to welcome the dumping at Cardiff, with no reservations about its toxicity. At least, that’s what the English inquiry inspectorate reported. See my letter in13 Sep Echo. https: // infrastructure. wp-content / ipc / uploads / projects / EN010001 / EN010001- 005274-5.% 20Waste% 20Management% 20Strategy% 201. pdf , section 6.4.8.

  21. J Wood says:

    For those of you saying this is no big deal, why did they choose to take it far away from their own coastal waters? Cause they didn’t want it anywhere near them. Nothing new there. And all the long winded experts who read about it in the press or read a report on it. Certainly, those creating such reports wouldn’t lie and we know those in the press have deep integrities, so they would never report anything that they knew wasn’t true. All The Lonely Experts, Where Do They All Come From, All The Lonely Experts, Where Do They All Belong?

  22. Andy says:

    Why is this sure a bit deal , it’s not toxic mud it’s just mud ain’t it .. I am a Constrution foreman in Bristol that lives in Wales , and am sure the mud has been tested by the ea and English government so why don’t we all just let them carry on with the works as this is getting blown out of proportion

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  25. Jackie marsh says:

    We really have to change our way of communicating .Why is when something like this happens we the people are not informed properly. TRANSPARENCY meaning any environmental issues should be made available to all parties .We are all living and breathing on this earth why is it just a few so called environmentalists who are privy to what is going on when decisions that have been made by the few effect us ALL ..

    • Linda Manley says:

      Exactly. If it was safe they would ask the public along for a “grand opening celebration” especially as the Welsh Government is being paid very handsomely for such kind accommodation of its brainwashed tax payers!!! Send Carwyn Jones down there with a bucket and spade!!! Yet another corrupt legacy he leaves the Welsh people with 😡

  26. Jackie marsh says:

    Inform people properly and honestly about such issues then people will have the facts .

  27. It’s probably perfectly harmless. The fear of low level radiation is cold war propaganda. Herman Muller lied when he received the Nobel Prize in 1946 concerning low level radiation because he was part of the “Ban the Bomb” movement.
    The following detailed website speaks of this deception :

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  29. carwithen says:

    Well done Penarth News for mentioning something of use and not the usual mainstream media distractions. You got a mention here from at about 49.36 minutes and everybody should go to this site. You might question the chemtrails in the sky over Penarth, Cardiff etc DAILY!

  30. Jason Apling says:

    OK, so here’s my question. What exactly is ‘nuclear mud’? I work at a nuclear power station in the states and I have zero idea what constitutes ‘nuclear mud’. I understand the environmental measures in place are obviously different, but there not as different as you might think. The industry tends to work together on a global basis and much of the procedures, jargon, and regulations/restrictions differ very little from country to country. That being said, in the U.S. (and I’m equally sure in the Britain as well) any material removed from or introduced to a nuclear site is strictly regulated. No ‘mud’ would be removed from a nuclear site in it was in fact radioactive. And bear in mind bananas (just an example) are naturally radioactive (potassium), so there is a certain amount of background radiation inherently in the environment. Hyperbole aside, how radioactive was this mud? Whichever measurement you care to use Millirems or Sieverts, how much higher than standard background was this mud? Contamination would never be allowed to leave a site under normal regulatory circumstances, and the regulatory standards internationally have gotten much more stringent after the Fukushima disaster.

    • Jason Apling says:

      I apologize for the lack of complexity of my post…I was in a bit of a hurry when it was written.

  31. Lesley Monger says:

    That’s the problem
    Nothing has been made crystal clear
    Where are the results?
    Greenpeace have objected and the people who have allowed this to happen have tried to ‘hush up’ the public
    EDF have probably taken this as their cheapest option and sad to say this has been allowed but no one seems to know how much they have paid for this dumping as again money seems to be God!

  32. Ian Dundas-Collins says:

    Why are Greenpeace not taking more action? Years ago this would of been a main issue to George Pritchard at Greenpeace have they rolled over and given in.

  33. Aidan Farnan says:

    Well it’s going to be less radioactive than natural granite, and given Wales has a whole bunch of granite it might have actually lowered the radioactive output of the country.

    Bloody English, coming over here and stealing our radiation!

  34. Simon Ryce says:

    One fundamental question that no one seems to be asking is how come the ship doesn’t sink when it does that. This is so cool, where can I get one of these, my searches on e-bay and amazon have found nothing.

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  36. Julian bishop says:

    That’s a lot of mud. 320,000 tonnes. 160,000 trips. 2,000 tonnes at a time.
    Over 438 years worth if they only do one trip a day?

  37. Julian bishop says:

    I know my maths are all wrong. But it is so wrong to do this dumping. Whether it’s radio active or not is irrelevant.
    It’s all done for the quick buck. Brush it under the carpet syndrome.
    Whoever thinks this is an ok thing to do is just really,really stupid.

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