NEW CONCERNS ABOUT RISING MUD-LEVELS AT CARDIFF GROUNDS DUMP-SITE

MV Sloeber splitting her hull open to dump another 2,000 tonnes of mud from Hinkley Point onto the Cardiff Spoil Grounds a mile off off Penarth’s sea front this morning

Some local boat owners operating out of Penarth Marina and Cardiff Bay are now saying there’s a significant build-up of mud in the undredged waters of the Bristol Channel.

There’s always been a large area of mud off the shore of Cardiff and Penarth which is exposed at low tide, but it’s being said an increasing number of boats are unexpectedly going aground  – apparently because of an increase  in mud levels .

In March this year the Penarth Atlantic 85 lifeboat Maureen Lilian attended a motor sailer aground on what is now very shallow water barely covering the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site

The official dumping ground for “spoil” (dredged mud) – including allegedly ‘nuclear’ mud dredged from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex is  the Cardiff Grounds Spoil Disposal Site – a mile offshore from Penarth.

Now however a well known local skipper has warned that the existing plateau of mud at the Cardiff  Grounds is becoming higher . He says the addition of thousands of tons of mud from the Hinkley Point site may mean there may no longer be sufficient depth of water at all states of the tide to cover the Cardiff Grounds . In that case the mud  could become exposed to the air at low water.

The yellow line marks the territorial water boundary between Wales and England. Now “English” mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex is being dumped in Welsh waters

The increase in the level of mud on the sea bed is unlikely to have been affected yet by the mud  from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex.

So far only a small fraction of the  320,000 tonnes due to be deposited there from Hinkley Point has yet been dumped at the site .

At almost high tide this morning MV Sloeber was working just East of the Cardiff North Buoy – as close to Penarth as she is legally allowed to get. At low tide it’s said that there’s barely enough water in some areas of the Cardiff Spoil Grounds to cover the increasing accumulation of mud.

However the Cardiff Grounds dumping site is also used by Associated British Ports to dump mud dredged from the approach channel to Cardiff Docks.

It’s thought at least some of this mud  is being re-distributed by tidal action and is increasing the height of local tidal mud banks as well as the Cardiff Grounds disposal site itself .

Marine Chart of the waters off Penarth sea front. The triangular area of “Spoil Grounds” is East of the North Cardiff Buoy

A local boat-owner David Watts of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club has filed a comment on the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance website saying that  he recalls getting stuck on the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site some 4 years ago at about 30 minutes before Low Water Springs [ when the tidal range is at its greatest].

He says that  the area “dried out at low water and was exposed to atmosphere.”   That was in 2014 .  Now the depth of water is even less..

The Cardiff Grounds spoil-disposal site is supposed to be  constantly covered with sea water at all states of the tide – but Mr Watts says that’s not the case .

Mr Watts says “Traditionally the spoil ground was intended to provide a disposal area for mud and sea bed constituents dredged from the Wrach Channel and entrance to Cardiff Docks system together with Cardiff Bay. This practice continues on an annual basis and it is likely the Spoil Ground has received even more spoil than I observed in 2014.”

He says “In any event, the dumping of a further 300,000 tons at that location would deny similar capacity to be available for the true intended purpose ie to receive spoil arising future dredging at Cardiff. “

 

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19 Responses to NEW CONCERNS ABOUT RISING MUD-LEVELS AT CARDIFF GROUNDS DUMP-SITE

  1. Andrew Worsley says:

    I asked before the Hinkley mud was dumped how far out do the Welsh Territorial waters stretch , no responses now I see in this report that mud from an English power station has totally ignored the territorial boundary and entered Welsh waters despite protests and going against the will of the people in the area. And as we know Its all being done by foreign companies etc … French …Chinese etc who do not have the remotest concerns about the Welsh people . Shame on the politicians for not sticking up for the people who voted for them, who probably got ‘bought’. Concerning the territorial boundary … what is the point of having such a boundary if some invader or as in this case a threat to the people is allowed to totally ignore this boundary as if it didn’t exist …as I say just what is the point of having such a border point albeit on water, if its to be ignored at will as in this case? Has this invasion of welsh waters for no good intent been asked or taken to the courts , its blatant abuse and should be addressed.

    • Linda Manley says:

      Hi Andrew. It is in my understanding that our Welsh Assembly Government agreed to take the radioactive mud from Hinkley at a vast price! No other nation would take it no matter what the price was. Our Welsh Government however feel that the risks to our Welsh people’s health and to our local environment (for many generations to come) is worth it. The 320,000 tons of mud is being dumped very close to Penarth and Cardiff Bay. The mud is being exposed to the elements and will be distributed all along this coastline and also blown further inland as it is allowed to dry out! The public need to know and the dumping needs to stop!

  2. Forty two says:

    Apart from being “allegedly” radioactive,I do not understand why they are bringing the mud up to within a mile of Penarth to dump it. Why not take it further down channel and dump it there or else leave it where it is, undisturbed, and find another way of cooling the reactors!

    • JP says:

      Literally to save money for the French- Chinese conglomerate that is building the site in Somerset. Cheaper to pay Belgians to dump the sludge off our coast than to take it out to disperse in the open seas (Irish Sea in this case).
      Tough on us if the site rises, the sludge dries out and the dust blows our way.

      By the way, anyone living within 0.5km of the shore may have trouble selling if it is shown that the dumping has created a nuclear waste hazard. Wonder if EDF, the Belgians, Will Barker st al will be ready for the compensation claims, or if it will be the NRW /Lesley Griffiths/NAW/ Geiger Gething’s complicity that will somehow land the Welsh taxpayer with that bill.

    • Penarthur says:

      Looking at Marinetraffic.com, Sloeber hasn’t been within 4km of Penarth, where this 1 mile has come from is anyone’s guess.

    • graham vodden says:

      As I said in my previous article. In the days of the Bucket /Chain dredgers with their attending Mud Hoppers many decades ago ,the Mud dredged from the Cardiff entrance was dumped out at the middle pool buoy where the main Seven current would disperse it. All so the two currents from the Ely and the Taff would scour out Penarth beach and keep it clean. What we have today is very different. Since the barrage was built these two currents have been stopped up, causing Penarth beach to silt up, all so by dumping any Mud at the North Cardiff Buoy, the Seven current picks it up and dumps it back on Penarth beach .This may be profitable for the dredging company but I would it is a statutory nuisance and a breach of environmental law under the environmental protection act. What I would like to know is the name of the person who made the decision to move the dumpsite to the North Cardiff Buoy, perhaps they could make a statement for PDN. Getting back to the Hinkley Mud ,I would say there is possibly a lot of money involved in this dumping SAGA.

  3. Andrew Worsley says:

    Well Forty two as its only little old unimportant tiny Wales as far as the French and the Chinese are concerned what better place . The Welsh are hardly likely to send a gunboat out to stop or confront the Dredger and the Welsh navy is none existent , so as I said in my comments whats the use of having territorial waters and a border line if its flaunted , ignored and of no use?.

  4. Linda Manley says:

    It is in my understanding that our Welsh Assembly Government agreed to take the radioactive mud from Hinkley at a vast price! No other nation would take it no matter what the price was. Our Welsh Government however feel that the risks to our Welsh people’s health and to our local environment (for many generations to come) is worth it. The 320,000 tons of mud is being dumped very close to Penarth and Cardiff Bay. The mud is being exposed to the elements and will be distributed all along this coastline and also blown further inland as it is allowed to dry out! The public need to know and the dumping needs to stop!

    • Penarthur says:

      Please prove it’s abnormally radioactive.

      • Linda Manley says:

        You provide “extensive and more in-depth evidence” that this mud is indeed SAFE in these quantities!!! We are not talking about human domestic waste here. There have been numerous requests to provide more scientific evidence which includes testing the mud at deeper levels. Indeed the levels to which this “radioactive” mud is being dredged! We already know the mud is radioactive as this has been admitted by the WAG. They say the radioactive levels from their own independent test show the mud as within safe levels. We dispute this as the mud needs far more stringent testing. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • Penarthur says:

        Linda, just by saying it’s radioactive over and over doesn’t make it so. By the way, have you seen the fairies at the bottom of my garden, I can’t show you any evidence, but unless you can prove they aren’t there…..

      • Linda Manley says:

        ?? All I can say to you is “Keep taking the tablets”.

  5. Jake says:

    This whole sorry episode stinks. Will any of the WAG like to play cricket on said mud flat?!?!

  6. Cogan nomen . says:

    Import more hippopotamuses !
    They may help councillors !

    Muddying waters and councillors = quorum !

  7. Pingback: Press Release: KIMO and NFLA call for halt in dredging of mud from Hinkley Point site

  8. Cogan nomen says:

    Penarthur , I will vote for you !

    I was being sarcastic .

  9. christopher cox says:

    i truly believe that before people comment on his they should firstly understand the effect that the tidal stream has on dispursing the dumped mud/sediment, as for people going aground on cardiff grounds then thats surely down to poor seamanship and a lack or respect for the information displayed on the nautical charts or chartplotter which not only should they be carrying but they should also understand and beable to realise what changes in depths actual means.

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