Bad weather in the Bristol Channel appears to have done today what the law courts couldn’t do yesterday – and has stopped mud dredging operations at the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex, and the dumping of that mud off Penarth.
The green-painted motor hopper MV Sloeber is now confined to port in Barry alongside her sister vessel MV Pagadder which arrived yesterday after a long voyage from Kiel.
It’s intended that both vessels will be used in relays on the mud-dumping operations to shift the 320,000 tonnes of material.
Also in port is the dredging vessel Peter the Great – which is actually digging up the mud off Hinkley Point and loading it into the two hoppers.
A warning of strong winds associated with Storm Helene has been put out by the Meteorological Office who now say the worst of the weather will be tomorrow (Wednesday) .
Gusts of up to 60 mph are forecast from o6:00 BST on Wednesday morning with possible “power loss, delays to road, rail and air travel” and there’s the possibility of “injuries and danger to life from flying debris”.
Later in the day MV Pagadder did put out to sea and anchored off Hinkley Point but did not dump any mud in the Cardiff Grounds area.
Meanwhile at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre the application for an injunction to stop the mud dumping completely has been adjourned for a week to give lawyers working for the French energy company EDF and its subsidiary more time to get their defence case prepared and will resume on Monday next week.
The case hinges on whether the Environmental Impact Assessment issued for Hinkley Point (in Somerset) applies in respect of the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site off Penarth . Cardiff Grounds are in Welsh territorial waters and there has been no public consultation in Wales.