The French energy company EDF – which is building the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station on the Somerset Coast – has now admitted that the dumping of Hinkley mud off Penarth is illegal .
Today a legal moves to obtain an injunction against EDF were halted in order to prevent the risk of potentially huge costs having to be met by the campaigners – even though they are in the right .
EDF is said to have admitted in court documents today that no Environmental Impact Assessment was made on Cardiff Grounds – the mud dumping site a mile offshore from Penarth now nicknamed the “Nuclear Triangle”.
EDF had initially claimed that no such Assessment was required because the Cardiff Grounds were already covered by the Hinkley Point Assessment in English Waters – but it’s now clear this doesn’t apply. Dumping so-called ‘nuclear mud’ in Welsh waters without an Environmental Impact Assessment is illegal.
The fault lies with the Welsh Labour Government – not with EDF . It was the Labour Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths who wrongly issued a licence when she should not have done without first carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment on the Cardiff Grounds dump site.
Barry Friends of the Earth say that the Welsh Labour Government is now faced with possible costs racking up at the rate of £118,000 a day because of their mistake. Under EIA-law, the licence is unlawful and the Welsh Government is likely to have no choice but to revoke it.
There is to be a debate in the Welsh Assembly next week on October 1oth to pressurise the Welsh Government to sort out its self-created mess .
The result is likely to be a huge embarrassment for the Welsh Labour Government and its beleaguered Environment Minister.
Tonight both MV Sloeber and MV Pagadder – along with the dredging vessel Peter the Great – are in Barry Docks awaiting further developments.