This week EDF are planning to dredge 300,000 tonnes of mud from outside Hinkley nuclear reactor in Somerset, which will then be dumped in Welsh waters. An alliance of concerned campaigners that make up 'the Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping' will serve a legal injunction to halt the dump and then take EDF to court.
I’m concerned because I do not believe enough testing has been done. We’re talking about mud being dredged from outside a nuclear reactor and the politicians in Cardiff Bay have utterly failed to take the necessary steps to protect us from it. They should be standing up for us but it’s concerned members of the public who are going to court to stop the dumping. The Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales, who issued the licence to dump, have sat back and done nothing.
We need to use the Precautionary Principle, as detailed in Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and urgently suspend the licence until proper and thorough testing has been done. I'm assured insufficient core samples were taken under international rules and the tests do not cover all significant radioactive substances from the Hinkley nuclear plant. This covers the demand for further deep sampling, the case to test for Americium etc. (as shown in the independent CRIIAD report ) and the case to test for ‘hot’ particles.
But don't take my word for it. Here's what other campaingers are saying:
Cian Ciaran from the Super Furry Animals; “I have one simple argument – Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, therefore, the precautionary principle should dictate a re-think . A re-think by our politicians and policy makers to do the right thing by it’s people. The implications and consequences of this dredging could be far reaching, so is it too much to ask to know what we are dealing with? This is yet another example of Welsh Labour`s incompetence, an irresponsible government, hell bent on leaving a legacy of absolute destruction. Today is testament to 20 years of failings. Their contempt, reinforced by the systematic neglect by successive governments in London, takes the Welsh people for granted and shows that devolution as it stands does not work for Wales. I’m tired of the excuses and lack of accountability - we should all call for a better future. The nuclear establishment cannot be trusted.”
Richard Bramhall chairman of the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance (WANA) is calling on the Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths to halt the operation because there has been no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the impact of dumping over 300,000 tons of mud from Hinkley Point off the South Wales coast. “We believe that the decision to grant the Marine Licence is unlawful and have therefore taken steps to take legal action to stop the operation. Lesley Griffiths has the power to intervene and we call on her as Environment Secretary to do so until a thorough assessment of the risks has been taken – anything else would be irresponsible.”
Max Wallis of Friends of the Earth, Penarth & Barry; “The NRW up to recently stated the EIA for dumping had been covered in the EIA for the jetty development in Somerset, covered by the Environment Agency but this was contradicted by CEFAS’s statement of 2013, Nevertheless the NRW (wrongly) issued the 2014 license. Moreover their own rules say that an EIA is always required for projects within an European conservation site, as is the Severn Estuary.”
The group believes that NRW is claiming to be entitled to determine that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required because they are satisfied that an another authority assessed the environmental effects in 2013 and that this met the requirements of the EIA Directive. While the NRW might have recorded such a determination in 2013/14, neither WANA nor Friends of the Earth, Penarth & Barry are aware of any documentation on this key decision in the public files.
Tim Deere-Jones, Marine Radiation Consultant, says: “We are concerned that, before issuing the licence, the Welsh Government failed to demand that the nuclear industry carry out formal site specific Environmental and Public Health Impact Assessments. There is insufficient evidence about the potential health and environmental impacts to South Wales sea users and coastal populations to conclude that this proposal would be harmless. We need a postponement to ensure that all this basic evidence is collected”.
Please note that in the unlikely event of any funding leftover, donations will be made to environment and cancer charities in Wales.