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Bitter ‘taste’ of potentially radioactive sludge in the Blackwater estuary.

A press release received from Magnox confirms “the former Bradwell
nuclear power station has now successfully dealt with all of its Fuel
Element Debris (FED) waste – a major source of intermediate level
radioactive waste at the Essex site.

This is an important step towards itsplanned closure, as part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency’s (NDA)
mission to clean up and decommission the UK’s earliest nuclear sites.”

Three years of potential damage to our estuary ecosystem has finally
finished with as much controversy now at the end as when the process
started. During those three years BANNG, Mersea Island Environmental
Alliance, Marinet, The Blackwater Guardians, FAB and others have spent a
great deal of time and gone to a great deal of trouble to try to stop FED
dissolution to protect both people and the environment.

Meetings were held with the Environment Agency (EA), who seemed uneasy as to what was
happening at Bradwell. FED dissolution was highlighted in the media and
complaints lodged both in the UK and European Parliaments. BANNG organised
a Public Meeting in West Mersea in June, 2014, at which an expert in Marine
Biology explained his concerns about the release of FED effluent into the
Blackwater and at which the large audience made clear its opposition.

BANNG believes that the real reason the treatment project has ended now is that
the original analysis of the FED was wrong. Only a third of the 200 tonnes
total waste ie 65 tonnes could actually be processed. The other two-thirds
were comprised of Low-Level Waste (LLW) and have been taken to Drigg for

This raises the question of whether the FED was properly characterised before it was decided to use an expensive and experimentaldissolution process. Peter Bank’s (Town Councillor. Colchester Green
Party) says the process of Fed Dissolution has left a bitter ‘taste’ of
potentially radioactive sludge in the Blackwater estuary.

Mersea Island Courier 30th June 2017


July 17, 2017 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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