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Hinkley nuclear site radioactive mud to be dumped near Cardiff

Critics say dredging of sediment could increase risks of contamination on Welsh side of Severn estuary, Guardian, Jamie Doward, 15 Oct 17, More than 300,000 tonnes of “radioactive” mud, some of it the toxic byproduct of Britain’s atomic weapons programme, will be dredged to make way for England’s newest nuclear power station and dumped in the Severn estuary just over a mile from Cardiff.

Politicians in Wales have denounced the move, with one accusing the Welsh government of selling out to London and the nuclear lobby. They have called on ministers to commit to further radiological tests before giving consent for the process, which is crucial for the construction of Hinkley Point C across the estuary in Somerset……..
An independent marine pollution researcher, Tim Deere-Jones, who is also a prominent nuclear power critic, has warned that the dumped sediment could re-concentrate into more powerful radioactive material and be washed ashore in storm surges. “We know sediment in mudflats can dry out and blow ashore and that fine sediment with radioactivity attached can transfer to the land in marine aerosols and sea spray,” Deere-Jones said. Studies of north Wales tidal surges, he added, had revealed that the deposited mud and sand were heavily contaminated with radioactivity from Sellafield.

The mud to be dredged contains 50-year-old deposits from Hinkley Point A, where radioactive material for Britain’s atomic weapons was produced. Nuclear historian Dr David Lowry said some of the plutonium produced at the plant was sent to the US in a controversial and confidential exchange. “That deal is coming back to haunt today’s nuclear industry as plans for the third generation of nuclear plants at Hinkley are literally running into the sparkling radioactive mud,” Lowry said………. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/14/hinkley-point-radioactive-mud-dumped-cardiff-severn-estuary

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October 16, 2017 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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