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Nationally important – to stop the dumping of radioactive mud off Cardiff coast

Western Mail 28th May 2020, A COALITION of high-profile environmental groups has urged First Minister Mark Drakeford to insist on the further testing of mud from a nuclear power
station in Somerset before it is dumped in the Severn Estuary off Cardiff.
In 2018 around 120,000 tonnes of mud from adjacent to Hinkley Point power
station were dumped in the face of significant public opposition amid
concerns that it could be radioactive and pose a threat to health. This was
denied by Natural Resources Wales, which licensed the dumping, the Welsh
Government and EDF, the French company which owns the power station.
Now there are plans to dump a further 600,000 tonnes of mud in the same
location. A letter signed by 34 NGOs, policy analysts, experts and
campaigners, including Greenpeace UK, the leading environmentalist Sir
Jonathon Porritt, the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance, the Low Level Radiation
Campaign, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and the Nuclear Consulting Group,
was yesterday delivered to First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The letter seeks his assurance that he will respect the requirements of the Environment
(Wales) Act 2016, ensure that the mud sampling programme aimed at
establishing whether there are radioactive substances present is expanded,
and appoint an expert group which includes members nominated by
environmental groups when conducting the assessment of the mud.
Low Level Radiation campaign secretary Richard Bramhall said: “The law requires
Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government to take full account of
uncertainties. There is abundant evidence in the scientific literature that
uranium and plutonium particles are blown ashore and cause cancer,
leukaemia and birth defects, yet Westminster’s advisory committee COMARE
refuses to address them and EDF’s tests can’t detect them.
If this isn’t an uncertainty, what is?” Pete Wilkinson, an associate of the Low
Level Radiation Campaign and chair of Together Against Sizewell C, said:
“The number and diversity of those who have been willing to put their
name to this letter indicates that this issue is of national importance.
The evidence points to the fact that the relationship between radioactive
dose and risk is not necessarily linear and this letter seeks recognition
of that uncertainty and a considered, science-based approach to the EDF
application.” A Welsh Government spokesman responded: “We have received
the letter and will respond in due course.”

June 1, 2020 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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