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EDF facing legal action over planned dumping of radioactive mud, and over fish safety problems

Campaigners attempting to stop mud from the construction of Hinkley Point
Nuclear Power Station, Somerset, being dumped into Welsh waters, have
announced they are working with leading environmental lawyers Leigh Day to
block the proposals.
In February EDF Energy applied to National Resources
Wales for a licence to dump 800,0000 tonnes of mud dredged as part of
building work for the new plant that is being built on the site of the
disused Hinkley Point A facility. Two years ago, EDF were given permission
to dump 300,000 tonnes of mud from the site off the Cardiff coast, despite
protests and following a Senedd debate.
A petition against the latest
proposals received over 10,000 signatures and has triggered a debate in the
Senedd tomorrow. Earlier this month EDF Energy confirmed it will carry out
an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of its licence application. This
agreement reverses NRW and Welsh Government’s previous position that an
EIA was not needed for the dumping they permitted in 2018 just 2.1 miles
off the South Wales coast and 2.5 miles from Cardiff.
Leigh Day has now
written to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) requesting full disclosure of
documents on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)-screening
application from EDF and the agreement with NRW that “environmental
impact assessment is required”.
EDF are also facing a public inquiry over
a controversial fish management system that is being installed at the site
of the new facility. The Environment Agency granted a licence to EDF in
2013 that permitted sea water to be used for the nuclear power station’s
cooling system but required the deployment of a fish deterrent system on
the site to protect marine life in the estuary.
Initially the operator
proposed the use of an acoustic deterrent system to reduce the number of
fish being killed by the cooling system but in 2017 abandoned the plans
without suggesting any alternative. Currently the plant’s proposed Fish
Recovery and Return System will consist of a 5mm mesh barrier set up in the
water intake tunnel to stop large fish from being sucked in while another
channel will divert fish, dead or alive, back out to sea. Last year the
Sunday Times reported that marine and conservation groups estimated that
this system will kill 250,000 fish a day and called for it to be altered or
scrapped. EDF said the FRR will kills an estimated 650,00 fish a year.https://nation.cymru/news/senedd-roundup-leading-environmental-lawyers-join-battle-to-block-mud-dump/

October 22, 2020 - Posted by | Legal, UK

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