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Campaigners lose legal challenge to stop Hinkley Point C mud being dumped in the Bristol Channel

Campaigners have lost a legal challenge to stop mud from alongside Hinkley
Point C being dumped in the Severn Estuary. The nuclear plant’s
developers, EDF, were using a licensed disposal site near Cardiff but this
led to extensive protests. The campaigners argued a marine licence for the
work was unlawfully amended, without proper scrutiny. But a High Court
judge has this week dismissed their case on all grounds.

EDF dubbed the decision “good news” for thousands of workers at the site. It was
granted permission for the latest mud dumping by England’s Marine
Management Organisation (MMO) in August. The switch from Cardiff to
Portishead, on the English side of the estuary, was challenged by activists
who argued the company should not have been able to vary an existing
licence it had for work at sea.

At a two-day hearing this month, judge Mr
Justice Holgate said he considered the claimant’s approach “to involve
an impermissible gloss” on the relevant legislation and that “there was
nothing unlawful in the MMO’s decision”. An EDF spokesman told “The decision is good news for people who care about
the environment and climate change.” “It will enable thousands of
workers to get ahead building a project that will protect the environment
from climate change and provide Britain with reliable low carbon
electricity for decades to come.”

The previous dumping proved
controversial because of fears the mud could be contaminated with nuclear
waste from the Hinkley A and B reactors, which used to be on the site. But
those claims were dismissed by the company, Welsh and English environmental
authorities and the Welsh government as tests showed the sediment was
similar to that found elsewhere in the Bristol Channel. 26th March 2022

March 28, 2022 - Posted by | Legal, UK

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