By Andrew Merrell | 5th June 2018
Plans to dump 300,000 tonnes of mud dredged near to a former nuclear power plant into Cardiff Bay have left a Gloucestershire firm in a sticky situation.
Nuclear energy giant EDF, which has its UK headquartered in Barnwood, has come in for criticism for its plans to dump the material taken from Bridgwater Bay near to the decommissioned Hinkley Point A and B power stations.
According to the BBC a marine energy expert claims the more tests need to be done on the mud to make sure it will not expose people to radioactivity.
Not surprisingly EDF, which has permission for the work, has made it clear the work will not harm people or the environment.
As for the Welsh Government, it has said it considers all applications in line with legal requirements.
Tim Deere-Jones, an independent marine pollution consultant who specialises in marine radioactivity, told BBC Wales testing of the dredge material to check for potentially harmful contaminants had been "inadequate".
Low level waste from the nuclear power plant will have entered the site for more than 50 years and there was a lack of knowledge about the potential implications of moving the mud.
"Rather than being relatively stable at the Hinkley site it is being churned up and brought over here to be dumped," he said.
"As a result Welsh coastal populations could be exposed to doses of marine radioactivity."
Dredging would take place as part of the construction work on the new 19.6blln Hinkley Point C nuclear power station being built by EDF.
Ministers in Wales granted permission in 2013 for developers to dispose of the dredged material at a site now known as Cardiff Grounds.
Neil McEvoy, South Wales Central Assembly Member, has said that until a full environmental assessment could be carried out the licence should be revoked.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which handles environmental regulation in the country, said further sampling would be carrier out before any sediment was disposed of off the Welsh coast.
An EDF spokesman told BBC Wales the company had undertaken a number of assessments as part of its application for the licence "which concluded the activities pose no threat to human health or the environment".
Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths told the BBC : "I understand a valid marine licence is in place and there are conditions that need to be complied with by the licence holder before any disposal can take place".
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