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Hinkley to dump dredged material into Welsh waters

Hinkley Point C, Nuclear

Dredged sediment at Hinkley Point C site will be dumped into Welsh waters after the project obtained a marine licence for the disposal. 

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) approved the monitoring plan for the disposal of dredged material from the nuclear power station development site in the Bristol Channel into Welsh waters.

The plan details how surveys of the disposal site off the coast of South Wales, known as Cardiff Grounds, will be undertaken to monitor and ensure the material disperses.

NRW said samples from the proposed dredge site had previously been analysed by independent experts against international guidelines, and found that chemical and radiological results were within acceptable limits.

This led the governing body to announce it was satisfied the material would not harm people, the environment or wildlife near the disposal site.

It said contrary to recent media reports, the dredged material was not radioactive waste, but sediment from the Bristol Channel sea bed at the Hinkley Point C power station site.

NRW permitting services manager John Wheadon said it understood the matter was of great concern to many people, but wanted to reassure every element of the application had been considered thoroughly.

He said as a condition of the licence, the licence holder had been required to carry out additional sampling and monitoring of the disposal site, which it had done.

“We make sure activities like these do not harm marine environments, which are home to valuable wildlife and habitats and very important to our well-being and economy.

“We’re confident the proposed activity will not harm people or the environment and the material is suitable for disposal.”

The work will be carried out by NNB GenCo, which was previously given a marine licence by NRW for the disposal of dredged material in 2014. Samples of dredged material are tested every three years to meet international guidelines.

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