THE dumping of mud from a nuclear plant site off the coast of Penarth has now officially began. 

Around 300,000 tonnes will be dredged from the seabed near the Hinkley Point C site and will be moved to Cardiff Grounds, not far from Penarth.

Although the grounds are a licensed disposal site for sediment, the plan has been met with anger and thousands of people have protested against it.

Around 7,000 people signed a petition sent in to the National Assembly and now anti-nuclear power activists say they are prepared to go to court to get an injunction.

Richard Bramhall, chairman of the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance (WANA) is calling on the environment minister Lesley Griffiths to halt the operation because there has been no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the impact of dumping 300,000 tons of mud.

Mr Bramhall said: “We believe that the decision to grant the Marine Licence is unlawful and have therefore taken steps to take legal action to stop the operation.

“Lesley Griffiths has the power to intervene and we call on her to do so until a thorough assessment of the risks has been taken – anything else would be irresponsible.”

Max Wallis of Friends of the Earth, Penarth and Barry, added: “Natural Resources Wales (NRW) stated the EIA for dumping had been covered in the EIA for the jetty development in Somerset, covered by the Environment Agency but this was contradicted by CEFAS’s statement of 2013.”

Although the dumping of the mud is set to begin today, NRW have said there may be delays.

A spokesman for NRW said: “Every element of the application was considered thoroughly including testing of the sediment from the dredge sites by independent experts in accordance with international standards and guidelines, and advice from health experts. The results showed the material was suitable for disposal at sea.

“We’ve tried to reassure people that the proposed activity will not harm people or the environment.”