A NUCLEAR power station in Somerset has plans to dump more mud into the sea near Cardiff Bay.

EDF Energy previously disposed of sediment there in 2018 amidst public controversy.

Now the company has started pre-application discussions with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) about dredging and disposing of a further 600,000 m3 of material in 2021, as part of building work for the Hinkley Point C plant.

EDF have submitted plans for sampling and testing the sediment at the Hinkley Point C site which will need to be approved by NRW before a formal application can be made.

NRW has launched a six-week consultation with specialists and the public until Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Michael Evans, head of evidence, knowledge and advice for NRW, said: “This is an opportunity for people to raise concerns or provide us with important, relevant information on the company’s sampling plan.

“We will consider all responses to the consultation to help us decide whether the number, location and depth of samples taken, what is measured and how they will test the sediment, complies with international guidance”.

NRW will also receive a request from EDF to consider whether an environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be required as part of the application process.

Earlier plans to dump mud at Cardiff Grounds caused widespread public concern.

Protests ensued and a petition signed by over 7,000 people triggered a debate in the Senedd.

Now anti-nuclear groups are once again expressing their concern.

Tim Deere-Jones, who initiated the Cardiff Mud Dump Petition, said: “Our campaign urged the Welsh Government to conduct radioactivity measurements along the Welsh shorelines that were likely to be effected by the dumping of Hinkley sediment off Cardiff Bay before and after the dumping took place.

“The refusal of Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales to carry out the research advised by the Stop the Dump campaign has left coastal communities in a position of complete ignorance about the impacts of the dump.”

The Welsh Government rejected calls to withdraw the Marine Licence granted to EDF in 2018.

Keith Stockdale, Barry and Penarth Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator, said: “If this material is polluted with radioactive elements built up over the decades Hinkley A and B were operating, we believe that disturbing it could threaten the wildlife of the English Channel and could add to the mixture of unhealthy elements in our human environments. Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Assembly should not ignore the issue this time around”.

Responding to public concerns about the new plans, a spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “If EDF Energy submits a formal application, Natural Resources Wales will carry out a thorough assessment of the proposed activity before making a determination, having regard to the need to protect the environment and human health, as required by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009”.

“I know many constituents are very worried”, said Stephen Doughty MP for Cardiff South and Penarth.

“We shouldn’t be a dumping ground for others, and I will continue to raise concerns on behalf of residents and report back any information I receive.”

To comment on the proposed sample plan, visit NRW’s consultation page before Wednesday, March 18 at: naturalresources.wales/permits-and-permissions/permit-applications-consultations-and-decisions/current-consultations-marine-licence-applicantions/hinkley-point-c-sediment-sampling-plan-sp1914/?lang=en