REPRESENTATIVES of Somerset's Hinkley Point C's nuclear power station environment team will take part in an online discussion with Penarth Town Council tomorrow.

The discussions will centre around plans for mud testing in the Severn Estuary, as concern grows that the mud dumped might be radioactive, although EDF Energy - which operates the power station - insists this is not the case.

Campaigners have called for the project to be looked at again by the Welsh Government, with a "through environmental impact assessment (EIA)".

EDF says the latest Radioactivity in Food and the Environment Annual Report published by the UK Environment Agencies showed no impact to levels of radioactivity.

The first phase of dredging was completed in October 2018 after tests by independent experts showed that that the levels of radioactivity in the mud did not equate to radioactive levels under UK law.

The project will carry out a second planned phase of dredging ahead of the drilling of six vertical shafts for the cooling water system of the power station. No dredging is planned until 2021.

Chris Fayers, Head of Environment at Hinkley Point C, said: "We are very pleased to take part in this online discussion with Penarth Town Council and to answer questions on our proposals.

"The mud is no different to mud found anywhere in the Severn Estuary and independent testing has shown it poses no risk to humans or the environment. To give further reassurance, our proposed testing plans for the second phase of dredging will go above and beyond internationally recognised best practice with more samples at greater depth and with a greater range of analysis."

Penarth Times: Campaigners are concerned the mud dumped is unsafe and damaging to the environmentCampaigners are concerned the mud dumped is unsafe and damaging to the environment

A group formed to oppose the dumping of the sediment - Geiger Bay - is calling on the Senedd to stop the project going ahead without an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Richard Bramhall of the Low-Level Radiation Campaign said: “A committee to examine the evidence was first mooted by the government back in February, and its membership was announced on Friday 10 July.

“It will meet for the first time on Monday 20 July. We hope to see a transparent process with open meetings and freely available minutes and reports.

“We see the need for the widest brief to consider all the issues, to co-opt other experts when required, and to ensure the representation of community interest groups.”