hinkley point C

Campaign groups concerned at level of radioactivity in Bristol Channel

AN independent survey of Somerset and South Wales shoreline sediments shows the spread of man-made radioactivity from reactor discharges to the Bristol Channel is far more widespread than previously reported, according to campaign groups.

The survey was undertaken by members of ‘Citizens’ Groups’ from both sides of the Bristol Channel/Severn estuary.

They say EdF, who are dredging hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive mud from the site of the proposed Hinkley C reactors, have repeatedly refused to carry out pre-dumping surveys of the Cardiff Grounds and Portishead sea dump sites where they have disposed of the HPC dredge waste.

The survey was carried out in the summer of 2021 prior to the proposed dump at Portishead, but three years after the dump at Cardiff

Pre-dump status

The Citizens’ Groups recognised that the lack of such ‘baseline’ research meant that no one had any information on the pre-dump status of radioactivity, or of the post dump impacts of the disposal of such vast quantities of radioactivity, on the South Wales and North Somerset
coastal environments or the people living on the adjacent coasts and coastal zones.

Speaking on behalf of the Somerset-based Stop Hinkley and Welsh campaigns against the radioactive mud dump, Marine Radioactivity Researcher Tim Deere-Jones said: “The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that there are serious grounds for concern
that the Bristol Channel/Severn estuary coasts and communities had already been subjected to radiological contamination from Hinkley since the 1960s and that EdFs current programme of dumping radioactive wastes at Cardiff Grounds and Portishead should not
have been permitted by the Welsh and English Agencies in the absence of the baseline data.”

Results ‘not unusual’

Chris Fayers, Head of Environment at Hinkley Point C, said: “ The detection of radioactivity in marine sediments is to be expected throughout the UK shoreline. The results reported by Stop Hinkley are not unusual.

“The Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Sciences tested the mud beyond internationally-recognised best practice, with more samples at greater depth and with a greater range of analysis.

“The results confirmed previous analysis that the mud is perfectly safe and poses no risk to the public or the environment. An independent report commissioned by the Welsh Government also found that the mud would be deemed suitable for disposal at sea.”



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