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Hinkley Point's Cardiff Bay toxic mud claim 'alarmist'

Hinkley Point's Cardiff Bay toxic mud claim 'alarmist'
From BBC - December 5, 2017

Claims that 300,000 tonnes of mud due to be dumped off Cardiff Bay is toxic are "wrong, alarmist and go against all internationally-accepted scientific evidence".

Controversial plans to dispose of mud from the Hinkley Point C nuclear project are being scrutinised by members of the Welsh assembly.

Campaigners want further testing.

But the company behind the project said the mud had been tested "independently to highly conservative standards".

The disposal is needed as part of EDF's 19.6bn Hinkley C power plant building project.

Chris Fayers, EDF's head of environment, said the standards employed were supported by Natural Resouces Wales (NRW), Public Health Wales, the Environment Agency, UK Government and the United Nations.

The mud was "not radioactive" and posed no threat to human health or the environment, he told an assembly committee.

A petition calling for a suspension of the marine licence issued by the Welsh Government in 2013 has received 7,171 signatures.

Meanwhile, another petition by Greenpeace to EDF has been signed by more than 87,000 people.

An open letter has also been presented to Energy Secretary Lesley Griffiths on behalf of a coalition of 10 international ocean conservation charities.

Campaigners fear the mud could have become contaminated by discharges from Hinkley and want a more detailed investigation of samples.

No environmental impact assessment was carried out before permission to dump the sediment at a disposal site, known as Cardiff Grounds, was granted.

It is located just over a mile out to sea from Cardiff Bay.

The Welsh Government insisted it was assessed in line with legal requirements.

Testing on the sediment was carried out by CEFAS, an executive agency of the UK Government, and has since been analysed by NRW.

It found levels of artificial radioactivity in the mud were so low they would equate to being "not radioactive" in law.

A presentation prepared for AMs by EDF outlined a case involving this methodology:

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