Campaigners seek injunction to stop dumping of ‘nuclear’ mud
THE Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping has today Monday (Sep 10) submitted papers to court in order to seek an injunction to prevent the dumping of mud, dredged from Hinkley nuclear reactor, from being dumped in Wales.
The legal action is being taken by Cian Ciaran of the Super Furry Animals, with the support of Friends of the Earth in Barry & Penarth, Neil McEvoy AM and the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance (WANA). The action has been served on NNB Generation Company (HPC) Ltd, who obtained the license to carry out the dumping.
Over 100,000 people have signed petitions against the dumping plans. Hundreds have also donated to the legal fund set up to stop the dump happening and a large rally was recently held outside the National Assembly.
The campaigners have challenged Natural Resources Wales’ decision to refuse to suspend the licence they granted to dump the mud. In particular, the campaigners have argued that NRW failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment
Most worryingly, campaigners have consistently pointed out the few tests of the mud taken at depth, where higher levels of radiation would be more likely to be found. NRW has now admitted that there is radiation that is not naturally occurring within the mud, but claim it is safe. The Petitions Committee in the National Assembly for Wales looked into the testing issue and called for more tests to be taken at depth but these calls were ignored.
Cian Ciaran, from the Super Furry Animals, said:
“I’ve spent nearly half my life on stage with my back turned to the audience but I can’t turn my back on Wales. I moved to Cardiff 25 years ago and now live in South Docks and raise my two children here. Cardiff is my home, Wales is my family and once again we’re under threat. I can’t just sit back and watch this unfold and unchallenged.
“I have one simple argument – Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, therefore, the precautionary principle should dictate a re-think . A re-think by our politicians and policy makers to do the right thing by its people.
“I’m tired of the excuses and lack of accountability – we should all call for a better future. The nuclear establishment cannot be trusted. I certainly didn’t think I’d end up having to fight my own government . Their contempt, reinforced by the systematic neglect by successive governments in London, have taken the Welsh people for granted. ”
Neil McEvoy AM said:
The Welsh public couldn’t be any more clear on not wanting this mud. Thousands have signed petitions. They’ve forced a debate in the Assembly. They’ve protested and donated thousands of pounds to a legal fund. But the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales just won’t listen. We shouldn’t have to go to court but our government that claims to be democratic has left us no choice. I hope the courts will be decisive in keeping this nuclear mud out of Wales.
Max Wallis, of Friends of the Earth Barry & Penarth said:
“As Natural Resources Wales has refused to suspend the license due to the critical errors in their assessment, the Campaign against Hinkley mud dumping had no option but to seek an interim injunction from court to stop the breach in law as well as irreversible harm to people and our Severnside environment.”
There has been no Environmental Impact Assessment of the mud dumping. NRW tell us “not required” yet their own rules say an EIA is always required for works within a top-rank conservation site as is the Severn Estuary.
Furthermore the core samples taken are insufficient under international rules and the tests did not cover all significant radioactive substances from the Hinkley nuclear plant. The independent CRIIAD report** in May 2018 found highly radio-toxic americium and recommended testing for several other alpha and beta emitting radio-nuclides.
** Commission de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur la Radioactivité: Radiological analysis of sediments. From the River Parrett close to the Hinkley Point power stations, May 2018
Richard Bramhall, Chairman of the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance, 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 had the power to intervene, as Welsh Environment Secretary, but she failed to do so. We’re now asking the court to suspend the licence until a thorough assessment of the risks has been taken – anything else would be irresponsible.”