Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

EDF faces backlash over Severn Estuary mud dumping

Plans by energy firm EDF to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the Severn Estuary are facing a backlash.

A campaign group called Save the Severn Estuary, supported by a Welsh pop star, has launched a crowdfunding site to finance a legal challenge.

The estuary is a designated Marine Protected Area and campaigners, including Cian Ciaran of rock band Super Furry Animals, fear the dumped waste, including chemical and radioactive materials, will spread on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, depositing on its mud banks and beaches.

EDF, with its UK base in Gloucester, is planning to start its second phase of sediment dumping at Portishead, near Bristol.

Campaigners are calling on the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to revoke the license granted to the French owned company.

They say without meaningful public consultation the MMO has 'behaved recklessly, treating fishing and ecological interests with utter contempt'. They say the mud is contaminated with radioactive microparticles that could cause cancer and mutations in humans and wildlife.

But EDF says the mud, dredged during the construction process for the new Hinkley Point C reactor, is not dangerous.

Chris Fayers, EDF's head of environment for the project, said: "Hinkley Point C is one of Britain's biggest projects in the fight to protect the environment from climate change. Mud dredging in the Severn is normal practice and extensive testing by the Government's marine science agency, the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Sciences, has shown the mud is safe and poses no risk to the public or the environment.

"An independent report commissioned by the Welsh Government found the mud to be suitable for disposal at sea. We have engaged positively with stakeholders throughout and a public consultation was also carried out."

The Save the Severn Estuary campaign, which claims to be a non-partisan coalition of scientists, experts, individuals and organisations, says: "The MMO must halt the dumping immediately before any further damage is done to the safety and wellbeing of the estuary, its inhabitants and coastal populations of Avonmouth, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff, Barry and beyond."

Campaigners are aiming to raise £60,000 to cover the costs of the legal action.

Related Articles

Norville owner sets sights on growth as revenues hit £200m Image

Norville owner sets sights on growth as revenues hit £200m

The Bath-based business, which saved Norville's manufacturing business from administration in 2020, saw a rise in revenue and operating costs in 2021

Tewkesbury one of the fastest growing areas in the UK Image

Tewkesbury one of the fastest growing areas in the UK

The first published data from the 2021 census results for England and Wales has identified Tewkesbury borough as one of the fastest growing regions in the UK.

Cheltenham road to close next week Image

Cheltenham road to close next week

Crews will be resurfacing next week.

Versarien celebrating graphene re-certification Image

Versarien celebrating graphene re-certification

Versarien, the Gloucestershire-based advanced materials engineering group, has successfully been re-certified under The Graphene Council's "Verified Graphene ProducerTM" programme.

Copyright 2022 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.