P-05-785 Suspend Marine Licence 12/45/ML to dump radioactive marine sediments from the Hinkley Point nuclear site into Wales coastal waters off Cardiff
petition was submitted by Tim Deere-Jones, having collected 7,033 signatures
online and 138 on paper – a total of 7,171 signatures.
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the
Welsh Government to direct Natural Resources Wales to suspend the licence it
has granted to NNB Genco, which permits up to 300,000 tonnes of radioactively
contaminated material, dredged from the seabed at the Hinkley Point Nuclear
power station site, to be dumped into Welsh inshore waters.
We further request that the suspension of the
licence is used to ensure that a full Environmental Impact Assessment, complete
radiological analysis and core sampling are carried out under the auspices of
Natural Resources Wales, and that a Public Inquiry, a full hearing of
independent evidence and a Public Consultation take place before any dump of
the Hinkley sediments is permitted.
Marine Licence 12/45/ML, granted by the Welsh
Government, permits the disposal of up to 300,000 tonnes of radioactively
contaminated marine sediment, dredged from the seabed at the Hinkley Point
nuclear site, into the Cardiff Grounds marine dump site close to the South
Wales coast. This will allow work to begin on the 2 new Hinkley C nuclear
The sediments to be dredged are adjacent to
the waste pipes used for the discharges from Hinkley’s 4 existing reactors.
Analysis, commissioned by UK Government agencies, shows that the sediment is
contaminated by radioactive waste discharged to sea over 50+ years of
operations at the Hinkley site. Calculations derived from the official data
indicate that the proposed dredge sediments may hold at least 7 billion Bqs of
aggregated radioactivity, yet reports state that doses to humans would be very
Hinkley’s radioactive discharges to sea
contain over 50 radio-nuclides, but the analysis has only investigated 3 of
them. Thus, the actual aggregated radioactivity content of the sediments will
be much higher than indicated by the available analysis. The available evidence also implies that only
surface samples (0 to 5cms deep) of the sediment have been analysed, despite
the fact that core sample research from elsewhere in the Irish Sea demonstrates
that, at depths below 5cms, radioactivity concentrations may be up to 5 times
While sedimentary radioactive material is
initially likely to disperse, studies prove that it later re-concentrates in
coastal and estuarine mudflats and saltmarshes, and is also available for
sea-to-land transfer during onshore winds and coastal flooding. We note the
absence of research on the fate of such radioactivity in South Wales inshore
waters. In this context we are concerned
that the environmental and human health (dose) risks from the proposed disposal
have not been adequately researched and that any conclusions based on the
current incomplete data, are unreliable.
The Committee closed this petition following the
publication of its report and a subsequent plenary debate on 23 May 2018.
was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 21/11/2017.
Assembly Constituency and Region
West and South Pembrokeshire
- Mid and West Wales
Reason considered: Senedd Business;
Type: For information
First published: 31/10/2017