Wales

'No worries' for harbourmaster over nuclear plant mud

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Image caption Natural Resources Wales has approved plans to dispose of 300,000 tonnes of mud

There are "no worries" about the safety of material being dumped from a nuclear plant off the coast of Cardiff, the man overseeing the project has said.

About 300,000 tonnes will be dredged from the seabed near the Hinkley Point C building site in Somerset.

Dumping began on Monday night despite opposition to the project from hundreds of people.

Hinkley Point C harbourmaster Will Barker said: "I've got no worries at all of the make up of that material."

Image copyright MarineTraffic
Image caption The Sloeber barge is being used to transport the dredged material across the Bristol Channel to a dumping area known as the Cardiff Grounds.

Campaigners have argued Natural Resources Wales (NRW) failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and claimed core samples were insufficient and did not cover all significant radioactive substances from the plant.

However, Mr Barker told Good Morning Wales: "It's standard Bristol Channel material, the mud that flows up and down and that we see passing both sides of the Channel day in, day out.

"We are aware in the press that there are people who [are not happy] but we haven't seen any sign of that.

"Our priority is the safety of navigation and the safety of the people out there and communities that surround our work."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The new Hinkley Point C is being built by EDF at a cost of nearly £20bn

Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping submitted an application to the High Court in Cardiff on Monday seeking an interim injunction.

However by Wednesday evening, developer EDF had moved 3,000 tonnes of mud and sediment to Cardiff Grounds, a licensed disposal site a mile out to sea off Cardiff Bay.

A second hopper barge is due to arrive at Hinkley on Friday night to join the dredging operation, which is expected to last six weeks.

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