AN application for dredging and disposal of mud at Portishead – part of work to create a nuclear power station – has been approved.

EDF Energy, who are building Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, have been given permission for mud dredging and disposal in the Severn Estuary in order to install a cooling water system for the station.

The approval followed public consultation by govenment agency Marine Management Organisation, with work to begin shortly.

There will be two phases of dredging and disposal as part of this next stage in marine construction; the first will begin this summer, with the remaining dredging being completed in 2022.

EDF Energy will now consider the next steps regarding their application for the use of the Cardiff Grounds disposal site

Head of environment at Hinkley Point C, Chris Fayers, said: "For this next phase of dredging, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Sciences tested the mud beyond internationally-recognised best practice, with more samples at greater depth and with a greater range of analysis. 

"The results confirm previous analysis that the mud is perfectly safe and poses no risk to the public or the environment.

"An independent report commissioned by the Welsh Government also found that the mud would be deemed suitable for disposal at sea."

A more detailed briefing is available on the EDF website - find out more.


Friends of the Earth Barry & Vale still have concerns, but were "relieved" when they heard the news that dumping of Hinkley mud in the Severn off Penarth Head has been stalled.

Group coordinator, Barry Shaw, said: "We [Friends of Earth] are relieved not to get deposits of the mud on Penarth and Sully beaches, with streaks on Whitmore Bay sands.

"But we are concerned that nuclear microparticles sealed in the deeper mud last century will now be dispersed throughout the Severn estuary and deposited on beaches and particularly in Barry Old Harbour and the Thaw estuary."