Fresh doubts were raised at Neil McEvoy AM’s weekly press briefing (13/02/2018) about tests made for radioactivity in the mud which energy company EDF proposes to dump in Cardiff’s inshore waters this summer.
Neil McEvoy AM invited independent researchers Dr Chris Busby, Tim Deere-Jones and Richard Bramhall to present new evidence at his weekly briefing for the Welsh media in the Assembly. They voiced concerns that previous findings of radioactive particles in river mud near Hinkley and Sellafield nuclear power plants should have been matched in data relied on for issuing EDF’s licence to dump, but were not.
They claimed this strongly suggests that important evidence has been missed, overlooked or possibly left out, with recent testing limited in its scope and unable to detect the ‘hot particles’ of plutonium, uranium and other nuclides that can lead to a legacy of dangerous effects. They pointed out that the limited set of most recent samples have been destroyed and cannot be re-tested.
Together they called for the internationally recognised precautionary principle to apply – that as there is an unknown but predictable potential risk from sediment at the outfall of a nuclear facility where levels of radioactive particles have increased, adequate testing of the mud must take place there before EDF removes 300,000 tonnes for dumping in water only 2.8 km from Cardiff.
Neil McEvoy AM said “I’m not in a position to be able to endorse these findings, but I believe they raise questions which, despite my pressing the relevant bodies and the Labour government in the Assembly repeatedly, have so far gone unanswered. If the answers are known, they should be made public – if they are not known, then the dumping should not go ahead until tests are done.
“The costs of testing are trivial when set against the potential health costs should the bland reassurances given turn out to be mistaken. Not only will the health of people along the length of the south Wales coast, and Cardiff in particular, be put at risk, but also wildlife in an internationally important and protected location”.