EDF’s disastrous plan to dump contaminated sediment in Cardiff Bay is scheduled to be debated in the Welsh Assembly on the 16th May.

This summer, 300,000 tones of radioactively polluted sediment could be “dispersed” just 1.2 miles from Cardiff if the Welsh government renews the EDF licence.

Tim Deere-Jones, a marine radiation consultant and member of the Nuclear Consulting Group, said “we are concerned that, before issuing the licence, the Welsh Government failed to demand that the nuclear industry carry out formal site specific Environmental and Public Health Impact Assessments.

“There is insufficient evidence about the potential health and environmental impacts to South Wales sea users and coastal populations to conclude that this proposal would be harmless. We need a postponement to ensure that all this basic evidence is collected.”

The proposal highlights one of the main reasons millions of people oppose government plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations: what do we do with the waste?

Nuclear power produces enormous amounts of carcinogenic radioactive waste, some of which is dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. There is still no safe, long-term solution for storing this waste and yet the government wants to produce more with no answer in sight.

Even small amounts of radiation exposure may be harmful and nuclear power stations are routinely allowed to release low levels of radioactive emissions into the environment. Growing evidence indicates that cancer clusters are linked to nuclear power.

We urge all our supporters to write to their constituency and regional Assembly Members ahead of the debate on the 16th May. The Nuclear Consulting Group have highlighted four questions to raise:

  1. What concentrations and types of man-made and natural radioactivity are present in the sediment?
  2. Where would radioactively contaminated material end up after being dumped at the “dispersal” site?
  3. What are the potential impacts on human and environmental health along the South Wales coast and the coastal zone?
  4. What benefit will accrue to Welsh people and the environment as a result of the proposed dump?
Additionally – or if you’re not based in Wales – please sign CND’s No to Nuclear Power petition.