WASTE from Bradwell power station could be released into the River Blackwater for another two years, if plans get the green light. Magnox, which runs the decommissioned power station, has applied to the Environment Agency to vary its existing permit for disposal of some waste. The power station currently releases fuel element debris (FED) which contains broken down material left over from nuclear reactors as part of the decommissioning process. The waste is dissolved using a nitric acid solution before being released into the estuary.
Clacton Gazette 11th Nov 2016 read more »
Analysts studying the Environment Agency’s (EA) permit allowing Magnox to dump nuclear waste in the Blackwater say that the terms of the license give Magnox permission to pump an “unlimited quantity for unlimited time” of radioactive waste that floats on the surface of the water on the ebb tide. The EA has extended the consultation period on the permit toDecember 17th but experts say that this is nowhere near long enough to allow a proper examination of the documents, which (as we reported in Courier 641) are unindexed and unsearchable, and contain highly technical language. A spokesperson for Mersea Island Environmental Alliance (MIEA) said: “if you took 5 minutes to read each pages, and read non-stop for 8 hours a day it would take over 20 days just to read it. The original timescale of 28 days was quite frankly a joke, while the EA has extended this another 28 days this is still clearly not long enough for the people across the communities to meaningfully consult on this important issue. There is a worrying pattern developing here. ”The nature of the waste to be disposed of is explained clearly by several sources: after disposal of the metals and other solid matter at the site, what is left is liquid waste, which will (if permitted) be pumped into the Blackwater estuary for an hour on the ebb tide. The permit states “The discharge will take place over 30 minutes each day on the daytime ebb tide between 1 and 2 hours after high water.” The EA’s documents include the condition “The operator shall, as far as reasonable [sic] practicable, minimise the amount of mercury in the discharge arising from pH correction dosing.” No mention is made of who decides what is “reasonably practical” or what sanctions are in place should the operator fail to comply with this condition.
Mersea Island Courier 13th Nov 2016 read more »