As part of the construction of Hinkley Point C, we plan a second phase of dredging mud and sediment from the seabed off the Hinkley Point C site in 2021.
Further dredging is needed ahead of the drilling of six vertical shafts for the cooling water system, along with the installation of a fish recovery and return system and maintenance dredging at the jetty.
It is necessary to dredge the immediate area where we will be installing the vertical shafts and associated intake/outfall heads. As part of a planned multi-stage approach, dredging first began in September 2018 and contractors completed the first licensed work to dredge and deposit mud in the Severn Estuary.
We are working closely with the appropriate experts to prepare our licence application and will again comply with all requirements. We also fully support efforts to inform and explain the dredging work to the public.
EDF Energy is one of many companies - over many decades - dredging and depositing sediment in the Bristol Channel for industrial or construction purposes.
The sediment we and others are dredging in the Bristol Channel is typical of the sediment found anywhere in the Bristol Channel, and as such it is no different to the types of sediment already found at the approved disposal sites within the estuary. It is not classed as radioactive under UK law and poses no threat to human health or the environment.
Following a successful dredging and disposal campaign in 2018, and further detailed design now being available, EDF are looking to secure permission to dispose of further dredged material within the Severn Estuary. The Cardiff Grounds remain the most suitable site for disposal of this material.
The mud and sediment will be tested before it is dredged. For this second phase of dredging we have proposed a testing plan that goes above and beyond internationally recognised best practice, with more samples at greater depth and with a greater range of analysis - including tests for pure alpha emitting particles and tritium.
We also intend to conduct a full Environmental Impact Assessment as part of our disposal licence application. We believe it is right to go beyond technical arguments to provide the necessary public confidence that all concerns have been addressed.