Bradwell nuclear waste discharges to Blackwater estuary – new permit “irregularities”

The Mersea Island Environmental Alliance, Essex, has announced in a press release, 3rd October 2015 [see below] that it believes irregularities exist in the application by Magnox Limited for a 24 months extension to its licence to discharge liquid radioactive waste into the Blackwater estuary from the Bradwell nuclear power station which is currently being decommissioned. The discharges arise from a treatment process for fuel element debris (FED) which is designed to facilitate storage of the FED’s radioactive content. The licence application has been made to the Environment Agency.

The estuary is a Special Area of Conservation (SACSAC Special Areas of Conservation) and a Special Protection Area (SPASPA Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Birds Directive, which came into force in April 1979. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds (as listed on Annex I of the Directive), and for regularly occurring migratory species.) under the EU Habitats Directive. It is also part of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone, and is adjacent to a number of other SPAsSPA Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Birds Directive, which came into force in April 1979. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds (as listed on Annex I of the Directive), and for regularly occurring migratory species. centred on the surrounding coast and nearby estuaries.

The Mersea Island Environmental Alliance believe that the following irregularities exist with regard to the application by Magnox Limited for an extension to its liquid radioactive waste discharge licence:

  • Natural England has not been consulted by the Environment Agency or the applicant to determine whether the new licence (an extension to an existing permit) will damage the European conservation sites. This is contrary to the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.
  • Although the existing permit, which is time limited, has expired the Environment Agency is “allowing” Magnox Limited to continue to discharge liquid radioactive waste on the understanding that a new permit application is submitted [see below]. This new application has been submitted, but appears to contain irregularities, specified above. Other irregularities have been identified by other parties, see link.

The Mersea Island Environmental Alliance has approached the local Member of Parliament, Bernard Jenkin, with a request for an investigation of the matter by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Source: Mersea Island Environmental Alliance, 3rd October 2015, www.facebook.com/Stop-Nuclear-Dumping-In-Blackwater-Estuary-1473134316325437/timeline

Bradwell nuclear waste discharges1

Bradwell nuclear waste discharges2


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