There is to be a delay until April for the next stage of the consultation by the Environment Agency (EA) on the application by Magnox to extend part of its permit that allows for radioactive discharges, arising from dissolution of fuel element debris (FED), into the Blackwater estuary. In a message, the circulation of which was restricted only to those who responded to the original consultation, the EA states: ‘I am sorry that we’ve had to extend the deadline again but, we need to ensure we are making a fully informed decision, this can’t be rushed.
Secretary of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), Varrie Blowers, commented:
Even though there were a lot of people who originally responded, this restrictive next stage is no substitute for a proper public consultation on whether these dangerous discharges should be permitted at all. We have also been told that, although Magnox can make up to one discharge per day, only 50 discharges in total have been made since July, 2015 to the end of January this year. The reasons for this are not given but BANNG will try to find out what is going on.”
Barry Turner, Vice-Chair of BANNG, said:
The former power station cannot enter into its Care and Maintenance phase until the dissolution of FED has finished. This was supposed to take place at the end of 2015, then in 2017, and now it is forecast to be 2019. We do not gain any reassurance or confidence from this unsatisfactory state of affairs while they experiment with the estuary, radioactive substances, and discharges. Magnox has only learned, at our expense, not to try this process anywhere else. It should be stopped here as well.”