Music

Super Furry Animals call out alleged nuclear mud dumping at Hinckley

Super Furry Animals have called on the Marine Management Organization (MMO) to revoke the license granted to EDF – which they claim has resulted in nuclear mud dumping in the Severn Estuary.

In 2018, a group of activists took EDF to court to stop 300,000 tonnes of alleged nuclear mud from a Somerset power station being disposed of just outside Cardiff. Now, the Welsh indie veterans have picked up the cause again.

“We call on @The_MMO to stop EDF’s nuclear mud dumping,” the band tweeted on February 12. “The damage to the safety and wellbeing of our Severn Estuary, its marine life, and the coastal populations of #Avonmouth, #Bristol, # Cardiff, #Barry and beyond is incalculable.”

They continued: “Dredged sediment from @hinkleypointc’s intertidal site – a significant area of ​​radioactive, contaminated seabed – is being dumped in the waters off #Portishead. Strong tidal currents whip up the toxic mud, depositing it across the Severn. Help stop the dump!”

The 2018 legal action was fronted by the band’s keyboardist Cian Ciarán, who at the time told the Guardian: “I’m involved as a Welshman and a concerned earthling. I felt compelled to play a part. I felt at a loss over the lack of action by the Welsh Labor government and the apathy of NRW. This is about reasonable people asking reasonable questions.”

Ciarán has started a new campaign online to ‘Save The Severn Estuary’, which has so far resulted in over £25,000 being raised. The CrowdJustice page states: “Already many 100,000s of tonnes have been dumped – with much more still to be dredged and dumped. Given the absence of evidence, a blatant misuse of regulations and lack of any meaningful public consultation the MMO have behaved recklessly, treating fishing and ecological interests with utter contempt.”

The goal is to raise £60,000 to cover all of the costs associated with the legal action, with the Save The Severn group scheduled to take part in a Judicial Review hearing on March 8.

Ciarán said: “An energy giant is taking the health, wellbeing and good nature of the people of Bristol and other Severn communities for granted in proceeding with dumping waste materials in sight of Portishead. EDF are pursuing this in the knowledge that the 2018 dump near Cardiff was unlawful, so instead avoid further scrutiny by running to the English side of the Estuary to try and get away with it again. We have to come together as a community as people to protect our valuable Severn and its ecology.”

Chris Fayers, EDF’s head of environment for the project said in a statement to NME: “Hinkley Point C is one of Britain’s biggest projects in the fight to protect the environment from climate change. Mud dredging in the Severn is normal practice and extensive testing by the Government’s marine science agency, the Center for the Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Sciences, has shown the mud is safe and poses no risk to the public or the environment.

“An independent report commissioned by the Welsh Government found the mud to be suitable for disposal at sea. We have engaged positively with stakeholders throughout and a public consultation was also carried out.”

Last year, Super Furry Animals announced the release of their first ever NFT to mark the reissue of their album ‘Rings Around The World’. The release was a part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the album and was a collaboration between the band, Hipgnosis Songs and eco-friendly platform Serenade.

The Mercury Prize-nominated ‘Rings Around The World’ was reissued across two dates in September 2021. Physical versions, which included 180g gatefold double vinyl and triple CD options, landed alongside part one of the digital release on September 3. Part two of the digital release followed on September 24.

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