Revoke the Licence granted to EDF and stop them using our estuary as a dumping ground.

Revoke the Licence granted to EDF and stop them using our estuary as a dumping ground.

26 October 2021
Petition to
Rt. Hon. George Eustice MP and 1 other
Signatures: 1,326Next Goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Allan Jeffery

We, the undersigned, demand that the Rt. Hon. George Eustice MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, revokes the licence granted to EDF by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), to provide proper oversight of his Agencies and to take full responsibility for the ecology, safety and well-being of the estuary, its inhabitants, and the coastal populations of Avonmouth, Somerset, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff, Barry and beyond. 

We also demand, in view of the potential harm to fish and in view of the international Marine Protected status of this unique ecology, that he reinstates the Environment Agency's licence requirement that EDF install an effective Fish Deterrent around the water intakes. 

EDF must end dumping waste in shallow waters, contrary to the estuary's Marine Protected status, before any further damage is done. The future health of the estuary is at serious risk from human activities. It is an internationally recognised OSPAR Marine Protected Area and a vital habitat and nursery ground for key fish species of shad, lamprey and eel as well as cod and salmon. Yet numbers are declining. An agreed management plan requires the restoration of these populations to a favourable condition. The fish populations of rivers Severn, Wye and Usk are also categorised as being probably at risk. see: 

There are three key reasons why the estuary is at serious risk:- 

1. There are plans to dump yet more contaminated sediments into the estuary. The Hinkley A and B power stations released radioactive particles which include plutonium with a half-life of 24,000 years. These are in the disturbed sediments and they reach the land through sea-spray and wind. 

2. Electricite de France (EDF) is building a massive seawater cooling system that will damage and kill millions of fish every year. EDF have asked permission to omit the Acoustic Fish Deterrent (AFD) system that is required by their current Licence. EDF wrongly claims that the AFD will be ineffective. 

3. The new nuclear power station will suck in 29,000 gallons of seawater every second, heat it up by about 10 degrees and send it back into the estuary, wasting more energy into the environment than all the electrical power Hinkley C will generate. That heat will change the ecology of the estuary which is already warming due to climate change. Given concern about climate change, the waste heat should be used for commercial purposes on land, and not be dumped at sea.

In 2018 EDF disturbed the contaminated sediment silt by dredging many thousands of tonnes from the seabed near Hinkley Point, and dumping it at Cardiff Grounds. Now, in 2021, at Portishead. This disturbed sediment clouds the water and spreads on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, being deposited on its mud-banks and beaches. Officials responsible for testing have refused to use techniques capable of detecting radioactive particles in the sediment. 

This Petition has been written by Save the Severn Estuary which is a non-partisan coalition of scientists, experts, individuals, and organisations who are extremely concerned about the long-term damage that will be caused to the Severn Estuary by Hinkley C power station which is scheduled to operate for sixty years. 

A further request: 

If you can, please also make a donation towards the costs of legal action we are taking. We have set up a company for this purpose in order to make the fundraising easier. We are represented by Leigh Day, and the legal case seeks the quashing of EDF’s license. 

Support now
Signatures: 1,326Next Goal: 1,500
Support now


  • Rt. Hon. George Eustice MP
  • Marine Management Organisation