Dredging sampling work has begun in the Bristol Channel off Hinkley Point power station this week using a huge vessel that’s visible from Burnham-On-Sea seafront.

The ‘oil platform-like’ vessel, called Excalibur, will be in place for around six weeks while the ‘sampling’ work is underway, says EDF.

An EDF spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The vessel is being used to take samples for analysis ahead of a planned second phase of dredging mud and sediment from the seabed off the Hinkley Point C site in 2021.”

“This work is expected to take around six weeks to complete, depending on the weather and tides.”

“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.”

Dredging starts off Hinkley Point

Responding to safety concerns, the spokesman adds: “The mud is no different to mud found elsewhere in the Bristol Channel.”

“In order to further reassure the public, our sampling and monitoring plan will go 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.”

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