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27th August 2015
NuGen has been busy briefing key stakeholders, including elected representatives of those living closest to Moorside, on a range of operational updates and progress.
At a series of meetings, attendees were given the latest information about progress on site, the ongoing environmental assessment and early feedback from stage-one of the Moorside public consultation.
NuGen is preparing to start site characterisation in the Autumn. This will inform the site layout, support NuGen’s planning application and help secure necessary permits and consents.
Site characterisation work will involve a further campaign of borehole drilling, bathymetric surveys (studies of the ocean floor), meteorological studies, flooding and emergency planning assessments.
NuGen will also be applying for permits to discharge wastewater arising from its previous and future drilling operations.
Groundwater, collected from an earlier drilling campaign, was found to be very lightly contaminated with radionuclides at levels slightly above naturally occurring background readings. These readings are well within authorised levels and do not pose any risk to health or the environment. For example, the levels are within acceptable UK drinking water standards.
Before the discharge permit can be issued by the Environment Agency, a consultation will be carried out by the independent regulator.
NuGen will also need to construct a Wastewater Treatment Facility and a discharge pipeline. NuGen’s drilling operations do not add to the levels of contamination, this same groundwater already flows naturally into the River Ehen and the sea.
NuGen’s Head of Environment, Paula Madill, said: “NuGen is making excellent progress with its site exploration work. This, along with the feedback from the first stage of the public consultation, will help inform the proposals which will become the basis of the second-stage public consultation in around nine months’ time.”
NuGen has been evaluating the feedback from the first stage of the public consultation and an initial summary report of the findings will be released in September at further stakeholder events.