Anti-nuclear campaigners claim radioactive discharge could be released into the Blackwater Estuary.

Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) say a report by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) reveals metal casings surrounding spent fuel rods will be dissolved at Bradwell power station and the discharge released into the atmosphere.

Magnox said the treatment of fuel element debris, as part of work to decommission the power station, is based on "safe and successful dissolution experience elsewhere."

A spokesman said: "The dissolved metal will be treated to capture radioactive content, which will be retained.

"The remaining effluent will be discharged within authorised limits, which is a process that has been safely undertaken for more than 50 years."