That the hazards caused by radioactive waste are not solely related to the nuclear industry is being graphically revealed by unfolding events at Dalgety bay, Fife, where beaches have been closed following contamination by post world war 2 dumping.
Dangerous levels of radioactive material were first identified in the early 1990s and have been traced to contamination from the residue of radium-coated instrument panels from military aircraft which were incinerated and land-filled in the area at the end of the Second World War.
In the past few days further high activity radiation has been found in the form of contaminated particles and parts of the beach area have been closed.
A former head of the MOD radiation protection policy team, Fred Dawson, who retired after 31 years in 2009, said that public agencies had been playing a game of “pass the parcel” with the Dalgety Bay pollution.
He said that the health risk was “most worrying”, and action to tackle the problem should have been taken when it was first discovered more than 20 years ago.
He went on: “In my view the MoD should take immediate responsibility for the contamination and fund all work necessary to make Dalgety Bay beach safe for public use.”
Large quantities of what was thought at the time to be `low level’ radiation contaminated material was disposed of immediately after World War 2 as large numbers of obsolete military aircraft were scrapped.
Nuclear material is known to have been dumped in the Beaufort Dyke to the North West of the Isle of Man. In addition contaminated material was disposed of in the Holyhead Deep in the Irish Sea and the Hurd Deep in the English channel. The dumping at sea spanned three decades from 1946 to 1974.
SEPA Reports on Dalgety here:
Not surprisingly internet links to MOD pages about the sea dumping appear no longer to be active.
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