Renewed fury over Dalgety Bay

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Parts of the beach have been closed off for months

THE MINISTRY of Defence is under fire for failing to clean up radioactive pollution on a Scots beach.

The MoD said it had found and removed 83 radioactive particles from Dalgety Bay in Fife following a survey last month.

But a study of half the same area by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) found and removed 228 more particles.

The beach has been closed off since November last year due to pollution though to be  from radium used in military aircraft parts which were dismantled in the area.

In December the MoD was criticised for missing more radioactive contamination, and SEPA says they may formally designate the beach radioactively contaminated.

This would make it the first site in the UK to be declared contaminated in such a way.

A spokeswoman for SEPA said the failure to detect most of the contamination was a ‘cause for concern.’

She said: “This reinforces the need to have credible investigation plans in place.”

Annabelle Ewing, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said the news was ‘absolutely disgusting.’

She said: “All faith, if there was any left, has now been totally lost in the MoD, we can’t trust it to monitor the site.”

She added: “It’s time for urgent action.”

Former MoD radiation expert Fred Dawson said the Ministry was not taking the pollution seriously.

He said: “The time is well past for further MoD surveys.

“The MoD in all probability is the polluter and should fund all measures SEPA deem necessary to remediate the beach so it is fit for unrestricted use by the public.”

The Dalgety Bay Particles Advisory Group, set up by SEPA, said it was concerned at the discovery of more contamination.

The MoD spokesman said there were ‘differences’ between its monitoring and SEPA’s.

He said: “MoD has welcomed and adopted the monitoring standard recently agreed by the independent expert group.

“This will provide greater consistency of monitoring.”

In December the MoD was accused of being ‘evasive and shifty’, after it has emerged that sites containing radioactive pollution went beyond Dalgety Bay.

Three more military sites in Scotland are contaminated with the potentially lethal radiation, a freedom of information request has revealed.

RAF Kinloss in Moray as well as the former RAF Machinrihanish base in Argyll and the former Defence Aviation Repair factory near Perth also had problems with radium.

SNP MP Mike Weir said: ““The behaviour of the Ministry of Defence has been evasive and shifty, with Ministers refusing to provide the information that has now emerged from an FOI request to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

“We now need total transparency as well as immediate action to clean up any hazard that exists to public health.”

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