Food to make your cockles glow: residents munch on radioactive shellfish

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Locals have been rating

SEAFOOD from a Scots beach is to be tested for radiation after it emerged locals are still collecting and eating mussels and cockles from the contaminated seafront.

Despite signs warning not to remove seafood from Dalgety Bay in Fife, people are continuing to collect the shellfish.

Environmental watchdogs the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have been called in to test the food, who will work with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Those who eat radioactively contaminated food risk cancer, and the food could damage their digestive system.

The Bay is thought to be contaminated by radioactive particles from aircraft parts used in the Second World War.

Dr Paul Dale, radioactive specialist at SEPA, said: “SEPA’s radioactive surveillance programme includes monitoring required by the FSA.

Unacceptable

“As a result of the request of the FSA and the Dalgety Bay Expert Group, we are undertaking the monitoring of shellfish at Dalgety Bay.

“The work began last week and will initially continue on a monthly basis.”

The tests will help identify if the more measures are needed to protect the public from radioactive contamination.

The beach has been sealed off since last November after tests found high levels of radium-226, a radioactive material.

The area was being used as an RAF airfield, and it is though the radiation comes from dismantled aircraft parts.

In 2006 and 2010 SEPA and the FSA carried out tests on mussels, cockles and winkles in the area, and found no unusual levels of radiation.

The clean up of the beach has resulted in a political row between the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Government.

In December Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the failure of the MoD to take responsibility for the Bay’s clean up was ‘entirely unacceptable.’

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

Earlier in February this year SEPA said the MoD’s failure to identify large parts of contamination was a ‘cause for concern.’

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.

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