UK MoD agrees to decontaminate Dalgety Bay

10 July 2014 (Last Updated July 10th, 2014 18:30)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed to clean up radioactive materials from Dalgety Bay, a coastal town in Fife, Scotland.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed to clean up radioactive materials from Dalgety Bay, a coastal town in Fife, Scotland.

The MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation has published a report saying the work will include the removal of hazardous radium, as well as the reinforcement, replacement and extension of coastal rock armour.

In addition, a replacement slipway will be constructed at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club. Work is set to start later this year, subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to run until 2018.

The operation could reportedly cost approximately £10m, although the report did not identify the specific cost.

"More than 3,500 radioactive particles have been found at Dalgety Bay over the last two decades."

More than 3,500 radioactive particles have been found at Dalgety Bay over the last two decades. These are believed to have come from Second World War aircraft with radium-coated instrument panels.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) recently investigated the site and identified possible health risks through skin contact or ingestion of the material, the Huffington Post reported.

UK Defence Minister Andrew Murrison said the report sets out a clear and strong strategy to address the radium contamination on the beach, even though the risk to the public has always been very low.

"We continue to work with SEPA and the council to achieve agreement on their future responsibilities and a definitive solution as soon as possible," Murrison said.

SEPA executive director Calum MacDonald said the proposals outlined by the MoD provide a long-term solution to the radium contamination, and if successful, will allow the public to use the area again in an unrestricted manner.

"We welcome the proposals and will continue to work with [the] MoD, Fife Council and other partners, as detailed plans for the works are developed and implemented," MacDonald said.

Defence Technology