MP wants action on ‘bay hazard’

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has called on the MoD to take “urgent action” to deal with radioactive particles found on a beach at Dalgety Bay.

Mr Brown, the Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, branded the “dumped” materials at Dalgety Bay in Fife an “undeniable hazard”.

Part of Dalgety Bay's beach has been taped off after radioactive materials were found on the shore by SEPA.    Photo: Ian Rutherford

Part of Dalgety Bay's beach has been taped off after radioactive materials were found on the shore by SEPA. Photo: Ian Rutherford

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) recently revealed that “significant” sources of radiation that could pose a risk to the public had been found at the bay, where more than 200 radioactive particles have been discovered previously.

Addressing MPs in the Commons, Mr Brown said he wanted “to persuade the Ministry of Defence of the need for urgent action in an area in my constituency where radioactive materials have been discovered.”

He said: “The affected land on the shores of the Firth of Forth, occupied by and near to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, is a few yards from people’s homes, it’s nearby where children play, it’s an area where many go for walks.

“But in the last six weeks, materials that were dumped by the Ministry of Defence there in the 1950s … aircraft paint, other materials, have been discovered with radioactive levels that are ten times anything witnessed before. They are an undeniable hazard. They are particles which should be removed quickly … Sepa has now stated publicly that unless the MoD brings forward a remedial plan for the area, they, the agency, will designate Dalgety Bay as a radioactive contaminated piece of land.

“This will be the first and only land to be designated as radioactive contaminated in the UK and they say that they will nominate the MoD as the culpable party,” he said.

Defence Minister Andrew Robathan insisted that the MoD was treating the findings as a “serious issue” but insisted the full scale of contamination was not yet known.