Start date next week to clean up radioactive contamination from Dalgety Bay beach

Work to remove radioactive contamination from Dalgety Bay beach finally gets underway on Monday.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 1:06 pm

And Scotland’s environment watchdog, SEPA has said it “will be done once, and it will be done right” - securing a permanent resolution to a long-running issue.

On Friday it issued the final permit required for work to begin by Ministry of Defence contractors.

Areas of the foreshore will be excavated and processed to remove asbestos and radiological contamination.

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Dalgety Bay beach

The work will container until October, and then start again in April 2022 to ensure protection for wintering birds.

Once completed and approved by SEPA, the public will be able to enjoy unrestricted access for the first time since 2011.

Radioactive material was first detected on Dalgety Bay foreshore in 1990.

SEPA established that the contamination originated from the residue of radium-coated instrument panels of military aircraft that were burned and buried at the end of World War II. Investigation works carried out by SEPA identified several caches of particles – with the largest contained within the headland.

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Dr Paul Dale, radioactive substances manager at SEPA, said: “Communities around Dalgety Bay have, for many years, lived with the environmental legacy of second world war radium contamination on the shore.

“We have been clear in our requirements that remediation will be done once, and it will be done right – providing a permanent and positive resolution.

“Whilst restricting beach access, monitoring and retrieving particles stipulated by SEPA has ensured the public has been protected, this work will deal with the situation once and for all.”The news was welcomed by Kirkcaldy MP, Neale Hanvey.

He said: “The repeated delays to the work lie squarely at the feet of the MoD and the UK government, but I am delighted that constant pressure from local politicians has finally paid off. A lot of credit is due to Councillor David Barratt and my predecessor, Roger Mullin, for keeping this issue in the press, and I was more than happy to do my small bit since 2019 by pushing the minister to take action in meetings, in letters, and in the newspapers.

“I will continue to monitor the situation and update the community as soon as I know more”

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