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Dalgety Bay – 20,000 tonnes of radioactive material from the area to screen, – clean-up begins at last.

Scotsman 23rd May 2021, 30 years on, Scotland’s radioactive beach clean-up begins at last. It’s not a scene which might usually be welcome, but locals in the Fife town of Dalgety Bay have been waiting decades for this – ever since highly dangerous radioactive material was detected on the shoreline more than 30 years ago. Contamination was first identified there in 1990, but the source – luminous paint used on aircraft navigation dials – dates back to theSecond World War.

The area was once home to Donibristle military airfield,
where a large number of planes were dismantled after the end of the
conflict in 1945 and the debris burned and buried. Part of the foreshore at
Dalgety Bay has been off limits to the public since 2011 due to the health
risks posed by radioactive debris.

Radium was used to coat instrument
panels so they could be seen in the dark, but it is radioactive and toxic
to human health, with a half life of 1,600 years. Work to clean up
potentially deadly radioactive contamination has got under way at Dalgety
Bay in Fife, caused by debris from aircraft used during the Second World
War.

David Barratt, Fife councillor for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, has
welcomed the work finally getting started. He said: “It has taken over 30
years and significant pressure from the community to get to this point.
“I’m delighted that works are now under way and grateful to Sepa for
all their effort in ensuring it will be done right, providing a permanent
solution.

“It should send a clear message that it doesn’t matter how much
time passes, the polluter should always pay. “Time will tell if its
smooth sailing from here and whether a 2022 completion date is possible.
They have around 20,000 tonnes of material from the area to screen and the
more contamination they find, the longer it will take, but at least now we
know it will be safe, however long it takes.”

https://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/30-years-on-scotlands-radioactive-beach-clean-up-begins-at-last-3246562

May 24, 2021 - Posted by | UK, wastes

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