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article imageRadioactive particles found on beach at Scotland's Dalgety Bay

By Kev Hedges     Oct 15, 2011 in Environment
Dalgety Bay - Environmental officers have sealed off a beach in Fife after more particles of radioactive material turned up. A large particle of contaminated metal was removed on Wednesday and 17 more radioactive particles have been found since.
The local Community Council chairman Colin McPhail has asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for more funding to alleviate the problem. The latest particles discovered are not as radioactive as the lump found on Wednesday but the environmental watchdog has continued to seal off the beach, reports BBC Scotland.
It is believed that radium from a wartime plane buried in landfill could be responsible. The material has since been moved to a laboratory for testing and warning signs have been erected along the beach. It is not the first time radioactive material has turned up on Dalgety Bay's beach. In February 2009 the local community demanded the MoD decontaminate and clear the area within a year. This week, Richard Lochhead, Environment Secretary said, "We absolutely must get to the root cause of this repeated contamination of Dalgety Bay."
However Mr McPhail has expressed shock and anger that contamination still exists, he told the BBC:
I was shocked and gutted when I was told what they had found and that they had closed off the beach. The MoD needs to spend more money on remediation of the area so that we don't leave this legacy for the next generation. When you see what the MoD spends on bombing Afghanistan, it's peanuts for them. It makes you feel bad because the effect on the residents is adverse economically and socially.
I am also disappointed that this lump has not been found before now, considering all the testing that has been done on the foreshore. I wonder what the radioactive particles can do. I am so concerned about this. The MoD needs to resolve this once and for all.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) will be present at the beach throughout the coming week. Radioactive material was first detected on the foreshore of Dalgety Bay in 1990. Reports in the Independent newspaper say Sepa is calling on the MoD for an urgent "long-term remediation plan" to deal with the problem.
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