Seven radioactive spots on beach

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scientists monitoring a beach in Fife for radioactive hotspots say they have discovered seven contaminated areas.

Local people are worried Dalgety Bay may now be placed on a new register for radioactively contaminated land.

It follows previous monitoring over a number of years which found dozens of hotspots, thought to be the legacy of luminous dials from wartime aircraft.

Radioactive radium in the dials was thought to have been incinerated and used when the foreshore was reclaimed.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has been assessing the likelihood of encountering a radioactive particle.

Dalgety Bay was the site of a World War II airfield, where many aircraft were dismantled.

Incinerated dials
The dials in the planes were coated with radioactive radium so that they could be read at night.

It is thought the dials were incinerated along with other waste and later tipped on the land and used to help reclaim some of the coastline.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is including a wider area of the beach in its survey than previously.

Sepa has advised people not to take any materials away and to wash their hands after being on the beach.

Community council chairman Colin McPhail said the issue, which was first discovered in 1990, had dragged on for too long and should be resolved as quickly as possible.

Posted in |