Dalgety Bay’s Fife Beach is riddled with radiation from WWII aircraft destroyed after the war. But the Ministry of Defence hasn’t yet decided what it will do about it.
Instead the MoD is mulling over options which range from cleaning up the contaminated beach to building a fence around it. It’s even considering doing nothing, which has gone on too long already. First it took the environment protection agency years to complete the report that found the MoD responsible, and then the MoD tried to deny it.
Now MoD says the costs of excavation and treatment of the radioactive material would be too costly, so it will likely try to get by with an “optimized” approach that would mean only partial cleanup and partial cover up of what is known to be a very dangerous hazard.
The area’s MP Gordon Brown says he’s waiting on the MoD to stop fooling around and announce it will fund the clean up and "end the three-year-long blight on the area".
Tell the Ministry of Defence to remove the radioactive material at Dalgety Bay so its beach is safe to visit.
We, the undersigned, say the Ministry of Defence should fund a complete and thorough clean up of the radiation at Dalgety Bay.
First of all, it doesn’t seem likely that the MoD really needed the Scottish environment protection agency’s report to know it was responsible for the radiation contamination coming from WWII airplane dials that had been illuminated with radium-containing paints.
Sepa notes on its website that possible hazards to humans coming in “contact with one of the radioactive items found at Dalgety Bay” include radiation burns to the skin, “damage to the lungs and respiratory tract” if inhaled and “damage to the stomach and digestive system” if ingested. Also the site warns that “exposure to radioactivity may cause an increased risk of the person developing cancer.” The website adds that people visiting the beach should look for notices about exposure precautions and that exposure to a “Dalgety Bay source could be equivalent to an individual having about 5000 chest X-rays.”
The delays in the environment agency’s report have already allowed the MoD to put off the clean up for too long. Citizens, who have likely already been unknowingly exposed to radiation, should not have to wait any longer for proper action to be taken. They should not be expected to accept less than they deserve - a thorough and complete removal of all radioactive material possible.
We request that the Ministry of Defence take immediate action to do everything necessary to make sure Dalgety Bay and its beaches are safe and free of radiation.
Thanks for your time.
For more info on concerns about radiation exposure at Dalgety Bay: