ALBA Party MP Neale Hanvey calls for Ministry of Defence to tackle nuclear decontamination at Dalgety Bay

More than 3,000 radioactive particles have been found at Dalgety Bay.

ALBA Party MP Neale Hanvey has called on the Ministry of Defence to clean-up radiation contamination on the Dalgety Bay shoreline.

In a statement, Hanvey added that “there can be no excuse for inaction”.

Leading a Westminster debate on the issue last week, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath – the constituency which includes the West Fife town – listed and condemned what he described as a “historical backlog in remediation”.

Radioactive material was first detected at Dalgety Bay in 1990 and came from WW2 planes, which had aircraft dials coated in radium to help pilots see in the dark.

More than 3,000 radioactive particles, with a half-life of 1,600 years, have been found on the beach and next to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.
Restrictions were put in place in 2011, with parts of the beach fenced off.

The MoD admitted responsibility for the radioactive pollution in 2014. But plans to tackle the issue have frequently been delayed.
Balfour Beatty took on a £10.5 million contract in 2020 but decontamination work didn’t get under way until May 2021 and hasn’t yet been completed.

Hanvey has repeatedly condemned the Ministry of Defense for continued silence and delays in tackling the issue.
At the debate, Hanvey asked the Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk, for further clarification as to when the work would be completed, the costs incurred and whether they will be fully covered by the MoD.

Chalk said the cost would be around £15 million. He said that the costs would be be met by the MoD, but added: “I stress that there was absolutely no legal requirement on the Ministry of Defence to do so. However, we decided to take that step.”

Chalk also stressed that many of the delays were unforeseen, including having to “search through many tonnes of sand and soil for minute radioactive particles”.

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