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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
Radioactive survey at rocket site
A full-scale survey of a rocket range in the Western Isles has begun in an attempt to allay concerns of radioactive contamination.

Radioactive material was buried at West Gerinish on South Uist 25 years ago.

There are fears that there could be a link between a high incidence of cancer and the radioactive material.

The 10-day survey is being carried out by the Ministry of Defence amid fears poisonous substances such as Cobalt 60 could have contaminated the site.

Cobalt 60 was contained in missiles being tested at the site in the 1970s.

Large area

The department of health and the committee on medical aspects of radiation in the environment requested that the survey be carried out by the MoD.

The MoD is confident that no such contamination exists.

The site was cleared in 1980 with the Cobalt 60 stored in drums underground.

Subsequent testing of the site has found no evidence of leakage.

The survey will cover a large area, including much of the foreshore.

But it is unclear whether this will be sufficient to allay the concerns of many local people who want the survey to be carried out by an independent body.


SEE ALSO:
Funding for island buy-out study
19 May 04  |  Scotland


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