Page last updated at 00:52 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Call to clear radioactive beach

Dalgety Bay
Radioactive items were first found on the beach 19 years ago

Residents in Dalgety Bay, Fife, are calling for action to clean up a beach contaminated with radioactive particles.

The community council said it wants the shoreline cleared by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) within a year.

It has been backed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

The MoD said it was working with Sepa and the Dalgety Bay forum to resolve the issue, adding that a considerable amount of work had already been done.

Radioactive items were first found in the area in 1990 and are believed to have come from the dials of wartime aircraft which were painted with radium so they could be seen in the dark.

Way forward

Sepa's director of environmental protection, Colin Bayes, said the time had come for remedial action to be taken.

Previous suggestions have included concreting over parts of the beach but locals said that would be devastating for the area.

The risk of receiving a dose of radiation is considered to be low but there are warning signs advising people not to take any material away from the beach and to wash their hands after being there.

An MoD spokesman said work already done included decontamination of gardens in The Wynd.

He added: "There is more work still to do, but all parties are focused on agreeing a way forward together, and finding solutions to clear the contamination."

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