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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Radioactive shipment at terminal
A shipment of radioactive metal is still being stored in a freight terminal eight years after arriving in Scotland, it has been confirmed.

The scrap metal is the subject of a dispute between the UK and Egypt.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) confirmed that two containers were still in storage at the Roadways Container Logistics depot in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

Sepa said it still intended to return the waste to Egypt.

It said the Department of Transport wrote to the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority about the matter last month, asking for confirmation it would take the containers back, but no reply has been received.

'Pose a hazard'

A Sepa spokeswoman said: "Efforts have been ongoing to secure the repatriation of the shipment in line with guidance and policy from the Scottish Executive.

"This has involved protracted discussion and correspondence between the exporter, the importer, the shipping line, UK Government and the Egyptian authorities."

The spokeswoman added that the shipment was regularly inspected and did not "pose a hazard" to public safety.

Elaine Smith, Labour MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, voiced concerns and said she wanted the containers moved to a facility designed for holding radioactive material while negotiations continue.

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