Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 11:57 UK

Divers probe nuclear waste system

Lead plug inside the diffuser
A lead plug is inside the chamber of the diffuser

Divers have begun an investigation into the condition of a system used to discharge radioactive waste from a nuclear site into the sea.

The subsea diffuser at Dounreay in Caithness was used until 1998, before it was shut down and plugged with lead.

Contaminated land and particles manager Phil Cartwright said the device may contain radioactive particles.

The probe of the diffuser is part of a wider clean-up of rogue particles on the seabed.

Mr Cartwright said: "We are currently proposing to target particle clean-up on the seabed over a three-year period and then tackle the remediation of the old diffuser, followed by a further three years of re-monitoring and recovery."

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