Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dalgety Bay radioactive plan agreed by MoD

Map of Dalgety Bay Image copyright MOD
Image caption The red line shows the site boundary of the affected area at Dalgety Bay

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed in principle to remove radioactive material from Dalgety Bay.

The plan may resolve the long-running row over who is responsible for managing risks to the public in the area.

The stretch of Fife coastline affected is contaminated with radium from scrapped aircraft instrument panels.

The MoD has said it expects the work to be completed by the end of 2018. It said costs are "still being finalised".

The plan, which was commissioned by the MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation, has been endorsed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

As well as the removal of the hazardous radium, the plan calls for the reinforcement, replacement and extension of coastal rock armour.

A replacement slipway will be constructed at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.

Defence minister Andrew Murrison said: "We are committed to supporting the Dalgety Bay community and, whilst the risk to the public has always been very low, this report sets out a clear and strong strategy to address the radium contamination on the beach.

"We continue to work with Sepa and the council to achieve agreement on their future responsibilities and a definitive solution as soon as possible."

Long-term solution

Previous attempts to tackle the contamination have been hampered by disagreement between the MoD, Sepa and the local authority about who is responsible.

Sepa Executive Director Calum MacDonald said: "The proposed works outlined today by MoD provide a long term solution to the radium contamination of Dalgety Bay which if successful will allow the public to use the entire area again in an unrestricted manner.

"We welcome the proposals and will continue to work with MoD, Fife Council and other partners as detailed plans for the works are developed and implemented."

Councillor David Ross, the leader of Fife Council, added: "I am pleased with the commitment in principle from MoD to deliver the necessary remedial coastal protection works.

"The council looks forward to being involved through the design and planning phases and in the development and implementation of the proposals."

The council has said in principle that it could take on the long-term maintenance of the coastal protection measures.

Mr Ross explained: "Further detailed discussions will now need to take place and the council will work with all interested parties, including the MoD, SEPA and the local community in order to bring this to an acceptable conclusion."

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