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Military 'risked public health' with Fife beach radioactive dump

MILITARY officials were condemned yesterday for risking the health of people on a beach near Fife contaminated with radioactive waste following the leaking of a suppressed report.

Campaigners said the Ministry of Defence had known for months it should be warning people off the beach at Dalgety Bay, contaminated with sold-off military landfill used by the county council to shore up the eroding coastline, unaware of its toxic composition.

The clinker and ash which has made its way into the area includes bits of instrument dials coated in radium.

The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare) report, leaked this week, slammed the ministry’s “unacceptable” refusal to reveal all the dumping sites, which pose “an unknown risk to the general population.”

Residents should have been warned not to let their children play on the beach, the experts said.

Comare told the MoD to start planning the clean-up, otherwise tides would wash in more radioactive materials, grinding them into ever-finer particles posing an ever-greater health hazard.

“The overall trend will almost certainly be that the landfill will be relentlessly eroded in the long term,” the report warned.

The Scottish government is said to have approved the publication of the report in January, but the Department of Health stepped in after military officials complained.

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s John Ainslie condemned the ministry’s “total lack of transparency” over the investigation.

“It reveals the long-term nature of the contamination at the Fife site and calls for remedial action, not just continuous monitoring,” he said.

Scottish Public Health Minister Michael Matheson added: “The people of Dalgety Bay have waited too long for the MoD to take action and must not be forced to wait any longer.”


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