'Game, set and match' over cause of Bay contamination
THE danger of radioactive contamination at former military sites such as Donibristle was reported to the Government more than 50 years ago, it has emerged.
Dalgety Bay Community Council chair Colin McPhail said the declassified archive material meant it was "game, set and match" in the efforts to prove the Ministry of Defence was responsible for the contamination.
A BBC investigation revealed the risks of breaking up and burying aircraft were recognised more than half a century ago and those fears have been realised at Dalgety Bay beach.
The Disposal of Radioactive Waste report written in 1958 warned of "undesirably high levels of radiation" at sites where aircraft were broken down.
It stated that records should be kept and "handed on to future users of the land".
The Dalgety Bay contamination was widely believed to have come from paint used on aircraft instruments which were disposed of at the former RAF airfield at Donibristle and locals believe this theory has now been confirmed.
Coastal erosion continues to result in contaminated particles being found on the shore.
The Press reported last week that sailing had to be cancelled temporarily at Dalgety Bay after another significant find of radioactive material.
Mr McPhail told the Press, "After the latest revelation, I think it's game, set and match to us as far as this is concerned.
"This is the final piece in the jigsaw.
"This is what we always believed was causing the contamination and this revelation from the BBC just confirms that."
Mr McPhail was planning to raise the issue on Wednesday at the latest meeting of the experts group set up to oversee the contamination monitoring and clean-up.
The report - declassified and now in the National Archives - was unearthed by Radio 4's investigative programme, 'Face the Facts'.
It describes the practice of disposing of thousands of old combat aircraft by having them "bashed, burned and buried" after the Second World War at military sites such as Donibristle.
Local MP Gordon Brown commented, "This report emphasises the responsibility of the MoD for radiation materials at Dalgety Bay.
"It shows why they must consider themselves liable for a clean-up at Dalgety Bay.
"It shows there was a knowledge of the risks of dumping nuclear material."
SNP MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Annabelle Ewing, said, "This report is deeply disturbing as someone knew about the potential risks at the site.
"I have written to the Ministry of Defence asking why, after being written in a report over half a century ago, this information was never sought out or passed on."
The BBC previewed the programme stating, "A pretty town on the Fife coast remains under threat of an unwelcome distinction.
"A corner of Dalgety Bay could still become the first place in Britain to be branded as radioactive contaminated land if the Ministry of Defence does not follow through on a plan to deal with radioactive particles washing up on its shore.
"The MoD's investigating the scale of the problem and ways it might be put right but has not promised a full and final clean-up of the bay."
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