WORK to remove radioactive waste from Dalgety Bay is on track to be completed later this year.

The latest assurance was given after Neale Hanvey MP, whose Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency includes the West Fife town, raised the issue in a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Hanvey paid tribute to local campaigners – and the Dunfermline Press – for its efforts in keeping the matter in the public eye.

"I pay tribute to the community of Dalgety Bay, the action group and the sailing club," he said. "Without their organised determination, perseverance and forbearance, I do not believe we would be approaching the conclusion of the remediation work. Indeed, one wonders whether remediation work would have begun at all.

"I also praise the journalism of the Dunfermline Press and The Courier, which have played an exemplary role in highlighting the concerns surrounding Dalgety Bay. They deserve credit for their investigative and supportive coverage of the issues that have developed over many years."

Mr Hanvey called on Alex Chalk MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, to confirm if the work would be carried out on time and at what cost while also asking about the monitoring to take place following the remediation project.

Mr Chalk confirmed the project was on track to finish as planned by September at a cost of over £15m.

"By the end of last year, over 3,500 individual particles had been picked out by hand. By the time the operation concludes, the team estimate that they will have dug up, scanned and replaced some 7,500 cubic metres of beach, which is equivalent to three Olympic-sized swimming pools," he said.

"On top of that, they will have installed a ground membrane, rock armour – in plain English, big lumps of hard-wearing rock – and a replacement slipway and jetty.

"The residents of Dalgety Bay have waited some time to be able to enjoy what is a stunning part of the Fife coastline. I pay tribute to those who have fought hard to get the work done. I am pleased to say that the job will soon be over.

Mr Hanvey said the answers came at the "tail end" of a lengthy and tortuous process which has often left his constituents concerned, frustrated and angry.

“Whilst we all remain hopeful that the remediation works will conclude this year as promised, many will not be holding their breath and will only be confident when the work is fully completed and has been signed off," he said.

“Along with local campaigners I will be keeping up the pressure on the MoD and SEPA in the coming weeks to make sure that they follow through on the promises that have been made to complete the remediation works by September of this year.

“It was useful to have confirmation from the Minister that the final clean up costs for remediation works, being carried out by Balfour Beatty, will be around £15 million, up from previous estimates of £10.5 million. It is only right that these costs be met in full by the MoD.

“Once the clean-up of Dalgety Bay has taken place it is vital that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) set out a robust monitoring framework and a commitment to pick up any residual work should that ever be necessary.

“No community should have to wait over three decades for dangerous radioactive contamination to be removed from their local environment, and the MoD should be proactively tackling other such sites, not waiting on local campaigners to drag them through the media as has sadly been a necessary tactic in this case.

“The dangers of radioactive matter is now very well understood, there can be no excuse for inaction.”

Radioactive material was first detected on the beach at Dalgety Bay in 1990 and came from Second World War planes which had aircraft dials coated in a luminous paint containing radium-226 to help pilots see in the dark.

More than 3,000 radioactive particles – some giving very high readings – have been found at the beach, in nearby gardens and next to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, and restrictions were put in place in 2011, with parts of the beach fenced off and fishing banned.