Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council
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CUMULATIVE BEACH RADIATION REPORTS

Forth Road Bridge

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QUICKLINKS

 

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As of 10 April 2012 the various news items about the beach radiation issue are brought together here as a cumulative resource, starting with the most recent first.

 

  NEW    PRESS RELEASE 12 AUGUST 2016 

PRESS RELEASE – FAO LOCAL REPORTERS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


12/8/2016

MP Welcomes Dalgety Bay Beach Progress

Roger Mullin, MP for the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, has welcomed a recent letter from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) regarding the radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay beach.
Mr Mullin received confirmation from the MoD that all relevant access approvals have now been signed, and reassurance that the Defence Structure Organisation (DIO) did not anticipate delays to the Geophysical Intrusive works commencing.
Commenting on the long-awaited news, Mr Mullin said:
“I was delighted to receive the news that work is finally due to commence after years of negotiations. The issue of radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay beach has been a blight on the lives of local residents for over twenty years, but I am cautiously optimistic that the beach will now be made safe for use by current and future generations.
“I will continue to seek regular communication with the MoD and DIO to ensure that the project is running to schedule.”
The problem of contamination has been an issue for over a quarter of a century with over 3,000 radioactive particles being found at Dalgety Bay over the past two decades. The material is thought to date back to when parts of Second World War aircraft, including their radiated instruments, were dumped at the site.

[ENDS]

NOTES TO EDITORS

CONTACT DETAILS


Wendy Hisbent
Researcher to Roger Mullin MP
Tel:  01592 747359
wendy.hisbent@parliament.uk

 

  NEW    EXTRACT OF CC MINUTES 8 AUGUST 2016 

At the Community Council Meeting on 8th August.

SEPA’s Dr Paul Dale reported that they continue to monitor and review DIO’s plans.

DIO’s Steve Ritchie reported that there is now full access agreement with DBSC, partial agreement with Moray Estates.
DIO will go out to tender for the work next week and take the following month to conduct tender evaluations. October should see the start of exploratory work on site resulting in a fully populated programme by Christmas 2016. Next week there is a meeting at DBSC to discuss the finish of the work. A reply to the screening application is expected on 15th August allowing the Environmental Impact Assessment to be written and completed also by Christmas.

 

  NEW    LETTER FROM MOD TO ROGER MULLIN MP 4 AUGUST 2016 

 

  LATEST STATEMENT FROM DIO 14 MARCH 2016 

 

14 March 2016


DALGETY BAY COMMUNITY COUNCIL BRIEF


a. The MOD is committed to upholding its obligations as set out in Dalgety Bay management plan which was jointly agreed with Fife Council and SEPA; SEPA, MOD and Fife Council continue to work together to implement their agreed strategy for the long-term management of radium contamination at Dalgety Bay.


b. AMEC has continued to monitor the beach and foreshore on a monthly basis for radioactive items in accordance with health protection criteria set by SEPA.


c. Important preparatory work, including surveys, planning engagement and design development is continuing with involvement of Fife Council & SEPA. Various documents have been lodged with Fife Council Planning Department as part of the progression of the project.


d. Further surveys and ground investigations require to be carried but this stage of the work cannot be completed until has been access has been agreed with the Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, Moray Estates and Barratt Homes to allow the MOD to carry out work on their land. This not moving as quickly as we would have liked but negotiations are ongoing.


e. Once these surveys are complete, timescales for the delivery of the management plan will be provided;


f. DIO representatives will continue to keep the local community involved through both the Dalgety Bay Community Forum and the South West Fife Area Committee;


g. That Programme and Project Delivery Director, Mr Leo O’Shea, of the DID is the lead official and he will ensure representatives attend the various public meetings in order to ensure that all interested parties are kept informed of the progress of work.


h. An e-mail address has been issued where queries can be lodged. A written communication will be provided on a bi-monthly basis giving a update on the project as it progresses.


i. The risk to members of the public remains very low as long as members of the public follow the guidance communicated.

 

  ROGER MULLIN MP EXTRACT FROM HANSARD 

 

Extract from Hansard

DalgetyBay

 

8. Roger Mullin (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) (SNP): When he expects work to deal with radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay to be completed. [903762]

 

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mark Lancaster): The Ministry of Defence has been actively undertaking site monitoring and removal since 2011. We are keen to move to the next stage of investigation when the other three parties involved agree to site access. Discussions around that have already taken place and it is anticipated that an agreement will be signed shortly. We will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible.

 

Roger Mullin: After 26 years, this non-action is just not good enough. In recent weeks, Defence Infrastructure Organisation officials have cancelled meetings with landowners to discuss access arrangements, have failed to turn up to meetings with local elected officials, and are treating the local community with contempt. When I meet the Minister on Wednesday, I hope I can get a detailed timeline for when action will be taken.

 

Mark Lancaster: I do not entirely accept what the hon. Gentleman says. My understanding is that we have been making positive progress, and that action has been taken through monitoring and removal on the beach since 2011. I am absolutely clear what the MOD’s responsibilities are in this matter. I look forward to meeting the hon. Gentleman later this week. I hope we can have a constructive approach to moving this issue forward.

 

  BRIEFING NOTE FOR MEETING ON 8 FEBRUARY 2016  

Dalgety Bay Community Council Meeting Briefing Note for meeting on 08/02/2016

 

Previous briefings

  • The last briefing was 09 November 2015 which was provided in writing as DIO were unable to send a representative

Project structure

  • DIO continues its transformation programme which has seen changes across various levels and departments.
  • The project is now being run from our Rosyth office from where the majority of the project team are located.

Project Progress

Over recent months AECOM DIO’s Principle Service Provider (PSP) have undertaken the following;

  • Liaised with the regulatory bodies; Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Marine Scotland (MS), Fife Council Planning (FCP) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
  • Continued to undertake the bird studies as agreed with SNH.
  • Prepared a draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Study and associated report.
  • Prepared a draft Habitats Regulation Assessment Screening and associated report.
  • The above feeds into the overall Planning Application to Fife Council.
  • Prepared for the geotechnical investigations to inform the design process. A short on site assessment is required to complete this.

Access Agreements and Consent

DIO has over recent months undertaken the following;

  • Maintained liaison with the stakeholder group; Moray Estates (ME), Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) and Barratt (B) and appropriate Statutory Bodies seeking appropriate consents.
  • Issued daft access agreements to ME and DBSC to facilitate access to facilitate the geotechnical investigations phase and continue bird monitoring.
  • Further access agreements will be required for the construction phase.

Forthcoming Meetings

  • The refocusing of the project within DIO has impacted on the meeting schedule. The following is a sketch to assist understanding in order of hierarchy.
  • Project Implementation Group: This is a SEPA led group who meet as appropriate and is seen as a route for the Project Board to escalate matters affecting the project delivery. The next meeting is programmed for March 2016.
  • Project Board: A DIO led group which meets again as required to inform, guide and support the Project
  • Project Team: This group is responsible for the delivery of an agreed solution including the management of the day to day delivery utilising all appropriate specialist support. This group meets as required to facilitate the project delivery.
  • Planning/Design meetings: The PSP and DIO will continue to have dialogue with the appropriate bodies as the project develops.

Future Attendance at Dalgety Bay Community Council

  • DIO attendance cannot be guaranteed but the DBSC will be provided with either a verbal or written brief every two months and DIO are content to take questions via email from the DBCC Secretary.
  • To simplify communication the following email address DIOPPD-DalgetyBay@mod.uk should be used for matters relating to the Dalgety Bay Project. It is therefore requested that all existing contacts are deleted as DIO cannot guarantee a response other than from the address above.

On-going Beach Monitoring

  • This continues on a monthly basis in line with the agreement between MOD (DIO) and SEPA to provide reassurance to the public and local community in relation to concerns over radioactive material on the beach.
  • For clarity though both supporting the Dalgety Bay Remediation Project; monitoring and remediation are managed separately within DIO.

Summary

  • Progress has been made with regard to non-intrusive work in preparation for the physical outputs.
  • The project has numerous complexities and interfaces which challenge progress. The project is being delivered by MOD (DIO) on a voluntary basis as agreed with SEPA and Fife Council but ultimately the activities will be undertaken on and impact across private land over which DIO has no legal jurisdiction.
  • The Landowners require to be satisfied that what is planned and what will eventually be provided on their land has no immediate or long term implication which may carry liabilities. These discussions can only move at a pace and direction dictated by the landowner. Therefore any perception that MOD (DIO) or other signatories to the Memorandum of Agreement are not progressing the project are unfounded.

 

DALGETY BAY REMEDIATION PROJECT TEAM

Defence Infrastructure Organisation,

Forthview House, 30 Hilton Road,

Rosyth, Fife,KY11 2BL

Email - DIOPPD-DalgetyBay@mod.uk

08 February 2016

 

  REPORT ON FORESHORE RADIATION 14 SEP 2015  

from the minutes of thre Community Council meeting of 14 Sep 2015

A joint update supplied prior to the meeting states that of radium contamination SEPA, MOD and FC continue to work together to implement their agreed strategy for the long term management at Dalgety Bay.
AMEC continue to monitor the beach and foreshore on a monthly basis in accordance with health protection criteria set by SEPA. Work including bird surveys continues.
Next step is to complete the detailed design of the scheme which requires access to the Sailing Club and Moray Estates in order to undertake surveys and preliminary work.  
Meeting will shortly be held with the Sailing Club to arrange access.
Risk to the public remains very low and the local community will continue to be updated as the project progresses.
No MOD representative was present at the meeting but Dr Paul Dale, SEPA who did attend, answered a few questions put to him and intimated that he would be available to attend the October meeting of the Community Council.
Councillor McGarry reported that FC Area Committee recently held a meeting with SEPA to be updated on the matter.

 

  BEACH RADIATION UPDATE JUNE 2015 

from the minutes of the Community Council meeting 8 June 2015

REPORT ON FORESHORE RADIATION
Dr Paul Dale, SEPA submitted the following written report.
The DIO contractor continues to monitor for and remove radioactive sources from the intertidal area.  This work together with the signage and demarcation results in an appropriate level of protection for members of the public while remediation plans are being developed.  In order to develop detailed plans for remediation, permissions from local landowners are required and discussions to achieve these are ongoing.
In April SEPA staff assisted the Sailing Club by monitoring a trench being dug adjacent to the Clubhouse for a new drain.  SEPA recovered a radioactive source during this work.
In May SEPA staff provided radiological support to a programme of removal of sewage debris in the Bay.  Monitoring was also carried out on beaches to East and West of the contaminated area.  The monitoring indicated that the contamination remains contained within the areas identified.  SEPA also ensured fencing, signage, etc. remained in good condition.

Iain Robertson, MOD / DIO reported monitoring and recovery continues in line with SEPA’s requirement.  Monthly monitoring and recovery revealing a general downward trend in particles collected with those falling within the agreed criteria remaining at the low end of single figures
Memorandum of Agreement between the Public Bodies has been signed.
Design phase progresses with intrusive design elements programmed to further inform the design progress.  Stakeholders engagement continues.  Project remains within the time parameters.
Fife Council South West Area Committee will be updated on 19th August and the Community Council on 10th August.

 

 FORESHORE RADIATION UPDATE 9 FEBRUARY 2015 

The following update on foreshore radiation has been extracted for the Community Council minutes of 9 February 2015

 

DIO MOD – Monthly foreshore monitoring continues using AMEC as the same contractor used as previously. Ecological survey of the foreshore continues. FC Executive Committee on 3 February approved the Memorandum of Agreement (Framework) between DIO MOD/SEPA/FC. AECOM, an International firm has been appointed by the MOD for the project and is presently familiarising themselves with the site. As further progress is made, target dates to be firmed up for the April Community Council meeting. Construction works are now expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
SEPA – Employed a drone to fly over the affected foreshore to establish a baseline for possible changes to the coastline with erosion or deposition during the project term.
There may be a need to use the drone in the interim period of the project, but certainly at the works completion. Continue to support Scottish Water with their remedial measures to remove sewer discharges from the foreshore.
SEPA is Chair of the Implementation Group over the Project Board which in turn is chaired by the MOD and supported by the Permitting Group convened by SEPA.

The Community Council was given an assurance by the FC Executive Committee that liaison with them is fundamental and would continue. SEPA and the MOD agreed to attend Community Council meetings on a bi-monthly basis as the project progesses; the next being in April.

 

  BEACH RADIATION - LETTER FROM  ANNA SOUBRY MP 25 SEP 2014 

The following letter was forwarded to the Chairman (among others) by Gordon Brown MP, who received it from Anna Soubry MP regarding the radiation cleanup at Dalgety Bay beach.

 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL FROM CHAIRMAN TO MOD 29 SEP 2014 

From: "cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com"
To: DIO Ops North-PTSRAD (MULTIUSER)
Subject: Re: 20140925-commuinty council-u.

Hi David,
Further to our discussion and as requested, this is a calling notice for the DIO MOD to send a representative to attend and provide a progress report on the Management Strategy to deal with the Foreshore Radiation at our next Community Council meeting being held at 19.30 hrs on Monday 13 October in the Dalgety Church Halls. It would be useful to receive an implementation program for circulation before the meeting.
Kind Regards
Colin

(non-relevant text removed - editor)

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT FROM GORDON BROWN 8 AUG 2014 

I was pleased to be present at a successful Community Council meeting
on July 2ist in Dalgety Bay Church Hall  which was ably chaired by
Colin McPhail on behalf of the Community Council. Alex Rowley MSP was
also in attendance, along with the Deputy Leader of the Council,
Lesley Laird.
I was able to thank the Community Council and its Chairman Colin
McPhail  for their vigilance in promoting the positive case for
remedial work at the beach and I am pleased that there was general
support for the plan we have fought so hard to achieve – the repair of
the beach area, a £10 million investment, and a new slipway for the
sailing club.
There was some discussion on the proportion of the particles to be
removed and the proportion to be cemented in, but it was generally
agreed that the plan to remove particles and to cement in any
remaining materials was the best way forward.
I am pleased that Fife Council is prepared to engage in a partnership
for the future management of the site after the repair work has been
completed.
I have since written to the head of DIO thanking him as he retires for
helping solve the remaining problems, and I have thanked SEPA whose
officials were present at the meeting and have proved vigilant in
demanding action from the original polluter.
I have now written to the new Defence Minister Anna Soubry MP, who has
taken over from Andrew Murrison MP, and I have reminded her of the
agreement already made while raising questions which have arisen from
the Implementation Group meeting about delays in the start of the
work.
We were pleased to hear at the group that all work might be completed
a year early in 2017 and not, as before in 2018, but surprised that no
starting time has been given during 2014 or early  2015 apparently
because no  finance has been allocated to start work in this financial
year.
I believe this is a mistake and unnecessary economy when we could use
the autumn period to begin the removal of the particles. I have
written to the Minister asking for a reconsideration of this so that a
year is not lost in our repair timetable. I will report back to the
Community Council when I receive a reply.
At the same time I have thanked SEPA who have now agreed to give legal
and technical advice to the sailing club.

Gordon Brown MP

 

  BEACH RADIATION - MoD MANAGEMENT STRATEGY JULY 2014 

On 10 July the MoD published its Management Strategy Report for dealing with the beach radiation issue. The Strategy was outlined by the MoD at a public meeting on 21 July, and was accepted in principle by the majority of people present in a vote at the end of the meeting. It will now be considered by the Community Council at their August meeting.

 

Management Strategy (PDF 800Kb)

 

Drawing 1 (PDF 4Mb)

 

Drawing 2 (PDF 4Mb)

 

On 11 July the MoD then published an associated news story on its website, entitled FUTURE PLANS FOR DALGETY BAY. You can read it here

 

  BEACH RADIATION - PUBLIC CONSULTATION - 21 JULY 2014 

Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council

 

A public consultation meeting has been arranged for Monday 21 July 2014 at 7.30pm in Dalgety Church Halls, when the MoD’s Management Strategy to deal with the foreshore radiation will be presented. The meeting will also be attended by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP and representation from SEPA

 

It is important for the community to attend this meeting. All are welcome!

 

  BEACH RADIATION - MoD AGREES REMEDIATION - 11 JULY 2014 

 

Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Press Release


After years of Community Council campaigning and exerting pressure on the MOD with the help from SEPA and our local MP the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, on behalf of the community, we are very pleased that the MOD has finally agreed to carry out concerted remediation works to resolve the foreshore radium contamination in Dalgety Bay. Remediation works will basically consist of a civil engineering solution to deal with the problem.
24 years have now passed since this radioactive contamination was discovered on parts of the foreshore following the dumping of incinerated ash and clinker containing luminous paint (Radium 226) that has a half life of 1600 years. The luminous dials come from WW2 airplanes that were removed when they were broken up from nearby Donibristle Airfield. During WW2 it was common practice to paint instrumentation on airplanes with luminous paint.
The planned remediation works will be the subject of a community consultation at a public meeting that has been arranged for 7.30pm on Monday 21 July in Dalgety Church Halls when the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP will be in attendance along with SEPA representatives. The MOD and their consultant have also been asked to be represented.
The planned remediation works at no cost to the community, will finally resolve the problem and not leave it as a legacy to be dealt with by future generations in Dalgety Bay.
It has been a struggle, but once the works are complete at last this shadow can be removed from over our community that has persisted for a number of years and resulted in some way as a social and economic problem for our town.

Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT
Chairman
10 July 2014

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPLY FROM MoD TO CHAIRMAN 9 JUNE 2014 

Dear Mr McPhail,
Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to your e-mail of the 15th May.
Mark Hutchinson has asked that I reply on his behalf and I would like to start by assuring you that we remain committed to working with SEPA and the other interested parties, to ensure the radium contamination at Dalgety Bay is managed effectively. To this end we are developing the management strategy with a view to it being available from the end of this month.
Should you have any further questions or queries then please do not hesitate to contact DIO.
Yours sincerely,
Mark Hill
Defence Infrastructure Organisation

 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL FROM CHAIRMAN TO MoD 15 MAY 2014 

Dear  Mr Hutchison,

I have just read yesterday's article by Rob Edwards published in "The Guardian" newspaper which is very alarmist. I also express outrage that agreement was not reached until next week to release this important report from COMARE on the matter. From the community point of view, NO report on this subject from COMARE should be suppressed or delayed for public consumption. It now comes at a time when at last, there seems to be an end in sight with a remediation plan being agreed between SEPA and the MOD at the end of June which I understand, will be the subject of community consultation. Following this, we expect a timetable for its implementation.
Next year, the town celebrates its Golden Jubilee and during its 50 years existence has had to contend with almost half the time in sufferance with the radiation issue which has caused enormous time, money and worry to all concerned especially its inhabitants; so let's make a final step in sorting it out and look to the future, without this shadow of the past overhanging it.
I expect a reply to my emails without further delay.

Regards

Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT
Chairman
DBHCC

 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL FROM CHAIRMAN TO MoD 6 MAY 2014 

Dear Mr Hutchison,
 
Its some time since I corresponded with you and I understand you are now the Acting Chief Executive of the DIO. I hope you are coping with well this new position.
The Community Council has its AGM on 12 May and I would be grateful to hear what progress has been made by the DIO so I can include in it my report to the Council.
The number of questions that are relevant are;
1. From information given by the Minister last March to the Rt Hon Gordon Brown our MP, was that a remediation plan would finally be available for community consultation by the end of June 2014. Is this timescale going to be met or has there been further setbacks?.
2. Has an agreement on funding this plan now been made?
3. I know SEPA has a consultation plan for all parties to implement. Will the DIO MOD be co-operating in this consultation and be setting further timescale for the long awaited remediation works to be undertaken.
 
For your information 2015 will be the town's Golden Jubilee year since building first started in 1965 and we hope to celebrate it without the stigma of the foreshore radiaition
overshadowing it.
 
Yours Sincerely.
 
Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council
 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN MARCH 2014 

From Gordon Brown MP
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
March 2014

 

I can report that I have finally received a promise from the Ministry of Defence regarding a timetable for the clean-up of the beach area.

In the letter I have received they say that the long-delayed final plan for the clean-up of the radiation-hit Dalgety Bay beach will now be ready by the end of June.

The letter sets out the first detailed timetable for repairing the beach and has been sent as a result of my comprehensive questions on your behalf to the Ministry of Defence.

The Community Council and I have repeatedly asked for a deadline for repairing the beach and a commitment to the funding of the clean-up by the Ministry of Defence, which has been named as the polluter.

Under the new statement of intent I have received the Ministry of Defence will now develop a more detailed risk assessment which will define the most appropriate clean-up option.

This will include, they promise, meeting all health protection and remediation criteria. The new assessment will also take into account the views expressed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Public Health England when they met last month.

A public consultation will also take place in June 2014. At that point the Ministry promises to outline to the whole community the proposals for the funding of the management solution and seek to agree an appropriate management model for overseeing any remediation and the subsequent transition to normal management arrangements of the beach

The minister has now accepted that Public Health England will advise them on the level ot protections from radioactive materials that is necessary and must be put in place to achieve long-term public safety.

It is not yet clear where the balance between removal of particles and engineering work to cover them up will fall. This will probably become clear when they identify more precisely the affected areas.

But it is clear to me now that a status quo option of merely fencing in the area or putting up warning signs is unacceptable.

I have said that we have waited too long for this timetable but now that we have it, it must be strictly adhered to. We have made progress through the constant vigilance of Colin McPhail and the Community Council whom I applaud for their determination and consistent advocacy of the case for action.

With the detailed plan now to be published in June we want work to start immediately afterwards and we will need an agreement from the polluter, the Ministry of Defence, to fund all the works.
 

Gordon Brown MP

 

  SEPA UPDATES DALGETY BAY FORUM ABOUT BEACH RADIATION 

7 February 2014

On 6th February 2014, SEPA, DIO and PHE had a productive technical meeting to review and progress works towards the development of a long term and durable management option for Dalgety Bay . The identification of that long term management option will require a series of reports to be undertaken and completed including: the quantification and extent of the current contamination both on the foreshore and within the coastline; and the identification of potential future scenarios which could result in changes in the levels of radioactive contamination on the site. The meeting allowed SEPA and PHE to have input into both of these works which in SEPA’s view are making good progress.

Separately SEPA will begin discussions with PHE to develop remedial target(s) for the site which will be necessary to inform the development of long term management arrangements for the site. SEPA will request from PHE formal advice such that it can be received in a timely manner to allow evaluation of potential management options.
A further progress meeting will be scheduled in mid March. SEPA will also be providing an update to the Dalgety Bay Community Council on Monday 10th February 2014.

 

Gillian Sinclair
Radioactive Substances Policy & Nuclear Regulation Unit (OPS National)
Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Erskine Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TR
t: 01786 452631  e: gillian.sinclair@SEPA.org.uk    web:  www.sepa.org.uk

 

  PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS ON BEACH RADIATION  3 FEB 2014 

Ministry of Defence
MONDAY 03 FEBRUARY 2014
THE RT HON GORDON BROWN MP (KIRKCALDY &
COWDENBEATH) (LAB)


120
WRITTEN
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will set out a timetable for
remedial action work to begin and be completed at Dalgety Bay.
(186061)


121
WRITTEN
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will discuss with the
Defence Infrastructure Organisation detailed options for cleaning up the
radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay. (186062)


122
WRITTEN
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons his
Department was not represented at the Dalgety Bay Forum on 30 January
2014. (186064)


123
WRITTEN
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will instruct officials of
the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to meet representatives of the
Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Dalgety Bay community
within the next week. (186066)


Dr Andrew Murrison MP


The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to work closely with the
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEP A), and the stakeholder
group they have assembled, with a view to agreeing an appropriate long
term solution for managing the radium contamination at Dalgety Bay.


I will write shortly to the right hon. Member with the detail of the
timelines for the further scientific risk assessment and other work
necessary to identify an appropriate long-term solution at Dalgety Bay.
This timetable has been agreed between SEPA and the MOD and should
result in identification of the preferred management option for the site by
Summer 2014.


Having published the Outline Management Option Appraisal MOD
officials will be meeting with both SEPA and Public Health England on 6
February 2014 in order to establish the health protection criteria
necessary to inform the development and definition of the management
option.


Once work on identifying the most appropriate long term management
option has concluded, we expect to play an active part in supporting
SEPA in their engagement with wider stakeholders (including the
Dalgety Bay Forum) to discuss the practicalities of implementation.


With regard to the recent meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum on 30
January 2014, no requirement was placed on the MOD to present but we
remain willing to participate in any future discussions with the Forum
whenever this is necessary and as requested by SEPA as Chair of the
Forum.


Monday 03 February 2014

 

PQ RefNos: PQ02247B/PQ02248B/PQ02249B/PQ02250B

 

  MOD REPLIES TO CHAIRMAN ABOUT NO-SHOW AT MEETING 

31 January 2014

Dear Mr McPhail

MOD had in fact informed SEPA well in advance that we would not be attending yesterday’s meeting of the Forum. SEPA did not indicate our attendance was necessary on this occasion but we remain willing to attend any future meeting of the Forum where SEPA require it.

We do as you note meet regularly with SEPA and other stakeholders to discuss how best to achieve a long term solution to the problems of Dalgety Bay contamination. I expect that SEPA will be able to keep you fully in touch with how these discussions develop.  

Yours sincerely

Mark Hutchinson

Mark Hutchinson
Director, Service Delivery
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
E-mail (Role):           DIO-COO@mod.uk   
E-mail (Personal):     mark.hutchinson157@mod.uk
Telephone (Civ): 0121 311 2114

 

  CHAIRMAN WRITES TO MOD ABOUT NO-SHOW AT MEETING 

31 January 2014
Dear Mr Hutchison


Having attended a Dalgety Bay Forum meeting yesterday (the last one was held on 30 May last year), I was extremely disappointed that no representation from the DIO was present and SEPA had received no apologies.
Can you offer an explanation for this?
I was told a meeting was being held in London next Thursday involving the Public Health England, SEPA, DIO and their technical consultants to discuss the Outline Management Options Appraisal.
I made it quite clear that Option 1 which is to erect permanent signage and fencing off the contaminated area as a means of excluding receptors; from a community point of view would be UNACCEPTABLE.
From the Executive Summary last sentence "which is currently in discussion with Public Health England (PHE)" When is this going to be completed?
Whatever bespoke Option is concluded for Dalgety Bay will DIO commit to funding it?
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Colin McPhail, Stirling, FK9 4TR
t: 01786 452631  e: gillian.sinclair@SEPA.org.uk    web:  www.sepa.org.uk

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN NOVEMBER 2013 

From Gordon Brown MP
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
January 2014

 

I am enclosing a copy of the debate that we had in the House of Commons before Christmas.  
You can see that I forcibly put before the Commons, the evidence from the Community Council and SEPA about the scale of the pollution that has to be cleaned up.  
I put these facts before the Commons -
a. Over the last 3 years 1000 particles with some radiation contamination have been brought to the surface on the foreshore and it remains fenced off for this reason.
b. Five particles have been at worrying levels of radiation.
c. 100 particles are being washed up every month and thus there is an even more compelling case for action.
d. The polluter is the Ministry of Defence and they must take their responsibilities seriously.    
I argued for a timetable, a start date for the work and a funding agreement with the Ministry of Defence.  
I suggested that we had done everything in our power to be reasonable.  We have shown the Ministry was not only the polluter but had known of the contamination for some time - 23 years - and thus has a moral responsibility to clean up the Bay area as quickly as possible.
In this report I am suggesting that if the Ministry of Defence acts, the Council could be asked to respond by being a partner in a long term arrangement for the protection of Dalgety Bay.
My suggestion is that at the January meeting of stakeholders we agree a three point plan which is a timetable for action by the Ministry.
First, the early publication of the main options for the cleanup; this cannot just be every conceivable idea for a cleanup - the current document in draft - but the favoured options based on the engineering work needed to deal with the areas most in need of remediation.  
Second, we secure an agreement to the funding.  
Third, we agree a start date for the remedial works.
I make these proposals because when 100 particles are being washed up every month, because of coastal erosion and the winter storms, action is needed soon.
I know that SEPA, the Ministry and Fife Council will join the meeting in January to engage as stakeholders in the way forward. But it is right for Fife Council to say they would only be prepared to cooperate with a long term plan involving their facilities if the Ministry of Defence stop stalling on getting the initial repair work done.
The delays put the sailing club at risk, depriving residents of local amenities on the beach, and jeopardising the quality of life in the area.  
If however we had a plan a timetable and a start date for the work, and if the Ministry of Defence were to accept its responsibilities and move quickly, we could achieve a solution to this saga.
 

Gordon Brown MP
 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL TO CHAIRMAN FROM MOD  3 DEC 

Dear Mr McPhail,
 
Thank you for your recent e-mail.
 
You’ll be pleased to know that we continue to make good progress with Stage 3 of the investigation plan and the work necessary to inform the discussion of the long term strategy to manage the contamination issue. Officials from SEPA, MOD and PHE met only last week and whilst the outcome was very positive it did highlight additional areas of further work. Nevertheless I remain hopeful that the discussions will involve the key stakeholders if not before the New Year then shortly thereafter. However, as you appreciate it is essential that we get this critical stage of the investigation right and ultimately we look to SEPA to bring the stakeholders together.
 
In the meantime DIO will continue the routine monitoring and recovery programme to ensure that the risk to beach users remains extremely low.


Yours sincerely,
 
Mark Hutchinson  
 
Mark Hutchinson
Director, Service Delivery
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
E-mail (Role):           DIO-COO@mod.uk   
E-mail (Personal):     mark.hutchinson157@mod.uk
Telephone (Civ): 0121 311 2114

 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL FROM CHAIRMAN TO MOD  2 DEC

Dear Mr Hutchison,
 
I thank you for your last reply which I reported to the November meeting of Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council and on the positive progress being made.
Since then, I have yet to receive news of the planned meeting with the key stakeholders that you mentioned was being held during this month.
The programme for the 3 Stage Investigation is now well overdue and I would have expected that the appropriate steps to address the contamination problem between yourselves and SEPA would have been finalised by now for consultation.
Surely, we do not have to raise a further petition to the Secretary of State for Defence to progress this matter?
I would remind you that we are almost into the 23rd year since the contamination was first discovered in 1990 and note that it has cost the MOD a considerable amount of money from the public purse with its investigation.
The Community Council is now looking to receiving remedial options to progress final closure on the matter.
I will be grateful for a reply by our next Council meeting that is being held on Monday 9 December.
 
Yours Sincerely,
 
Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council

 

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN NOVEMBER 2013 

From Gordon Brown MP
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
December 2013

 

In the last few days I have submitted two Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence and I have called for a new Parliamentary Debate to bring the Minister to explain why there have been so many unacceptable delays in the clean-up of the radiation at Dalgety Bay beach.
The Chair of the Community Council and I have both asked the Ministry to  set out a timetable in the next week that would allow a remediation plan to be published, consultation to take place and work on the clean-up to begin.
Alex Rowley, the Leader of the Fife Council, has again intervened on our behalf and he has now written to the Minister asking for an explanation for the delays and an agreement that a timetable will be published soon.
I understand that three vital elements of the clean-up process have now fallen behind schedule.
Firstly, there have been delays in calling the promised meeting with stakeholders.  The letter from Mr Hutchison of MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation states that he:
“Met SEPA officials last month and we have agreed to commission some short further work to inform a discussion about what next steps might be most appropriate to address the contamination problem at Dalgety Bay on a long-term basis. I hope that these discussions could involve all key stakeholders in the area; and that they can take place before the New Year’.
But we are still waiting for a meeting to be called.
Secondly, the delays in the programme for what is called the ‘3 Stage Investigation’ that is now well overdue. The MoD originally assured us that this 3 Stage Investigation would be completed by May 2013.  Although I agree that the investigative stage has been more complex than anticipated - and we will continue to insist that the work is done properly - we are again behind schedule on a timetable that originally had this work completed in the summer.
Thirdly, there are now delays in concluding the deal between MoD and SEPA; this should have been finalised by now and be ready to go out for consultation. This is the final agreement on the remediation proposals, and SEPA and MoD have only just begun discussions on remediation targets.
I have said to the Minister that we wish this deal to be concluded as soon as possible. It is the means by which we guarantee the finance necessary for the work to be done and an early start on the clean-up of the beach.
So I will press the government on the autumn and winter of delays in cleaning up the area since the MoD have stated that progress on the agreement, in principle, to go ahead with a clean-up “remains positive.”
But as the Chairman has put it, work that could have started before the winter might now not even start before the next summer. As he puts it:
“The programme for the 3 Stage Investigation Plan is now well overdue and I would have expected that the appropriate steps to address the contamination problem between yourselves and SEPA should have been finalised by now for consultation.  I would remind you that we are almost into the 24th year since the contamination was first discovered in 1990 and note that it has cost the MoD a considerable amount of money from the public purse with its investigation.”
I will report back to the Council next month on the results of my two Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary for Defence and, if I achieve a new Parliamentary Debate, the results of my attempts to bring the Minister to the House of Commons to explain why there have been so many unacceptable delays in the clean-up of the radiation at Dalgety Bay beach.

 

Gordon Brown MP
 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN NOVEMBER 2013 

From Gordon Brown MP
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
November 2013

 

I promised to keep the Community Council informed of all information received about the clean up, its options, its timing, its costs and any delays.

The latest report to me from SEPA is that monitoring and removal is continuing and, as they state - “We are in talks with the MoD which are on-going at a senior level.”

The latest report from Mr Hutchinson at DIO is that:

“We have agreed to commission some short further work to inform a discussion about what next steps might be most appropriate to address the contamination problem at Dalgety Bay on a long-term basis. I hope these discussions could involve all key stakeholders in the area; and that they can take place before the New Year.”

The DIO reply concerns me because it looks as if further delays are going to prevent cleanup work starting as I had hoped.

While it is good that local people in Dalgety Bay are to be consulted on the cleanup options to deal with the radiation pollution on the beach and surrounding areas, and this is a welcome decision by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to ask the people of the Bay for their views, there is clearly not enough determination to move things forward quickly.  I am still concerned that while the Ministry of Defence, which has been named as the polluter of the area, agreed to go ahead with the preparation of a comprehensive cleanup plan it has not yet agreed to fund the cleanup 

Some people have argued for the removal of all the pollution materials, a task that would involve extensive excavation. Others have argued for engineering work to fence in the dumped materials and prevent them coming to the surface. It is almost certain that a final plan which will be drawn up in the next few weeks will include doing both engineering work and excavation. But it is important that it moves forward quickly.

 

Gordon Brown MP
 

  BEACH RADIATION - EMAIL RECEIVED FROM MOD BY CHAIRMAN 

11 November 2013

 

Dear Mr McPhail
 
I understand you have been asking for an update on progress since my last communication below. Progress remains positive. I met SEPA officials last month and we have agreed to commission some short further work to inform a discussion about what next steps might be most appropriate to address the contamination problem at Dalgety Bay on a long-term basis. I hope these discussions could involve all key stakeholders in the area; and that they can take place before the New Year.
 
Yours sincerely
Mark Hutchinson  
 
Mark Hutchinson
Director, Service Delivery
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
E-mail (Role):           DIO-COO@mod.uk   
E-mail (Personal):     mark.hutchinson157@mod.uk
Telephone (Civ): 0121 311 2114

 

  BEACH RADIATION - MOD REPLIES TO CHAIRMAN OCTOBER 2013 

Dear Mr McPhail
 
Thank you for your letter. I can confirm that we have sent a copy of our draft report into outline management options for Dalgety bay to SEPA by the agreed date of end September. I plan to meet SEPA officials later this month to discuss the way forward with them.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Mark Hutchinson
Director, Service Delivery
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
E-mail (Role):           DIO-COO@mod.uk   
E-mail (Personal):     mark.hutchinson157@mod.uk
Telephone (Civ): 0121 311 2114

 

  BEACH RADIATION - CHAIRMAN WRITES TO MOD OCTOBER 2013 

 

 

Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT
17, The Wynd,
Dalgety Bay

Fife

KY11 9SH

3 October 2013

 

Your ref DIO COO 14/2012                    

 

Dear Mr Hutchinson,

DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION

Many thanks for your reply dated 12 August 2013 which I reported to the August meeting of the Community Council. It is noted that time has now elapsed in relation to the original programme agreed on the 3 Stage Investigation Plan and the MOD was due to complete work on possible management options in accordance with the plan. Has this work now been completed and been put before SEPA for their agreement?
Referring to the MOD’s position statement in complying with their liabilities on a voluntary basis, you indicated it required “a robust demonstration that the statutory criteria pertaining to any Risk Assessment and the determination of the Appropriate Person/s are satisfactorily met”. Following your recent meetings with SEPA has this now been demonstrated and satisfactorily met?
As you are aware, this situation has dragged on for some 23 years since the contamination was first detected. Only today, I received an enquiry from a prospective buyer on the sale of a house backing onto the contaminated area and a report of someone digging for fish bait in the Bay which has a ban placed  by the Foods Standard Agency on the removal of seafood and bait in the Bay.
As you are aware, time has moved on without any apparent end in sight and I am sure you will agree, we must have a final resolution to this matter once and for all and its remediation without further delay. On this, it is expected that remediation options will receive stakeholder consultation
I will be grateful for a further update from you which I can give to our Community Council meeting on 14 October.
 
Yours sincerely,

Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com

Copies to

1) Mrs Jeanette Gray, Secretary, DBHCC
2) Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP
3) Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Defence Minister
4) Mr Calum MacDonald, SEPA Chief Executive

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN SEPTEMBER 2013

From Gordon Brown MP
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
September 2013

 

Since the debate in Parliament in July with the MOD Minister Dr Andrew Murrison MP, I have written to the Ministry of Defence asking them to explain why they deny knowledge of the 1990 and 1992 reports which suggested they were aware of their culpability for the radiation leaks at that time.  I have submitted to the Minister the evidence from SEPA showing that they were made aware of all the relevant material some time ago.
 
It is good news that SEPA plans to consult on the options open to us for the cleanup of the area. While the Ministry of Defence have yet to accept culpability, they have agreed to support the preparation of the remedial options. This is now being done with a time limit for completion running out very soon.
 
It would be useful if the Community Council and all relevant community organisations had a chance to make their views on the alternatives known.
 
Gordon Brown MP
 

 BEACH RADIATION - COMARE NOTE MENTIONED ABOVE 

COMARE  meeting 105 – Dalgety Bay

 

At its meeting on 10 July 2013, the Committee considered five recommendations from the Contaminations Working Group which met on 9 July 2013 and considered documents relating to Dalgety Bay prepared by MoD contractors, SEPA and PHE, together with the interim COMARE report to Scottish Government dated December 2012.

The recommendations received had been agreed unanimously by the Working Group.

Following reports from members of the Working Group and extensive discussion, the Committee agreed unanimously that:

  1. Based on concordant data from SEPA, the University of Stirling and PHE taken in conjunction with data from the habits survey, the sources present at Dalgety Bay pose a potential risk to public health in terms of committed effective dose estimates.
  2. Given the dynamic nature of the contamination, the indefinite continuation of a monitoring and recovery programme, allied to demarcation of affected areas is not regarded as best practice or in compliance with ALARA.
  3. Scottish Government should take steps to ensure that effective remediation of the affected area is undertaken as soon as is possible.
  4. In the interim period before remediation, the present monitoring programme being carried out by MoD at Dalgety Bay should continue, with the coverage and frequency to be determined by the regulator.  It should be carried out to at least the standard specified by the Working Group.
  5. The Committee should seek authority from Government and the devolved authorities to obtain information from appropriate bodies in order to create a UK-wide list of sites which are known to have been, or thought to be potentially, contaminated with radium.  This should incorporate details of any monitoring and/or remediation known to have been carried out.

 BEACH RADIATION - MoD RESPONSE 12 AUG 2013

Ministry of Defence
Main Building
Horse Guards Avenue
Whitehall
London
SW1A 2HB
Ref. DIO COO     Telephone [MOD]:
Facsimile [MOD]:
E-mail:    +44 (0)121 311 2446
+44 (0)121 311 2125
mark.hutchinson157@mod.uk
   
Colin McPhail
17, The Wynd
Dalgety Bay, Fife
KY11 9SH

 

12 August 2013

Dear Mr McPhail,

Many thanks for your letter, dated  22 July 2013, in which your raise a number of points. Principally I note your concerns in relation to public expenditure, the practicality of long term monitoring and the views of bodies such as COMARE and Public Health England. I also note that you were looking forward to meeting the Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison; however unfortunately the Minister visited Dalgety Bay on the 15 July ahead of your letter.

In relation to expenditure, the reported £825,000 related only to works at the foreshore, this was to support SEPA in fulfilling its statutory inspection of Dalgety Bay and to fund a monitoring and removal programme whilst the investigation works took place.  

Although investigation reports have been published by SEPA, our intent is to maintain a monitoring and removal programme to afford SEPA sufficient time to address concerns raised by MOD in respect to their published reports. Discussions on these concerns will continue following our meeting with SEPA last month; in the meantime MOD is prepared to complete work on possible management options in accordance with our original investigation plan.  Both Parties have agreed to meet again in September when we very much hope that SEPA will have addressed our concerns and engaged with the relevant and interested parties to take forward any necessary works on the basis of a robust risk assessment.  

In respect to the views of Public Health England the letter sent by them to SEPA does not state that radiation will exceed the statutory criteria; furthermore in regard to comments made by COMARE I have attached their meeting note send to MOD to provide context to their recommendations.

Finally you requested an update on MOD’s position, this remains that we will comply with our legal liabilities on a voluntary basis, but in order to do so require a robust demonstration that the statutory criteria pertaining to any Risk Assessment and the determination of the Appropriate Person(s) are satisfactorily met.  

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hutchinson

Attached: COMARE Note

 

 BEACH RADIATION - SEPA UPDATE 1 AUG 2013 

DalgetyBay

Radioactive Contamination Update

For Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council Meeting on 12 August 2013

 

Date of Production:  1 August 2013

 

This update from SEPA is to be provided to Community Council Chairman Colin McPhail in advance of the next CC meeting.

 

SEPA is committed to openness and transparency and is keen to ensure that the local community are fully informed on all issues relating to radioactive contamination in the Dalgety Bay beach area.  Unfortunately, SEPA officers are unable to attend this Community Council meeting in person due to staff availability; however, we submit this update to advise on the progress of work over the past few weeks and provide clarity on the next steps.

 

The Council may be aware that SEPA has published a Risk Assessment Report and an Appropriate Persons Report and that meetings have been held with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

 

This update provides a short summary of each of 3 issues.


Risk Assessment Report:

The Risk Assessment Report was published on the SEPA website[1] on 7 June 2013.  This report estimates the radiation doses that may be received by an individual using the beach through a number of pathways.  The assessment methodology is based on similar work undertaken by SEPA for radioactive particulate contamination issues near Dounreay and was developed by the former Health Protection Agency/National Radiological Protection Board (now Public Health England, which retains an advisory role in respective of radiation health issues to Scottish Ministers).  The report is based on real data gathered from habits surveys, the number of contaminated items recovered during monitoring works and analyses undertaken in accredited laboratories. 

 

The report confirms that there is the potential for an individual to receive a radiation dose in excess of 100 milliSieverts (mSv), which makes part of the site amenable to designation under the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations.  The relevant parts of the site are detailed in the report, but essentially it covers the area currently within the fenced zone to the edge of the headland at the slipways.  These are known as Areas C, D and E in the report.

 

The report was peer reviewed by the Dalgety Bay Particles Advisory Group.  In addition Public Health England (PHE)[2] and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radioactivity in the Environment (COMARE[3]) made separate comments which have supported the conclusions of the Risk Assessment Report and urge for remedial actions to be taken.

 

SEPA received a letter from PHE which stated that “we agree that Radium 226 contaminated objects recovered from Dalgety Bay include objects that could give rise to radiation doses that exceed the relevant criteria for the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2007”.

 

SEPA attended a meeting of COMARE on 10 July, during which the Committee made five recommendations about the radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay, and more widely across the UK.

 

The 5 recommendations were:

  1. The Committee concluded that on the basis of available data to COMARE, from SEPA and PHE, on potential Committed Effective Doses, there are sources of potential harm to the public at Dalgety Bay
  2. The continuing programme of demarcation and monitoring was not a long term viable solution.
  3. Remediation should start as quickly as possible,
  4. Monitoring and removal of radioactive sources should continue at a frequency and area determined by the Regulator, but this should be to at least current levels,
  5. A list should be formed of all Radium-226 sites across the UK.

[1]Go to Press Release

 

[2]Public Health England was formed in April 2013 and includes the Department formerly known as the Health Protection Agency and is responsible for providing health advice on radiation issues to Government (www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/)

 

[3]COMARE is an independent expert advisory committee with members chosen for their medical and scientific expertise and recruited from Universities, Research and Medical Institutes (www.comare.org.uk/)

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN AUGUST 2013

From Gordon Brown MP


Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council Report
August 2013

 

I wanted to bring the Community Council up to date following my debate in Parliament in July with the MOD Minister Dr Andrew Murrison MP, the subsequent correspondence that has resulted, and in light of further recent developments.
In the debate I was able to highlight the report from SEPA which names the Ministry of Defence as the polluter. The report highlighted previously unknown correspondence from 1990 when the MOD appeared to admit its culpability.
In the debate I raised not only the new information tracking the dumping of radioactive materials, but also the work  of COMARE, which later confirmed that for health reasons the radiation should be dealt with as quickly as possible.
As can be seen from the debate in the House of Commons, the Minister sought to blame SEPA for an inadequate report and questioned its conclusions, suggesting that the MOD may not be to blame after all, or at least not solely to blame. This led to your Chairman writing to the Ministry.
Today we have received information that Dr Murrison visited Dalgety Bay in July, although he did not inform me or the Community Council Chairman of his visit at the time.  We have also learnt that while the MOD has said it is still not ready to accept culpability it has taken the first step to paying for the clean up by agreeing to underwrite the costs of the investigation into the remediation options.
This is what the Defence Infrastructure Organisation says:
“Although investigation reports have been published by SEPA, our intent is to maintain a monitoring and removal programme to afford SEPA sufficient time to address concerns raised by MOD in respect to their published reports. Discussions on these concerns will continue following our meeting with SEPA last month; in the meantime MOD is prepared to complete work on possible management options in accordance with our original investigation plan.  Both Parties have agreed to meet again in September when we very much hope that SEPA will have addressed our concerns and engaged with the relevant and interested parties to take forward any necessary works on the basis of a robust risk assessment.”
I have written to SEPA today saying that we need to pin down a timetable. I believe that unless they are punished, the Ministry will continue to allow this to go unresolved with work not being done as we want over the coming winter. The options report, says SEPA, will be compiled by the end of August. A decision to order the remedial action should then be authorised and contractors appointed in September. I hope the Community Council will say they wish agreement to be reached quickly on this timetable and that the MOD will not continue to evade its responsibility as the original polluter.
Your Chairman has worked hard to resolve these issues and I will, of course, keep the Community Council in touch with all developments.

Gordon Brown MP

 

CHAIRMAN'S LETTER TO COO DOI MOD 22 JULY

 

 

DALGETY BAY AND HILLEND COMMUNITY COUNCIL

                                                           Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, CIHT
                                                           17, The Wynd,
                                                           Dalgety Bay, Fife
22 July 2013                                       KY11 9SH

                                                          Your ref DIO COO 14/2012                    
Dear Mr Hutchinson,

DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION

I have viewed the Defence Minister’s statement made to the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP during his latest adjournment debate held on 9 July about the Radiation Contamination of Dalgety Bay Foreshore and comment as follows;

•  I look forward to meeting the Minister Dr Andrew Murrison MP on his intended visit to Dalgety Bay.
•  I consider the memo from the HMPI in 1990 to Lord James Douglas Hamilton very pertinent to the MOD’s position on this matter.
•  It is good to hear that the MOD is not abdicating their responsibilities in dealing with this ongoing problem.
•  The Minister stated that £825,000 had been spent to date on the MOD investigation and this was confirmed by the MOD representatives at the Forum meeting on 30 May. The Minister also reported that £500,000 had been spent on clearing private gardens of radioactive particles. My understanding of this was the removal of “hot spots” from private properties in The Wynd carried out a few years ago. What he did not make clear if the £825,000 included this work in the gardens or should it be added to this figure. The MOD has also incurred substantial legal costs and this was not stated.
•  If you add the MOD costs to the costs of other public agencies involved since 1990 when the radiation was first discovered, namely SEPA; this amounts to somewhere around £2,000,000 of public expenditure and what has been achieved with this cost?.
•  Hopefully, the affected householders satisfied that “hot spots” have been removed. Numerous studies and reports carried out resulting in interim protection to health for users of the contaminated area of the foreshore. Continued monitoring and removal of particles that are re-populating the foreshore as a result of tidal action and erosion. I view this, as only a limited value for money to deal with the problem.
•  How long will monitoring continue, for the next 1000 years? (Radium 226 has a half life of 1600 years). Since 2011 a section of the foreshore has remained fenced off to the public, how long is this to remain?. The main body of the contamination remains and this has been verified by the fieldwork survey carried out by the MOD in November 2011. With risk assessment, whatever is argued as a low risk there can be no guarantee that this will remain, as in time there is the possibility that with future coastal erosion other high activity particles can be found. Sadly with all this, unless concerted remedial action is taken now without further delay, it will only cost the taxpayer more unnecessary expenditure after 22 years of indecision.
•  For the Minister to say that SEPA has been less than helpful to the MOD in their preparation of the Appropriate Persons Report is to question their professionalism as the Regulator. The Report has not been issued out of the blue, it is part of the 3 Stage Investigation agreed between SEPA and the MOD in 2012 and is the result of this Investigation and follows high level meetings between both parties.  
•  Both the MOD and SEPA must agree a way forward to resist blighting the community with statutory powers under the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Act 2007.
•  It is noted that Public Health England is still worried that the radiation will still exceed the statute criteria.
•  The Minister referred to dumping in a quarry that was inland from the foreshore. Where is it and have any radioactive particles been found there? It is important if this outwith the defined study area.
•  I note that COMARE held a meeting about the contamination on 10 July and made 2 important recommendations;
1.    The continuing programme of demarcation and monitoring was not a long term viable solution.
2.    Remediation should start as quickly as possible.
•  It is noted that a meeting is being held on 26 July between Calum MacDonald, SEPA Executive Director and yourself on this matter and on behalf of the community, I hope there is an acceptance of the need for urgent action to resolve this by agreeing remediation works that will remedy the situation.
 
Yours sincerely,

Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com

 

BEACH RADIATION - MoD NAMED BY SEPA AS RESPONSIBLE

28 June 2013 - the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has now issued its long awaited report into the beach radiation at Dalgety Bay and has named the MoD as the sole party responsible. Get the full story in the NEWS panel on the right of the page.

 

  BEACH RADIATION = SEPA SAYS MoD RESPONSIBLE - JUNE 2013  

28 June 2013 - SEPA has published its Appropriate Persons Report into the beach radiation problem in Dalgety Bay and has named the MoD as the sole party responsible. The full report and a summary report can be downloaded at the Dalgety Bay section of the SEPA website. 

 

On 27 June the MoD issued a press release as follows

 

MOD position on Dalgety Bay

 

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) understands that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is set to publish its report naming the MOD as responsible for radioactive material which has been found on the beach at Dalgety Bay.

 

The Department understands that SEPA will publish its Appropriate Persons Report on Friday 28 June, naming the Department as the ‘appropriate person’.

 

MOD will consider the report findings in detail and respond to SEPA in due course, but has concerns over the adequacy and validity of both SEPA’s risk assessment and its approach to the Appropriate Persons Report. We will seek an early meeting with SEPA at senior official level to raise these concerns and discuss the way forward.  

MOD has demonstrated a serious commitment to voluntarily assisting SEPA, the Scottish Government and the Dalgety Bay Forum in dealing with the situation at Dalgety Bay. Public Health England assess that the risk to human health on the beach remains low.

The Department continues to work with SEPA to identify the likelihood and scale of the residual risks and the requirement for remedial action. MOD continues to fund – at its own cost – monitoring arrangements at Dalgety Bayin line with previous commitments.

We remain committed to a collaborative engagement with SEPA and once satisfied as to the validity of their findings will comply voluntarily with the Regulator’s requirements.

 


CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTS

The Community Council Chairman's comments to the media on this have been "This is not out of the blue for the MOD, when high level meetings have already taken place between them and SEPA. The MOD have to accept the findings following the final investigation and carry out as quickly as possible the necessary remedial and management measures on a voluntary basis to resolve this contamination once and for all."


BEACH RADIATION - GORDON BROWN COMMENTS 18 JUNE

After damning report revealing scale of radiation contamination, Brown calls for Dalgety Bay polluter to be named, for the Ministry of Defence to fund the million pound beach clean-up and for work to start this summer.
Local Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Gordon Brown has called for the clean-up of radiation-contaminated Dalgety Bay beach to be started immediately after a damning report by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, published on Friday, revealed substantial pollution risks from thousands of radiation particles discovered on the beach.
Mr Brown said that when the polluter who caused radiation contamination is named later this month, on June 30th, they must sign an undertaking to fund and immediately begin the clean-up. Without such an agreement, he says the beach will continue to pose what SEPA calls a significant hazard to the public.
The polluter will be named after the environment report has revealed radioactive materials that were dumped on the Dalgety Bay foreshore between the 1950s and now have created pollution problems so serious that - according to the risk assessment just published - parts of Dalgety Bay could be designated as Radioactive Contaminated Land, the first area in the UK to be labelled in this way.
There have already been two special parliamentary debates on the pollution problem. But by June 30th, after a year-long investigation, SEPA will designate what they call 'the appropriate persons' who polluted the land. Once named and shamed, the polluter must then agree to fund the clean-up. If they do no do so the beach will be publicly listed as contaminated.
The SEPA report outlines the risks facing the residents of Dalgety Bay if no action is taken. It states that radioactive sources (radium-226) present at Dalgety Bay continue 'to pose a significant hazard to public health'. The report says that 'many of the sources recovered continue to be in excess of the relevant criteria' and 'without remediation, the contamination of the beach will continue for many years to come.' It warns that 'the possibility for any user of the beach area encountering a source which could realistically cause harm is around 1 in 250 per year', but 'if the situation remains unaddressed there is almost certainty that an encounter will occur.' It adds that 'a single erosion event could release many hundreds of sources onto the beach.'
The assessment also states that during work on the beach, 3100 particles or sources have been removed of the radionuclide radium-226, which has a half-life of 1600 years. SEPA adds that 'Due to its long half-life, radium sources at Dalgety Bay will take 1600 years for the hazard to reduce by 50%. This means that sources currently present either within the beach or made ground will pose a risk to future generations without suitable interventions.'
The physical investigation work undertaken by the MoD suggested that 'there are a number of areas in the current coastline at Dalgety Bay where radioactive sources are currently buried at depth. It is reasonable to assume that given these findings radioactive sources will continue to be present in the near surface environment of the beach at Dalgety Bay for the foreseeable future.'
SEPA considers that a significant possibility of significant harm can arise from three currently ring-fenced areas, but has not been able to fully investigate other areas. It states that 'it is clear there are at least three areas (areas C, D and E) of the foreshore where radioactive sources continue to be found which are in excess of the dose criteria. However, if a more cautious assessment were made using higher solubility areas B, F and G may also be considered for designation.'
The agency states that the mean ingestion doses are of an order of magnitude greater than for Sellafield particles, noting that 'For skin contact the dose rates for the highest activity sources from Sellafield is at least 700 times less than for the equivalent Dalgety Bay source.'
It concludes that ‘given a number of multi-MBq [measure of radiation] sources have been found recently within the beach...it is reasonable to assume that further caches of such sources exist. This is further confirmed by the results of the physical intrusive work which revealed high activity sources present within the made ground which if allowed to erode would pose a significant hazard to the public. As the radionuclide is long lived, any contamination present will represent a hazard for many years to come and if physical breakdown of the sources occurs, the relative risks from such hazards may increase.' There has to be, the report states, ‘a high level of confidence that the public will be afforded a suitable level of protection in the future.’
Mr Brown said: 'This is the month to bring to an end the sorry saga of pollution and prevarication which has spread anxieties about health risks from radiation, made local residents worry about their house prices and deprived them of the use of one of the country's most beautiful coastlines for 18 months.
'For 18 months, the Ministry of Defence, who dumped the radiation materials, has refused to accept its culpability.
'Unfortunately a risk assessment report has been delayed for some months because of previous time lags in the commencement of the physical investigation of the beach and the large volume of material which has had to be assembled on the history of the site.
'And sadly, until the polluter is named and ordered to fund the clean-up of the area, there can be no timetable to start repair and remediation work.
'Now we need as a matter of urgency three decisions in quick succession: the naming of the polluter, the agreement to fund the clean-up and a start to the work - and that is what I am pressing for. 

'The long-suffering Dalgety Bay residents ably represented throughout by their Community Council and its Chairman Colin McPhail have been patient. Now they need action.'

 

  BEACH RADIATION - GORDON BROWN'S REPORT FOR APRIL 2013 

COMMUNITY COUNCIL REPORT FOR MARCH

FROM GORDON BROWN


Since the last meeting we have had sight of the Coastal Processes Report, The Investigatory Report is now available to some to view; and we now have the wealth of evidence accumulated by Colin McPhail from residents of what happened to the site in the last 60 or so years. He should be congratulated for compiling such a detailed account. With Colin’s permission I am now submitting a summary of Colin’s report to the Ministry of Defence.

THE COASTAL PROCESSES REPORT
The main conclusion of Coastal Processes Report, from AMEC, seems to be unsatisfactory. It makes no mention of the role of the MOD in dumping materials but suggests debris was shifted after the 196Os

The report states that “The foreshore (e.g. roofing material and pottery) suggest discrete supply events in the past (e.g. tipping of roofing material at an updrift location)”. The report also states that “The Made Ground that the armour stone was built to protect at Promontory 1 is thus considered likely to have historically provided much of the larger (100-500mm dia.) particle debris seen on the foreshore.”
Then the report talks of the effect of site development and says that “The natural coastline has been disrupted at four locations by human activity within the study area, with varying effect on the local coastal processes”. But Mr McPhail who has studied the coastal processes review has advised me that “The report has missed identifying the age of the pottery and roofing debris. It is wrong to assume that the residual debris consisting of pottery and roofing material from Promontory 1 has emanated and travelled with wave erosion and moved to where it is shown on the drawing before 1996 and that the rock armour has effectively cut off this supply for approximately 16 years. Protective rock armour was in place here in the 1980’s and has been replenished on various occasions. A lot of the report hinges on the establishment of rock armour in 1996 to Promontory 1 (headland in front of the Sailing Club)”. Mr McPhail concludes that “As I have stated earlier, to my knowledge the rock armour was placed there well before then”.
The Report recommends continued monitoring and inspections; no mention of any remediation to the coastal situation as described.

THE MCPHAIL REPORT
The inconclusive nature of the Coastal Process Report explains why it is important to submit the evidenced of the workings of the MOD in dumping materials so that MOD can see for itself how much waste removal and dumping was done. I believe the evidence Colin has accumulated on the history of Dalgety Bay shows the Ministry of Defence that they are the radiation polluters, who need to fund and take responsibility for the cleanup.

The facts show that –

• 28 November 1959, Moray Estates Development Co. re-acquired the estate from the Admiralty but in the deeds of sale there was no admission of contaminated land.
• 5 May 1961, Dalgety Bay was proposed as a new town to accommodate 7000 individuals on 500 acres, and it was to include residences, shopping and business areas, schools and country and sailing clubs. At this point there was no mention of any radiation.
• 1961, Moray Estates Development Co. announced it was seeking partners.
March 1962, a company known as Copthall Holdings (Dalgety) Developments was formed.
•1962, 54 acres of the airfield was taken over by the Board of trade to form Donibristle Industrial Estate which was subsequently opened by the President of the Board of Trade.
•And in July 1964, construction was announced for 1965 for 3000 houses, and a shopping centre in a £15million development
• October 1965, the first houses occupied.
• Also in 1965, Fife Council opened Hillend Industrial Estate.

The 1955 map shows a build out of the coastline as compared with the 1927 map. But this means the deposit of waste happened prior to the development of the town given the maps we have seen. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that much of the foreshore deposition came from the dumping of material - most of it incinerated - that can be identified as material that originated from Donibristle Airfield during its decommissioning and subsequent closure.
Mr McPhail’s report shows that besides radioactive particles, a number of pieces of broken crockery bearing WD markings, cutlery, bullets, aircraft dials, bits of aircraft and various old bottles have also been found in the 1990’s along the foreshore within the area of contamination that can identified as coming from the airfield. Mr Mcphail has also shown that after the Community Council in November, through its monthly newsletter “The Diary”, the Council asked for people to come forward with any information in relation to the clearance of Donibristle Airfield during its run down after World War 2 and before or after its eventual closure in 1959.
A resident witnessed in 1946 a dump of incinerated aircraft instrumentation almost overhanging the shore. Another resident said his father was employed by the MOD in the 1950’s as an aircraft fitter and was involved in taking unwanted aircraft for dumping at Dalgety Bay.
Yet another resident showed that her late father was employed by the MOD as a driver and was involved with the clearing of the airfield and the dumping of material at a coup which was a hole near a cliff in Dalgety Bay. This occurred at the end of the 1950’s - “As a pilot in the RAF I occasionally flew into Donibristle to ferry out planes including Ansons, Oxford’s, Tigers, Moths and Chipmunks”. He knew of the breaking and disposal of aircraft that was going on and was told that aircraft machinery had been dumped in the swamp of Ross Plantation.
A relative of the owner of a family roofing and plastering business had a contract with the Ministry of Works from 1940 onward for work at Donibristle Airfield. He stated that the official dump for all rubbish etc. was at what is now the Sailing Club area. After the war he remembers aircraft being dismantled in the area that is now the site of the Sailing Club.

 

Mr Mcphail concludes:
“From the evidence obtained from the above people, it is quite clear the MOD was involved in the disposal of aircraft material on the foreshore which included incinerated dials, paint pots etc. that has resulted in the radioactive contamination.”

My conclusion is that given that the SEPA says the materials were dumped and that they believe the cause of the radiation was materials from the planes that were dumped by the Ministry of Defence, everyone’s resolve should now be strengthened that the MOD take responsibility for and fund the clean up. “The sooner an agreement is reached the better.”


Gordon Brown

 

  BEACH RADIATION - LATEST REPLY FROM MOD 14 MARCH 2013 

Ministry of Defence

Building (01/D/04)

Kingston Road

Sutton Coldfield

West MidlandsB75 7RL

United Kingdom

Ref. 20130311-CMcP-let-PQ03011A-DB-u

 

17 The Wynd,

DALGETY BAY,

Fife.

KY11 9SH

14 March 2013

Dear Colin,

Thank you for your letter of the 27 February raising concerns over the time being taken to release the factual findings from the site investigation undertaken in November last year.

 

I have been asked to provide a response on behalf of The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Chief Operating Officer, Mark Hutchinson.

 

As you will be aware from the recent Adjournment Debate and Dalgety Bay Forum, DIO will be meeting with SEPA on the 14 March to provide them with the factual findings albeit with the exception of the analytical data commissioned by SEPA.  The latter has yet to be published in full and rather than delay further the release of the factual findings we have agreed with SEPA to make the report available in its current form.  Ultimately it will be for SEPA to agree the timetable for releasing the report into the public domain.

 

DIO is continuing to assist SEPA fulfil its statutory duty on a voluntary basis and I can assure you we have not sought to delay their inspection.  Equally we have not sought to delay a decision on whether the area under investigation meets the criteria for designation and who the appropriate persons are to take forward any necessary remediation.

 

The statutory regime does however, require SEPA to study and analyse the acts of other parties since the MOD’s occupation ceased in 1959, who may have caused, or knowingly permitted, the radium to be in, on or under the land in question. Hence, they are undertaking an assessment of potential appropriate persons which we understand will be published in May. Therefore, it would no doubt help them if the Community Council’s enquiries could be widened beyond 1959.

 

I trust this clarifies the situation. Please contact DIO if you have any further questions.

 

Yours sincerely

 

For and on behalf of DIO

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN MARCH 2013 

COMMUNITY COUNCIL REPORT FOR MARCH

FROM GORDON BROWN

 

A debate was held in the House of Commons on radiation issues in Dalgety Bay. It allowed us to force the pace to establish when the work in Dalgety Bay to clean up will be carried out.

 

We received an assurance that the long delay investigations report will be with SEPA on March 14th.  This is unfortunately after the Dalgety Bay forum meeting and around 3 months later than planned.  But it is progress on last week when the MOD was trying to blame SEPA for delays and insisted on waiting for a small piece of statistical data before they made the reports available.

 

This delivery date still makes a May timetable for an options study and for the risk assessment that precede it difficult.

 

But I will continue to press as I did on Monday for the clean-up of radiation contaminated Dalgety Bay to be completed in 2013.  I suggest that December 2013 deadline is necessary to focus minds on ending the delays in agreeing the clean-up of radiation pollution.

 

I suggested that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) needed to cooperate more effectively with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

 

I said that 18 months after substantial radiation contamination had been discovered, delivery on promises made by the MoD to help was still too slow.

 

The coastal processes report promised in October last year only arrived after I called this debate, and when it came on Sunday it was almost five months late.

 

Not only has "the investigations report due in January not been completed despite the fact that the Dalgety Bay forum meets to discuss it on March 11th, but the assessment of the findings, also due to be completed by January, has not yet been finished.”

 

 All these reports are the direct responsibility of the MoD, who promised to deliver them at stage one of the investigation into radiation. The delays mean that work on assessing the risk and devising a clean-up plan - which was supposed to be completed in May and which can only be triggered by the findings of the investigations - is also set back.

 

I suggested that it was time for an agreement by the MoD to accept responsibility as the polluter - and to pay for the clean-up.

 

I reminded the House of Commons that COMARE Report (the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment) had called for a clean-up as quickly as possible and that there had been 3400 particles discovered at Dalgety Bay.  Five of the finds were of a serious nature.

 

I took exception to a MoD letter – sent when it still had to complete its work and was believed to be the polluter - which said that ‘all correspondence should be sent to SEPA, not the MoD.’

 

I reminded the House that the MoD, had just completed a consultation on the possibility of breaking up redundant nuclear submarines in Fife and would have to fight hard to regain the trust of local people.

 

  BEACH RADIATION - LETTER FROM CHAIRMAN TO MOD  

Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT

17, The Wynd

Dalgety Bay

Fife

KYw11 9SH

 

27 February 2013

Your ref DIO COO 14/2012

Dear Mr Hutchinson,

 

DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION

 

refer to the reply received from Mark Hill dated 21 December 2012.

It is our concern that there has been no sign of the results being issued ofStage 2 of the Investigation that was completed last November. It is now 3 months since the trial pits and boreholes were undertaken. We therefore look forward to the results being announced without further delay in keeping withyour agreed timetable with SEPA for the Investigation.

They say patience is a virtue, but increasingly this becomes less and less with mistrust that the DIO MOD is failing to progresss answers to resolve the contamination after some 22 years of stigma for the community.

We are still obtaining information from former people connected with the airfield and where they are deceased, from their families; on the dumping ofairfield material by the MOD along the Dalgety Bay coastline which I am toldhappened in the late 1950’s and this information is being passed to SEPA and yourselves as suggested.

I remind you of Mark’s letter and quote:

“The Department’s policy is a matter for public record. In the event that MOD is found to be an Appropriate Person in accordance with the statutory regime for contaminated land, the Department will fulfil its obligation to meet its portion of the liability and carry out voluntary action including remediation where appropriate”.

For your information, the Community Council has not identified anybody else other than yourselves responsible for the contamination.

It is important that you have these results for the next meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum being held on 11 March 2013.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Colin McPhail MBE

Chairman

Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council

cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com

 

  RADIATION - GORDON BROWN SECURES DEBATE  

Hot news - Gordon Brown has secured a parliamentary debate on the beach radiation issue on Wednesday 6 March

 

  BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN 8 FEB 2013 

The Office of Gordon Brown
Carlyle House
Carlyle Road
Kirkcaldy
KY1 1DB
 
I promised to keep the community council in touch with events and development on the radiation issues at Dalgety Bay.
 
I am enclosing in this report the latest letter from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. (not yet included on the website - ed)
 
Because of the delays envisaged as a result of the succession of reports I have asked for a parliamentary debate on this issue yet again so that we can secure more information on a timetable for action in Dalgety Bay.
This timetable is important for us because we know that medical experts through COMARE have advised work to clean up the beach should happen as quickly as possible.
 
As the letter will reveal, the information from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency means further delays in the clean up. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s Operations Director has conceded that three studies have to be completed before a decision on remedial action could be made and clearly this pushes back the timetable for action months beyond the previously accepted May deadline.
 
I welcome of course the fact that in depth studies are being done on the scope of the pollution and I also welcome the further assessment by SEPA of the Ministry of Defences plans. But we also need a clear timetable for remedial work to start.
 
The worry is that we have yet to see from SEPA a decision made on who is the polluter and then on the obligations that the responsible party has for the cleanup. I have written to them saying that I want the Environment Agency to designate the polluting offender as soon as possible and I want them to agree the timetable for the remedial work so that it can be done swiftly and with proper funding. The delays are all the more regrettable because at the same time as Dalgety Bay waits Almondbank in Perth, another site where radiation substances have been found similar to Dalgety Bay, is having its clean up done now.
 
I have said on many occasions residents of Dalgety Bay have been patient but they cannot be expected to wait much longer. I would again ask residents to sign the petition that is on the Dalgety Bay Community Council website and I thank your chairman Colin McPhail for his persistence in ensuring the needs of residents on this important issue of concern are brought to the attention of the public authorities.
 

  BEACH RADIATION - LETTER FROM MOD 3 FEB  

The following is a letter to the Chairman from the MoD dated 21 Dec 2012

Ministry of Defence
Building (01/D/04)
Kingston Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands B75 7RL
United Kingdom


Ref. 20121220-CMcP-let-DB-u

17 The Wynd,
DALGETY BAY,
Fife.
KY11 9SH

 

21 Dec 2012

Dear Colin,

Further to your letter of 9 November and our subsequent conversation at the Dalgety Bay Forum on the 5 December regarding Stage 2 of the Investigation Plan I have been asked to respond on behalf of Mark Hutchinson who sends his apologies for the delay.

As you are aware pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is the lead regulator in Scotland for all matters pertaining to radioactively contaminated land. Consequently it is SEPA and not MOD which has ultimate responsibility for determining what remedial action is required at Dalgety Bay and who is ultimately responsible, informed by the inspection currently underway.

To this end DIO is continuing to assist SEPA on a voluntary without prejudice basis with their statutory inspection in order that the situation is resolved as quickly as possible. Any evidence the Community Council initiative yields should therefore, be passed to SEPA for their consideration. Similarly, any information received from parties such as the Moray Estates Development Company which is pertinent to the inspection should also be forwarded to SEPA.

With regard to community engagement and the road show, we discussed this at the Forum and we together with other Forum members will look to SEPA to take the lead as their inspection moves forward.   

The Department’s policy is a matter of public record. In the event that MOD is found to be an Appropriate Person in accordance with the statutory regime for contaminated land, the Department will fulfil its legal obligation to meet its portion of the liability and carry out voluntary action including remediation where appropriate. It is not for MOD or for that matter any other party to pre-empt the outcome of SEPA’s inspection and we will await their findings. As you will appreciate, to do otherwise risks nugatory effort and expenditure which apart from being quite rightly open to criticism could exacerbate the situation. You will recall that the Taxpayers’ Alliance questioned the expenditure of public funds to date following publication of the Health Protection Agency’s report in October of this year.

 

 BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN MP FEB 2013 

REPORT TO COMMUNITY COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 2013

Gordon Brown MP

 

In my January report I stated that

  • The Ministry of Defence have had no representations from any other parties admitting culpability for dumping radioactive waste.
     
  • The Ministry now believe it is for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to designate who is responsible for the original dumping and for funding the remediation work.

I said in January that I had written to SEPA asking them to make a dispensation as soon as possible so we can plan a start for the cleanup.

 

I hope that the Community Council will soon be receiving the full report which will enable the ultimate risk assessment to be undertaken which should happen alongside the development of remedial options.  But I now have a reply from the SEPA saying that there was a 2 month delay in completing their investigations but that the responsible party for the bay pollution will be named soon.

 

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency say that if the polluter is the Ministry of Defence  they will have to fund the cleanup work and take responsibility for a remedial action plan - or face legal action. 

 

I have told the Agency that the clean up should happen as quickly a possible - and that work on removing similar radiation had already started at Almondbank in Perthshire which also had airline materials dumped on the site.

 

SEPA say:

 

“We are currently developing documentation which will provide the evidence of which party(ies) we consider responsible for the contamination.  Once a suitable remediation option/management arrangements have been identified SEPA will expect those parties who are responsible for the contamination to undertake this work.”

 

This means that work may not start until late summer.  I hope these will be the last delays.

 

Give the medical advice I will continue to press for an early date for the start of work.

 

In the letter the agencies Operations Director Mr. Calum Macdonald stated that –

 

“As previously indicated, we would prefer that this work is undertaken on a voluntary basis. However, in the event that no party(ies) volunteer to undertake this work, SEPA will use its statutory powers to ensure this does indeed occur.”

 

“If SEPA were to use its powers it would require the formal designation of area(s) of Dalgety Bay as radioactive contaminated land following which SEPA would determine the 'appropriate person(s)' to undertake the work. Clearly, we would seek to avoid such designation due to the potential impact on the local community.”

 

They say that they will select the right option for the cleanup and that the option must ensure the problem does not recur and is a long term solution for protection of the public.

 

SEPA stated –

 

“We are currently developing documentation which will provide the evidence of which party(ies) we consider responsible for the contamination. As indicated earlier this document will contain information provided from the physical investigation which we are awaiting, together with information from historic maps, images and witness's. We expect our initial views on whom we believe is responsible for the contamination, and would be considered the appropriate person if the land were to be designated, to be complete in May 2013. SEPA hopes that if, following publication of its report, the MoD is identified as a party responsible for the contamination that they would undertake remediation on a voluntary basis. This would avoid the need for designation of the area as radioactive contaminated land.”

 

I urge residents of Dalgety Bay to sign, as your Chairman has urged, the Community Council petition calling on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Ministry of Defence to sanction the earliest possible cleanup work for Dalgety Bay’s beach. The petition calls for the authorities to move from the investigation phase of their work to the cleanup or remediation phase, where the beach is cleaned up and radioactive elements are removed or covered up for good.

 

 BEACH RADIATION - REPORT BY GORDON BROWN MP JAN 2013

 

REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

FIRST MEETING OF 2013

Gordon Brown MP

 

I wish all members of the Community Council a Happy New Year.

 

I want to congratulate your officers and your Chairman Colin McPhail on the consistent hard work you have undertaken to identify and deal with the radiation problem in the foreshore area.

 

My report this month follows answers to parliamentary questions that I have submitted on your behalf and which have identified that

  • The Ministry of Defence have had no representations from any other parties admitting culpability for dumping radioactive waste.
     
  • The Ministry now believe it is for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to designate who is responsible for the original dumping and for funding the remediation work.

After contacting your Chairman I have thus written to SEPA asking them to make a dispensation as soon as possible so we can plan a start for the cleanup, hopefully by May.

 

But I hope that residents of Dalgety Bay will sign, as your Chairman has urged, the Community Council petition calling on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Ministry of Defence to sanction the cleanup work for Dalgety Bay’s beach.

 

The petition which obviously arises from radiation contamination discovered on the beach calls for the authorities to move from the investigation phase of their work to the cleanup or remediation phase, where the beach is cleaned up and radioactive elements are removed or covered up for good.

 

We can report the investigatory work has been substantial. The scale of it is that 6 boreholes of 7m depth were taken, with 89 trial pits dug by a JCB excavator of 4.7m depth with an additional 3 dug at 8m depth.  17 trial pits were hand dug at 1.2 m depth.  In addition, 6 ground water samples and 4 surface water samples were taken and a number of core samples and up to 200 radioactive particles were recovered.

 

The good news is that this has enabled experts to assess the presence of ash and radioactive materials and as a result SEPA indicated at the December meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum that there would be no additional restriction needed at this time.

 

I hope that the Community Council will soon be receiving the full report which will enable the ultimate risk assessment to be undertaken which should happen alongside the development of remedial options. A report on the fieldwork will be made available to the next meeting of the Expert Group and the Forum later this month or early February.

 

The not so good news is that we have yet to have a decision on remedial work.  First SEPA must designate who is responsible, then the appropriate party must agree to fund the remedial work and then a timetable has to be drawn up.

 

My hope has been that the work will begin in May this year so we can see an end to this problem.

 

I will continue to put pressure on SEPA and the MOD on behalf of Dalgety Bay residents

 

 BEACH RADIATION - UPDATE ON BEACH SURVEY JANUARY 2013 

The following progress can be reported;
The fieldwork associated with Stage 2 of the Investigation of the contaminated foreshore has been completed by the MOD by the end of November last year and this was monitored by SEPA
6 boreholes of 7 m depth were taken
89 trial pits dug by a JCB excavator of 4.7 m depth with an additional 3 dug at 8 m depth.
17 trial pits hand dug at 1.2 m depth were made  
6 ground water samples and 4 surface water samples were taken
a number of core samples and up to 200 radioactive particles were recovered
This has enabled the fieldwork to relate to the topographical survey its geology of the area and assess the presence of ash, radioactive artifacts, asbestos etc detected and to date the material.
From the fieldwork undertaken, SEPA indicated at the December meeting of the FORUM that there would be no additional restrictions needed at this time.
The factual report on the fieldwork undertaken will be given in January/February 2013 and the Community Council looks forward to receiving this report which will enable the ultimate risk assessment to be undertaken along with the development of remedial options.
In the meantime, the Community Council welcomes any additional information on the dumping of material on the foreshore during the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's please let us know and our petition to the UK Government still continues on this matter.

IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY SIGNED THE PETITION OR JOINED THE EMAIL CAMPAIGN PLEASE DO SO NOW TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE MOD AND SEPA.

 

NOTE: the Chairman has also received a personal reply from the MOD just before Christmas and is awaiting their permission to place it on the website.

 

GORDON BROWN'S REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

 

Report to Community Council November 2012

 

I am pleased that Stage 2 of the Investigation plan is now underway.

 

I note that trial pits are being dug and boreholes taken.  I know Colin McPhail has detailed information on the scale of the work underway, if not yet, the results announced.

 

I support and will press his proposal for engaging with the community with a road show in Early 2012, once the results are analysed and the course of action is recommended by the Expert Group to SEPA and MOD.

 

But I am keen that the next stage does not delay, but includes, the necessary remediation measures.

 

This is in my view the only long term way to resolve the contamination issue.

 

I appealed publicly for older residents to come forward to tell us of they had evidence of parties moving contaminated materials after their dumping by MOD. To date, I have not received any but I understand the Community Council has obtained some responses.

 

The Moray Estates Development Company have been asked about their view on MOD suggestions about knowledge on their part when the sale of the land happened to them. I understand that their reply is that if they had clear and accurate information about contamination they would not have bought the site and certainly not paid as much for the purchase of the land.

 

We may find more from older or former residents but I believe the settled view is that the Ministry of Defence have obligations that they must meet and that it's time for them to end the uncertainty by agreeing they will be paying for the remediation action plan which should be moved forward at the earliest opportunity.  I believe that this view which I've communicated to the Ministry of Defence is the settled view of the members of the Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council.

 

Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP

 

 9 NOVEMBER - THE CHAIRMAN WRITES TO THE MOD

DALGETY BAY AND HILLENcD COMMUNITY COUNCIL

                                                         Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT

                                                         17, The Wynd,

                                                         Dalgety Bay, Fife

9 November 2012                               KY11 9SH

 

Your ref DIO COO 14/2012 

                 

Dear Mr Hutchinson,

 

DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION

 

I thank you for reply dated 27 September 2012.

It is pleasing to note that Stage 2 of the Investigation is now underway with trial pits being dug and boreholes taken and look forward to the results being announced. It would be a good idea to engage with the community by holding the promised road show early next year, once these results are analysed and the way forward is recommended by the Expert Group to SEPA and to you.

These recommendations, I expect to include the necessary remediation measures to resolve the contamination after some 22 years of suffering by the community.

I have contacted Moray Estates Development Company regarding your comments on the sale of the land to them. Their reply indicates that having been professionally advised, they could equally assume that had clear and accurate information been passed over relating to the exact nature and content of the salvage area in question, then it would be very unlikely the Estate would have completed with the purchase of the land.

I am presently obtaining information from former people connected with the airfield and where they are deceased, from their families; on the dumping of airfield material by the MOD along the Dalgety Bay coastline which I am told happened in the late 1950’s. Please refer also to my relevant observations report which you did not comment on.

I consider it is now time with mounting evidence, that the DIO should now go the extra mile having spent some £2 million pounds on investigation over the past few years and voluntarily settle the problem by funding any remediation works required.

 

Yours sincerely,

  

Colin McPhail MBE

Chairman

Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council

cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com

 

 BEACH RADIATION - UPDATE 9 NOVEMBER 

To date 50 of the 90 exploratory trial pit and boreholes have been excavated by the MOD contractor

 

16 OCTOBER - A REPLY FROM MORAY ESTATES 

See the item of 3 October for details of what has prompted this reply
The Chairman writes: A reply from Moray Estates indicates that "They being professionally advised, could equally assume that had clear and accurate information been passed over relating to the exact nature and content of the salvage area in question then, it would be unlikely the Estate would have completed the purchase".

On this reply PLEASE NOTE THAT IF ANYBODY IN THE LOCAL AREA HAS KNOWLEDGE OF ANY OPERATIONS PARTICULARY IN RESPECT OF DONIBRISTLE AIRFIELD ON INCINERATION, DUMPING OF MATERIAL OR OTHER WORKS IN RELATION TO THE FORESHORE IN DALGETY BAY DURING THE 1950'S AND 1960'S, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHAIRMAN cmcphail.oceanwheels@btinternet.com or tel 01383 823750. YOU MAY HAVE IMPORTANT INFORMATION WE CAN SEND TO THE MOD AND SEPA.

 

  3 OCTOBER - BEACH RADIATION - THE MOD REPLIES 

A reply to the Chairman from the COO DIO MOD. The Chairman has written to Moray Estates for their comments on paragraph 3 (comments have now been received - Ed)

 

Dear Mr McPhail,
 
DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION
 
Thank you for your letter of the 6 August 2012. I can confirm that a copy was forwarded to the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan, whilst he was still the Minister for Defence Pensions, Welfare and Veterans, as you requested. Please accept my apologies for the delay in confirming this and for replying to your letter.
 
As you will be aware we are now in the process of finalising arrangements to commence Stage 2 of the Investigation Plan and hope to have everything agreed ready to start in October. This will include engaging with residents, and I would like to thank you for your offer of assistance. I understand that my officials have already been in touch in this regard.
 
With regard to the sale of the former RNAS Donibristle, it is unfortunate that  we have not been able to establish the exact details of the documentation which was provided as part of the sale. We cannot therefore, comment on whether or not the information in question was passed across. What is certain is that we would have complied with the practice and legal requirements of the day. Given the fact that the salvage section was still present at the time of sale, combined with the breadth of the proposal put forward by the Moray Estates Development Company in respect of the site, it would seem fair to assume that they had a detailed knowledge of the site before committing to its purchase.
 
Returning to the Investigation Plan, we remain committed to delivering the investigation in order to assist SEPA to determine the nature and extent of the problem and what needs to be done to ensure the protection of the local community.

Again, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.
 
Yours sincerely,


Mark Hutchinson
Chief Operating Officer
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
DESK 9, LEVEL 5 ZONE A, MOD MAIN BUILDING , WHITEHALL, LONDON, SW1A 2HB
MOD telephone: 9621 78294│Telephone: 0207 807 8294   0207 807 8294│Fax: 0207 218 2470   0207 218 2470
Email: DIO-COSOpspport@mod.uk│ Website: www.mod.uk/DIO

 

BEACH RADIATION LATEST UPDATE 10 AUGUST 2012

Below is a scan of the most recent letter from the Chairman to the MoD

 

 

BEACH RADIATION LATEST UPDATE 2 AUGUST 2012

From the Chairman...

 

I attended the 4th meeting of the Expert Group held on 17 July.
Briefly, the following topics were discussed:
1) The DIO MOD's contractor AMAC were asked to consider modifying the criteria evaluation of their monthly detection system.
2) A draft Conceptual Model Report was considered which was accompanied by an Information Review.
3) SEPA gave an update on the Ground Penetrating Radar work undertaken.
4) It was recommended to extend the area of investigation to cover the new harbour area where additional particles have been detected.
5) Stage 2 of the Investigation Plan was presented with a draft scope of works and discussed. This included investigative actions on uncertainties, along with further non-intrusive and intrusive investigations.
 
Intrusive investigation proposed includes trial pits, boreholes, radiological monitoring and sampling of materials found. A review of the coastal processes on the site will also be undertaken. Programming of the intrusive investigation will be dependent on agreement with the land owners, with work possibly starting in September and lasting two to three weeks.
 
A number of points arose on AMAC's draft Conceptual Model Report which was considered to contain contentious information.
 
The Plan finally represents a targeted investigation to reduce uncertainties and its information will be used to inform risk assessment, identification and appraisal of management options including the outline of those that are remedial on which we are continuing to pursue the government with our e-petition.
 
Chairman
 

  BEACH RADIATION 16 MAY 2012 

Below is the latest reply to the Chairman from the MoD. Note in particular para 3 - this is an acceptance on their part, that if they are found to be the party responsible in whole or part for the contaminated land, they will carry out voluntary remediation as appropriate. This appears to be a bit of a breakthrough and the Chairman will write to the MoD again in relation to the findings of the Confidential Report to Harold Macmillan's Government in 1958 advising on the disposal of radioactive waste, particularly aircraft parts, which was not followed by the MOD

 

COO DIO 120/2012                                                                                       

 

David Olney

Chief Operating Officer

Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Desk 8, 5th Floor, Zone A

Ministry of Defence

Main Building

London, SW1A 2HB

 

Telephone (MOD):               9621 84532

Telephone (External):         +44 (0) 207 218 4521

Mobile:                                +44 (0) 7775 625097

Facsimile (MOD):                 +44 (0) 207 218 2470

E-mail:                                 DIOOps-COO@mod.uk

 

15 May 2012

 

Mr Colin McPhail MBE                                                                  

Chairman of Dalgety Bay and

Hillend Community Council

17 The Wynd,
Dalgety Bay.

Dunfermline

KY11 9SH

                                                                                                                   

Dear Mr McPhail,

 

Thank you for your letter of the 27 April 2012 in which you kindly provided a copy of your report to the Community Council following the public meeting of the 9 April together with details of the epetition that has been established.

 

I appreciate that the local community remains understandably anxious about the situation. However, I do believe that SEPA needs to be afforded sufficient time in which to complete their statutory inspection in order to understand the risk, identify what needs to be done in the longer term to manage the risk and determine which party or parties should bear responsibility. To this end, MOD is committed to delivering the agreed investigation plan.

 

Our policy is very clear and remains unchanged namely: where MOD is found to be a party responsible (Appropriate Person) in whole or part for contaminated land under the statutory regime, then we will work with the regulator and other responsible and interested parties such as landowners, to meet our portion of the liability and carry out voluntary remediation where appropriate.  Hopefully, this will provide some comfort to both yourself and the local community.

 

With regard to the buried particle detected by SEPA during their survey work on the 21 and 22 April, we are working with SEPA to understand the nature of the find and the implications with respect to the current management regime including the Amec monitoring protocol. 

 

In the meantime I am confident that SEPA and the Expert Group will be inregular consultation with the Dalgety Bay Forum to continue to ensure that the measures currently in place are sufficient to manage the potential risk to health

 

On the matter of the radioactive materials store, I can confirm that this was relocated from the Sailing Club to Active Waste Accumulation Facility in Rosyth on the 30 April in accordance with the authorisation granted by SEPA.  Consequently there has been no significant impact on the investigation programme and I understand that sailing activities have resumed.

 

I hope that this letter is sufficient to re-assure the Community Council, Sailing Club and residents that MOD and SEPA are working together to resolve the issues at Dalgety Bay.

                                                                                                                        Yours ever,

 

 


14 APRIL 2012

 

FORESHORE RADIATION - THE LATEST AT 14 Aril 2012
A meeting was held on 27 March of the Dalgety Bay Forum when SEPA and the MOD gave their latest position statements. This was followed by a public meeting in the town that evening which was arranged by SEPA to issue their statement to the residents. This meeting was also addressed by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP following his meeting with the Secretary of State for Defence the previous day when he gave the Secretary of State new evidence to highlight the risks with further background information. Mr Brown reported that in addition, he had met the Chief Executive of SEPA the previous week to discuss the matter.
The MOD had been invited to attend the public meeting but declined, issuing a reply to the Community Council Chairman for him to read out giving their position. Due to the efforts of Gordon Brown our local MSP various councillors and ourselves, the Community Council is pleased that the MOD since being given an ultimatum by SEPA last November, has been working together with SEPA to develop an investigation plan and associated programme. This plan has three stages and is to be completed by May 2013. The agreed plan was submitted before the deadline at the end of March which was given to the MOD by SEPA, failing this, they would have taken measures to declare the contaminated foreshore as radioactive land under the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Act 2007.
This will now NOT happen which is good news for our community. However, it must be stressed that SEPA could still designate the affected foreshore at any time should the MOD’s voluntary investigation work agreed falter or fails to meet the timescale.
Full details of the investigation plan have yet to be released, but the following is known;


STAGE 1
To develop an Initial Conceptual Site Model and to develop a Tier 1 Qualitative Risk Assessment and various radiological, geophysical and topographical surveys to inform the site investigation.


STAGE 2
To carry out a targeted intrusive and non-intrusive investigation. This may involve further surveys to refine the number of trial pits and sampling, the intent being to confirm the presence, nature and extent of radium 226 contamination and inform the quantification of the environmental and health risks.


STAGE 3
To compile the investigation findings and use them to refine the Conceptual Site Model and develop a Tier 2 Generic Quantitative Risk Assessment Methodology configured for patchy contamination, should SEPA and the Expert Group consider this to be appropriate. In the case of the source of radioactivity being attributed to discrete artefacts then best practise guidance will be applied.

At the end of Stage 3 the MOD has agreed to develop outline management options for SEPA to consider and take forward with the responsible party or parties. They state, that before a remediation plan can be developed, the source and for that matter the liability for the radium contamination needs to be understood and equally important how the radioactive sources of higher activity found at depth within the foreshore came to be there and how plausible that they might be exposed by a storm event and what would be the impact on public health if this occurs. They state their continued monitoring and removal of radioactive items and sources from the foreshore has together with the signage and other measures ensured public safety in the short term and an effective solution therefore depends on assessing what might still be present and to understand the risks this poses.
As part of this work, we look forward to the recommendations of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and to the deliberations of the Expert Group made up of UK experts on radiation.
During March, we have had some feedback from NHS Fife with some reassuring information from the cancer data study which shows that none of the cancers most frequently associated with radiation exposure were found to be significantly higher in incidence in the Dalgety Bay population compared to similar populations elsewhere in Scotland. The Food Standards Agency who advises on seafood and bait has submitted a risk assessment to the Health Protection Agency and this should be made known within the next few weeks.
A few years ago, the MOD acted voluntarily and discreetly to investigate and remediate the contamination found affecting properties that could be attributed to the former Donibristle Airfield.
In conclusion, the DIO MOD plans to move forward with the investigation, so that SEPA and the Expert Group which consists of UK experts on radiation are able to resolve the issues at Dalgety Bay, keeping the Dalgety Bay Forum informed.


SO WHERE ARE WE AFTER THIS?
The Community Council is pleased that a FINAL INVESTIGATION PLAN has been agreed taking us up to May 2013 but after this date there is no clear indication of admittance of who is going to be responsible for remedial work.
I note the MOD has now employed a lawyer to defend their position and SEPA are currently investigating the history of the airfield and house building in the town. It is my view, it is only the taxpayer and the community who would suffer if as a result, this leads to legal wrangling in the future between these two public organisations with the costs far better spent on remediation work.


CONCLUSION
The Community Council along with our MP, MSP and local representatives will continue to press for a clear timetable for remedial action to be completed by the end of 2013.
After 22 years, we as a community are owed a significant clean up and closure to the problem.


 

16 MARCH 2012

 

Gordon Brown MP today called for a timetable for the cleanup of radioactive contamination in Dalgety Bay.
 
While welcoming a joint statement from SEPA and the MOD that a plan was to be published on March 27th he said that it had to contain a plan and date for the cleanup of the beach area at Dalgety Bay.
 
Mr. Brown was speaking after a meeting he had with the head of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Stirling this morning.
 
He said “While I welcome the statement by the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, I and the Community Council are clear that we need a full statement of the discovery of radiation particles in the area and we need not only a plan for continuous monitoring but a plan for the removal of radioactive particles and either a sea wall or other remedial work to prevent particles causing safety fears again.

“When I meet the Secretary of State for Defence next Monday on 26th March I will be asking for a timetable for a cleanup plan for the area that can be implemented as soon as possible.

“This, and this alone, can lift the threat of a designation order that would label Dalgety Bay a radiation contaminated area. None of us want this to happen and it is up to the Ministry of Defence to take action to prevent this misfortune'

“I will be asking for a timetable for a cleanup plan for the area to be implemented.

 

****************************************************


Statement from SEPA and MOD
 
A SEPA spokesperson said:
 
“On 29 February, in line with the timetable set by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) last November, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) submitted to SEPA its proposals in relation to radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay.

“SEPA has indicated that it is broadly content with the scope of DIO’s plan. DIO and SEPA are now engaged in a constructive dialogue to clarify some essential elements of detail, and the plan’s implementation.


“A meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum is planned for 27 March 2012, following which the content of the plan will be made public.”
 
David Olney of Defence Infrastructure Organisation said:
 
“This investigation plan represents a tangible example of DIO's commitment to assist and support SEPA and the Expert Group in understanding the situation at Dalgety Bay and determining what needs to be done and by whom.”

 


 

 NEW!    BEACH RADIATION 16 MARCH 2012

Extract from the minutes of the CC meeting on 12 March

UPDATE ON FORESHORE RADIATION

The Chair reported on the updates he had received before the meeting from SEPA and the MOD. SEPA confirmed their receipt of the MOD’s three staged final investigation plan which is being presently being considered and they will be making a public statement shortly. The MOD had confirmed they had submitted the plan and is continuing their dialogue with SEPA.

Gordon Brown MP gave his update on the radiation issue. He stated that this is the vital month as the deadline for the MOD is to come forward with an acceptable remediation plan by the end of the month or SEPA could start to implement measures in designating the area as contaminated land. 

With this urgency, he will meet with the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond in Whitehall on 26 March taking the key request to the meeting that the MOD agree to accept responsibility and fund remediation work as soon as possible. Accompanied by the Chair, he will also have a meeting with Professor Jim Curran the new Chief Executive  of SEPA in advance of his meeting with the Secretary of State.

The Chair has also requested that the Dalgety Bay Forum meet before the end of the month.

The particles buried at Crowhill Wood have been checked out by SEPA and found not to be a matter of concern.

12 ex-military sites around the UK are now recognised as being radioactive.

 

  NEW!    BEACH RADIATION 8 MARCH 2012 

Statement from the Chairman
"A final Investigation Plan has been submitted to SEPA by the DIO MOD at the end of February. This plan is currently being considered by SEPA.
I have asked for an update at the end of this week from both organisations so I can report to next Monday's Community Council meeting. I have also requested SEPA that a meeting of the Forum should take place before the end March".
 

  NEW!    22 DECEMBER 2011 

The minutes of the public meeting about beach radiation held on 16 December are now available. Read them in the NEWS panel on the right

 


 

MINUTES OF PUBLIC MEETING

 

 

AMENDED MINUTES OF THE MEETING ON DALGETY BAY BEACH RADIOACTIVITY HELD ON FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2011 IN DALGETY PARISH CHURCH HALL

ATTENDEES
Colin McPhail (Chair)            Community Councillors
Gordon Brown MP                J Gray
Helen Eadie MSP                  P Franklin
Dr Paul Dale SEPA                J Nicholson
Dr Jim Gemmill SEPA             Corrie McPhail        
Dr Hyland NHS Fife               B Wade                
Dr Eddie Coyle NHS Fife       A Hyde
Dr Mary Morray HPA             D Pritchard
Bob Eadie Fife Council         A McFarlane  
A McGarry Fife Council
George Kay Fife Council
John Burton HPA
APOLOGIES
MoD
Fife Councillor D Dempsey

J McFarlane

Members of the Public – Approx. 110

 

The Chair opened the meeting by introducing the top table and giving a history of the foreshore radiation issue and the Community Council’s position on the matter.  Almost all of the public attending were residents and there was a fair representation of Sailing Club members.  He expressed disappointment that the MoD was not represented and continued to read out a statement supplied by them stating that it was not appropriate for them to participate in a public meeting attended by politicians and the media. The statement continued that the recent discovery of higher activity sources at some depth does not imply a step change in the risk to human health with the HPA continuing to hold the view that the risk is likely to be low but needs to be reviewed.  They will assist the Expert Group to be set up by SEPA working to identify a programme of work for any long-term credible remediation and management measures.  A plan is being presented to SEPA before work starts next year.

Gordon Brown began by thanking everyone for attending what he called an important meeting.  He also praised the Chair, Colin McPhail, the Community Council and all other parties involved for their vigilance, also the residents for their patience and resilience.  Gordon gave the catalogue of events since the site in the area of the Sailing Club and Ross Plantation was used as landfill in the 1950’s with the evidence of radioactive particles found in 1990.  He detailed events and meetings he had held with officials and politicians.  He stressed that the removal of the particles must take place as a matter of urgency with a plan of action on remediation so that there would be no further risk. He felt that the MoD should have attended the meeting to hear what residents had to say and that they as the responsible party must take responsibility for what they had done and ensure that this is not the first area in the UK to be designated forever as ‘radioactive contaminated land’.

Dr Jim Gemmill, SEPA, said they had contacted its marine scientists on tidal flows in the area, but it was not believed that the particles were coming from the sea.  He was satisfied that investigations into the historic source of the tipping showed the contamination came from luminising work including items such as aircraft dials.

Dr Paul Dale spoke of the separate investigation into the headland area where coring and monitoring identified radium 226 at depth.  In the process of the headland investigation, particles missed by the MoD had been found but specialist teams are now being used.  Sources have been recovered which had 10 times higher activity than before, overall around 400 sources had been recovered by SEPA which had been missed by the MoD.  

Helen Eadie MSP stated that she had raised a motion on the issue with the First Minister and would take back representation from this meeting to the Scottish Parliament.

Dr Hyland assured the NHS would take any impact on distress to the community seriously and that an up-to-date study of cancer statistics in Dalgety Bay would be carried out and residents informed of results.

 


 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

 

 

DALGETY BAY AND HILLEND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
have arranged a

PUBLIC MEETING
7.30pm in DALGETY CHURCH HALL ON
FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER 2011
REGARDING
FORESHORE RADIATION

REPORTS WILL BE GIVEN BY
SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY
DIO MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Rt Hon Dr Gordon Brown MP
Helen Eadie MSP
also present will be
NHS FIFE, HEALTH PROTECTION AGENCY
and Fife Councillors
following the reports there will be a Q/A time

 


 

MoD statement supplied on 12 December

prior to the public meeting on 16 December

 

MOD POSITION STATEMENT

 

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) fully recognises that the very mention of “radioactivity” and the fact of contamination will quite understandably give cause for concern.  A situation that has been compounded by the recent discovery by SEPA of higher activity sources at some depth beneath the foreshore. However, this does not necessarily imply a step change in the risk to human health and indeed the Health Protection Agency continues to hold the view that despite the recent finds, the risk is likely to be low. That said we agree that the risk needs to be reviewed in light of these discoveries.

It is therefore, important that the risk be adequately quantified and understood taking into account the likelihood of exposure. Hence, we welcome and support the establishment of an Expert Group by SEPA charged with doing this. As observers to this Group MOD stands ready to assist.  

Given the recent finds, we are working with SEPA to identify a programme of work that will inform the scope of any long-term credible remediation and management measures, despite that fact that ordinarily responsibility for such investigation would fall within SEPA’s statutory mandate for which they are funded.  By doing this we hope to avoid any unnecessary delay as this would not be in the interests of residents and the local community.

This work will also look at interim management measures and we will continue with our existing three year monitoring programme.  

Previously we have acted voluntarily and discreetly to investigate and remediate radium 226 contamination affecting residential properties that were built on the site of the former Royal Naval Air Station Donibristle. This measured approach was, we understand, welcomed by the residents as our action avoided unnecessary “blight”, anxiety, and stress. As part of this work we took forward the recommendations of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE).

We remain concerned that any “designation” of the area because of the contamination would be premature and certainly not in the interests of residents and their overall well-being. We are also concerned that recent attempts to attract national media attention to this issue will have the opposite effect on the local community to the one intended.

However, before a “credible remediation plan” can be developed, the source and for that matter the cause of the radium contamination together with the risk it poses needs to be understood. Furthermore, it is equally important to understand how the radioactive sources of higher activity found at depth within the foreshore came to be there, and how plausible is it that they might be exposed by a storm event and what will be the impact on public health if this occurs. Removal of what is “known” has ensured public safety in the short term. An effective solution therefore depends on assessing what might still be present and the risks from this.  All in all some £750,000 has been spent by MOD on land remediation, signage, surveys and assisting SEPA in other ways which demonstrates our commitment.

In conclusion DIO is assisting SEPA further by working in consultation with them to develop and deliver the investigation necessary to help answer the important outstanding  questions.


 

Letter from MoD to Chairman in response to a letter from the Chairman dated 18 November


COO DIO 120/2011       


Mr Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman of Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council
17 The Wynd,
Dalgety Bay.
Dunfermline
KY11 9SH

 

David Olney

Chief Operating Officer

 

Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Desk 8, 5th Floor, Zone A

Ministry of Defence

Main Building

London, SW1A 2HB

 

Telephone (MOD):                              9621 84532

Telephone (External):         +44 (0) 207 218 4521

Mobile:                                                   +44 (0) 7775 625097

Facsimile (MOD):                                +44 (0) 207 218 2470

E-mail:                                                   DIOOps-COO@mod.uk

 

                                                                     

Dear Mr McPhail,

Thank you for your letter of 18 November, concerning radiation at Dalgety Bay, which was not originally received by our department.

I can assure you I do understand your concerns and those of the local community over the recent media reports. I would like to reassure you that the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) remains committed to supporting both SEPA and the Dalgety Bay Forum (DBF). As you will be aware we are working closely with SEPA to develop and implement a credible investigation plan and will continue with the three year monitoring and collection programme. DIO will be presenting the plan formally to SEPA on the 22 December 2011 with a view to starting the investigation in the New Year. We are also discussing the programme of work as we remain concerned that the timescales SEPA has sought to impose are overly ambitious and could result in the unnecessary designation of the beach. As part of the work we are working with the relevant parties to ascertain whether additional interim measures such as additional monitoring, change sto signes and temporary barriers are required.

Over the past few years, MOD has assisted SEPA on a voluntary and informal basis. As part of this work we continue regularly to monitor and recover radioactive items often referred to as ‘particles’ from the foreshore. To date the MOD has spent some £750K on both earlier work within the residential areas and more recent foreshore monitoring and recovery work. The department also continues to provide ongoing support for SEPA’s headland investigation through receipt, storage and ultimate disposal of radioactive material arising from the survey.

The MOD has demonstrated a serious commitment to dealing with the problem at Dalgety Bay and will continue to work with SEPA, the Scottish Government and the Dalgety Bay Forum to identify the likelihood and scale of the residual risks and the requirement for any remedial action. Indeed the work in hand represents a step towards a long term strategy to manage contamination issues at the beach.  

You will be aware that the Health Protection Agency (HPA) remains of the view that following the recent higher activity finds the overall health risk is still likely to be low and that subject to following their precautionary advice there is no reason to stop using the beach with the exception of the cordoned area. Furthermore that they have reiterated their advice to SEPA that a detailed public health risk assessment needs to be commissioned and that actions such as the investigation we are planning with SEPA need to be taken to obtain the quantitative information required to inform it. We support this advice and the recent formation of an Expert Group by SEPA to establish the residual risk and as we understand the need for and scope of any remediation.

Hence, you will appreciate the importance and for that matter urgency of ensuring the risk is adequately quantified and understood taking into account the likelihood of exposure. To this end we made the commitment to the Dalgety Bay Forum on the 22 November 2011 which was reiterated by the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans (Min DPWV), to work with SEPA to develop and deliver the credible investigation plan necessary to inform the risk assessment and work of the Expert Group

As you are aware the MOD will not be sending a representative to the public meeting on December 16. Unfortunately it was felt that it would be inappropriate for our officials to attend given the presence of politicians and the media. I realise this remains disappointing news, but the statement you have been given to read out at the meeting states the department’s current position.

The department remains committed to liaising with all interested stakeholders on this matter. Therefore Min DPWV will be visiting Fife Councillors in the New Year to discuss Dalgety Bay,

Yours ever,


  NEW   29 NOVEMBER 2011 

The Chairman reports that Gordon Brown MP has tabled a motion for a debate on the radiation issue to take place in the House of Commons on Wednesday 30 November


LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE & PRIME MINISTER 18 NOV

 

DALGETY BAY AND HILLEND COMMUNITY COUNCIL

   18 November 2011                             Colin McPhail MBE C.Eng MICE, MCIHT

                                                                               17,The Wynd.

                                                                               Dalgety Bay, Fife,

                                                                               KY11 9SH

Dear Mr Hammond,

       DALGETY BAY FORESHORE RADIATION

I  write to you as Chairman of Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council regarding the implications to the community of the radium contamination on part of the Dalgety Bay foreshore. I understand, you have met our former Prime Minister and local MP, Dr Gordon Brown to discuss what action from the MOD is urgently needed to address the problem.

The matter is also being pursued through the Scottish Parliament by our local MSP Helen Eadie. On behalf of the Community Council I have been involved with the issue since 1990 and a member of the Dalgety Bay Forum dealing with the matter since 2006. The membership of this Forum (chaired by SEPA) consists of DIO MOD, SEPA, Scottish Government, Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency, NHS Fife, Fife Council,

Community Council and the Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.

As you have been made aware, the random contamination is manmade and is a result of luminous aircraft dials and debris being incinerated into clinker and being dumped in shoreline tips and scattered onto the beach as part of the final closure of the wartime Donibristle Airfield in 1959. The clinker contains luminous paint that has been fused into the isolated particles that have consequently been found. The radiation from these was first found in 1990 and has been identified as Radium 226 which has a half life of 1600 years.

Over the past 21 years various agencies have been involved in studies, monitoring and recovery of the contaminated particles that have been detected. The Community Council has relied on advice being given by these agencies and up to now, concluded that provided elementary precautions were taken i.e washing your hands after being on the beach and the non removal of items such as shell fish, the risk to the public was minimal. However, repopulation of the radioactive particles is occurring and recently one particle was found that was 10 times more radioactive than anything else found previously and over the past month 468 radioactive particles have been removed from the foreshore by SEPA and DIO MOD. This has resulted for the first time, with the cordoning off a section of the foreshore. Another of high radioactivity has been detected and is awaiting removal by the MOD.

At the emergency meeting of the Forum on 7 November, I tabled artifacts that included World War 2 aircraft dials, broken crockery, bottles and other aircraft parts recovered from the foreshore which can be connected to the airfield. I also tabled a report to the Cabinet dated 11 February 1958 given by the First Lord of the Admiralty regarding the closure of Donibristle Airfield in 1959. It is now felt, that with the new town's population now exceeding 12,000 since its construction started in 1965 and the airfield now formed into an industrial estate, enough time has elapsed that the time has come for major remediation works to be carried out by the polluter and depositor of the radioactive waste. The problem is not insolvable, and the matter should not be left as a legacy for future generations to deal with. With the damaging media attention being given there is a growing concern within the community and it is affecting the social and economic quality of the town and of course, it is raising many consequent health issues. I estimate, the cost of remedial works for the MOD would be equivalent to the cost of the studies and monitoring over the past 21 years.

I implore you, to instruct that a remediation programme be implemented asap to deal with this contamination that has existed for some 55 years. As you can see, there is physical  and written evidence and if needed witnesses can be supplied to confirm the MOD's involvement in the contamination. This is a community issue and we do not want it as a last resort, for the section of foreshore concerned to be declared as radioactive land under the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Act 2007. This would mean the land being placed on a register and would be a first to be listed as such within the UK, even the beach at Dounreay is not on the register. As I understand, it would place the land on the register for eternity and this would blight the town to the outside world. This would have a devastating affect on the Sailing Club which has been in existence since 1974 and on coastal walking, dog exercising, bird watching and picnicking activities.

 

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Colin McPhail

Chairman, Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council

 

Copies to Rt Hon David Cameron MP Prime Minister,

Dr Gordon Brown MP,

Helen Eadie MSP,

Members of Dalgety Bay Forum,

Jeanette Gray, Community Council Secretary and Members of the Community Council

Commodore, Dalgety Bay Sailing Club

 

  NEW   11 NOVEMBER 2011 -  COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING 

The Agenda for next Monday's Community Council Meeting (14 Nov) has been placed in the Post Office and the Library.The first hour will be used for an update from SEPA and the MOD (the MOD have yet to confirm their attendance) on the foreshore radiation. If a full public meeting is considered necessary on the radiation issue, then this will be arranged after the next Forum meeting on 22 November.

 

  NEW   9 NOVEMBER 2011 -  UPDATE 

Because of the media attention being given to the situation and the concern shown within the Community, on behalf of the Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council, the Chairman has formally requested that the second high activity particle that has been detected last week be removed by specialist means by the MOD and that SEPA continue to monitor the foreshore during the winter months especially where the caches of activity have been found.
 

  NEW   8 NOVEMBER 2011 -  EMERGENCY MEETING SUMMARY 

The Chairman attended an emergency meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum yesterday (7 November) at SEPA's offices in Stirling. This meeting was also attended by Helen Eadie MSP, Cllr Alice Mcgarry from FIfe Council, the Commodore of the Sailing Club and officials from SEPA, DIO MOD, Scottish Government, Food Standards Agency, Health Protection Agency,NHS Fife and Fife Council.

The Chairman placed emphasis related to recent finds, that the Community is looking for a long term remediation plan to be carried out without delay to resolve the problem and capital expenditure should be made available for the works from the MOD.
He tabled artifacts that included airplane dials, broken crockery and other aircraft parts found on the foreshore connected to the Donibristle Airfield. He also tabled a report given to the Government Cabinet by the First Lord of the Admiralty dated 11 February 1958 regarding the closure of Donibristle in 1959.
In the meantime, the Chairman will ask that SEPA continue monitoring the foreshore during the winter months especially, where the cashes of activity have been found.
NHS Fife reported that a study was presently being undertaken to update the previous health study carried out in 2002.
The Chairman has invited SEPA and DIO MOD to the next Community Council meeting on 14 November to give a report.
 

  NEW   28 OCTOBER 2011 -  EMERGENCY MEETING ARRANGED 

After concerted pressure from Gordon Brown MP and the Chairman an emergency meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum has been arranged for the 7 November. This is in addition to the scheduled meeting on 22 November. The Forum is chaired by SEPA and it is hoped the MOD is represented by senior officials.

 

  26 OCTOBER 2011 -  CHAIRMAN MEETS GORDON BROWN 

On Tuesday 25 October the Chairman again met Gordon Brown MP in Dalgety Bay to discuss actions on the radiation issues and this has been reported in the local press.

 

24 OCTOBER 2011 -  CHAIRMAN MEETS GORDON BROWN 

AN UPDATE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
 
Just to let everbody know, I met Gordon Brown MP at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club last Friday and reviewed the situation with him, The meeting was also attended by the Commodore of the Sailing Club. On purpose no press was invited.
I asked him to;
1) exercise pressure on the MOD to work together with SEPA and come up with the necessary capital expenditure to carry out the long awaited remediation works.
2) ask SEPA to bring forward the next meeting of the Forum.
3) help me by asking NHS Fife to review the community health situation again related to the health enquiries on radiation that I have received.
 
Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council
 

  19 OCTOBER 2011 -  SEPA PRESS RELEASE 

SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY

 

17 October 2011

 

Update on SEPA’s progress at Dalgety Bay

 

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has continued its monitoring and retrieval of radioactive particles from Dalgety Bay beach and recovered more than 60 particles over the weekend.

 

Seventeen particles were uncovered on Friday, 33 on Saturday and a further 31 on Sunday. The total number of particles that have been recovered since the start of this monitoring program is around 200.

 

Dr James Gemmill, radioactive substances manager for SEPA, said: “Over the next few days, we will be undertaking analysis and a review of the sources recovered to date, which will provide the basis of further recovery work at Dalgety Bay. We expect to return to Dalgety Bay on Wednesday to continue the monitoring and recovery work.

 

“The number of finds is higher than we anticipated, and therefore this work is progressing more slowly than we expected. Each find is being returned to the lab for further assessment.”

 

Radioactive material was first detected on a part of the foreshore at Dalgety Bay in 1990. It is thought that the contamination originates from the residue of radium-coated instrument panels from military aircraft incinerated and land filled in the area at the end of World War II. Monitoring has been undertaken by different agencies over time including SEPA and the Ministry of Defence and radioactive material has been removed periodically. 

 

Last week, SEPA Chief Executive Dr Campbell Gemmell said: “In the short term, SEPA will continue the current investigation and ensure the removal of any further sources detected.

 

“It is now urgent that an appropriate long term remediation plan is developed, and SEPA will meet with Scottish Government and the Ministry of Defence to expedite this. Without a remediation plan, SEPA may need to designate an area around the foreshore at Dalgety Bay as Radioactive Contaminated Land, to require remediation.”

 

SEPA will be meeting with the Scottish Government and the Ministry of Defence on October 24, with a meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum taking place on November 22.

 

Editor's note - from SEPA notes accompanying press release

The Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2007 come into force at the end of October 2007. SEPA has the responsibility under these regulations for the investigation, identification, characterisation and regulation of remediation of radioactive contaminated land (RCL). Without designation, we rely on voluntary remediation by relevant parties.

 

For more information on the background of Dalgety Bay, please visit www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/news/other/dalgety_bay.aspx

 

 18 OCTOBER 2011 -  MP & MSP MEETING 
The Chairman has been in touch with Gordon Brown MP and Helen Eadie MSP 's offfices and a meeting with both of them is to be arranged on their return to the UK. It is planned to have SEPA, MOD, Fife Council and the Sailing Club represented at the meeting.
 

  16 OCTOBER 2011 -  IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT 

BEACH RADIATION STATEMENT FROM THE CHAIRMAN

 

On Thursday 13 October I was informed by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) that a particle had been uncovered from the beach at the point by Ross Plantation which had some high radioactive activity.
Radioactive particles were first detected on a part of the foreshore at Dalgety Bay in 1990.It is conclusive that the contamination originates from the residue of incinerated aircraft debris that included radium coated instrument dials and panels from military aircraft which was dumped on a section of the foreshore after World War 2.
 
Since 1990, monitoring of the foreshore has been undertaken by various agencies but over the past few years by both SEPA and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and radioactive particles which have been of lesser radioactivity and are random in nature have been removed periodically.
This particle was dug up and is a cause for concern and while further investigations are carried out, Fife Council has been asked to cordon off part of the foreshore to restrict access to this part of the beach.
 
I find it disappointing, after the monitoring previously carried out, that this particle has only now been found. I feel time has now passed when a concerted effort should be made by the authorities involved to carry out remedial works to resolve this long standing problem.This will involve capital expenditure from the MOD. We cannot allow it to continue, the community is owed a solution to the problem. Apart from the damage it is causing to the Social and Economic quality of Dalgety Bay and of course the health questions that are raised, we cannot allow the situation to linger on and leave it as a legacy to be solved by future generations.
 
I have asked for the next Forum meeting which was scheduled late November, to be brought forward to the end of October when the current SEPA investigations should be completed. I am a member of this Forum which is made up of representatives from SEPA, MOD, Health Protection Agency, NHS Fife, Scottish Government, Foods Standards Agency, Fife Council and Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.
 
I will be putting pressure on the Forum for answers and I will keep you updated by the website.
 
Chairman
Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council
 

  BEACH RADIATION - HEALTH CONCERNS (DATE UNKNOWN)

INFORMATION FROM NHS FIFE

 

In terms of the risk from walking in the area - the HPA (Health Protection Agency – the UK agency who advises on radiation and health) advises that particles in the area have not led to an increase in detectible background radiation.

In terms of cancer incidence in the area - the Dalgety Bay Forum was presented with the results of health studies on cancer incidence which showed that there had been no increase in cancer rates in the local population. This study covered the period 1975-2002. NHS Fife is seeking an update of this information and will report to the Forum as soon the results are available but this may take several months because the data analysis is complicated.

If the data show that there has been any increase in cancer rates this does not necessarily mean that the cancer has been caused by contamination in the area of the beach - there are many causes of cancer (see here). If however there continues to be no increase in cancer rates then this should be re-assuring.


The HPA have recently updated their Q&A sheet which may answer some of your concerns. You can see the full page here but below is the relevant information taken from their site.

Health Protection Agency
RADIOACTIVITY AT DALGETY BAY

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (updated)

Q1 When and where was radioactive material first discovered on the beach at Dalgety Bay?

Radioactive material was first found in Dalgety Bay in 1990.  Details of the distribution are found on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) website: www.sepa.org.uk [external link].


Q2 Where has the radioactive material on the beach at Dalgety Bay come from?
The radioactive material is believed to come from the disposal by burning of the remnants of unwanted wartime aircraft. The radioactivity is likely to have come from their flight instruments and dials that were painted with radium to make them luminous in the dark.


Q3 What is the form of the radioactive material?
The radioactive material on the beach consists of discrete items (not a uniformly distributed “dust”) containing material that emits radiation. The radioactive material is radium, which occurs naturally but not in the form and quantities found. Some radioactive items are found on the surface but others are buried. There is a range of sizes from relatively large lumps of clinker-like material to smaller particles, about the size of a grain of sand.

 

Q4 Will I be exposed to radiation if I go on the beach, how can I prevent this?
Subject to any local restrictions in place, there is no reason for beach users to stop using the area eg for walking or sailing.   As a precaution parents may wish to consider stopping their children digging in the sand.

HPA recommends that you do not remove material from the beach. HPA also recommends washing hands on leaving the beach area, especially if you have been handling material there, and before eating.

 

Q5 What are the health risks from the radioactivity on the beach?
From the data seen so far HPA advice continues to be that the overall health risk is likely to be low.  Whilst there is a risk of health effects if a radioactive object is swallowed, breathed in or is in prolonged contact with the skin, in general the chance of coming into contact with a radioactively contaminated object on the beach is small.

However, the removal of artefacts or behaviours that are likely to lead to significant  amounts of beach material being retained on exposed skin, could increase the risk.  Therefore any local advice should be followed.

Q6 I have spent time on the beach, should I go to my doctor?
You do not need to go to your doctor.

Whilst there is a risk of health effects if a radioactive object is swallowed  breathed in or is in prolonged contact with the skin, in general the chance of coming into contact with a radioactively contaminated object on the beach is small.

There are no medical tests that can detect this low level of exposure or distinguish it from natural background radiation.


Q7 My dog has been on the beach, picking up stones, sticks, etc. Is it likely to be affected?
The HPA cannot comment on animal health.

 

Q8 Should all access to the beach at Dalgety Bay be restricted?
No.  Follow the information provided on the beach signage.


Q9 I have taken sand/shells/stones/artefacts from the beach. Am I likely to be affected and what should I do?
It is unlikely that sand, shells or stones taken from the beach will have significant radioactivity. If you have any concerns about artefacts removed please contact SEPA.


Q10 What should I do with shoes and clothing that I usually take to the beach?
No special action is required. It is unlikely that there will have been any contact with a radioactive object and even less likely that it might have stuck to shoes or clothing.

Q11 Should picking litter in the area on and around the beach be suspended?
The risk of radioactive material, especially the most active, becoming attached to litter is extremely remote. There is a much greater general hygiene risk associated with picking litter but properly handled with appropriate hygiene precautions, e.g. gloves, the risk to health is very small.

 

Q12 My child has been on the beach at Dalgety Bay. Are they at greater risk?
Normal activities at Dalgety Bay are no more risky for children than anyone else in the population. Since children are more likely to dig at beaches, as a precaution parents should consider stopping their children digging in the sand.


Q13 I have had cancer treatment, would that put me at greater risk if I visited  Dalgety Bay?
Normal activities at Dalgety Bay are no more risky for cancer patients, or patients taking any particular types of medication, than anyone else in the population. The advice on the beach signage should be followed by everyone.


Q14 What should I do if I have a skin problem after being on the beach at Dalgety Bay?
It is extremely unlikely that any skin condition would have been caused by radioactive object at Dalgety Bay. However, as with any medical problem, if you are concerned you should seek your GP’s advice.


Q15 What is radiation?
Radiation is energy that travels in the form of invisible waves and microscopic high speed particles. Most of the radiation we are exposed to comes from natural sources.  For more information see HPA website (www.hpa.org.uk).

Q16 What is “background radiation”?
We are all exposed to “background radiation” due to small quantities of radioactive material in the natural environment (soil, food, water and air) and penetrating rays from outer space.


Q17 How can you detect radiation?
Radiation cannot be detected by the human senses. Electrically operated instruments are usually used to detect and measure radiation. The most common portable instruments contain a Geiger-Mueller (GM) tube or scintillation probe.

 


Further information

 

Health advice

For further information contact the Health Protection Agency on  0141 440 2201  0141 440 2201 between Monday and Thursday  08 30 – 16 30  08 30 – 16 30 and Friday  08 30 – 1600  08 30 – 1600.


http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpa/contacts/contact_us.htm#centres

Further information can also be found at

http://www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/news/other/dalgety_bay.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

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