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Brown hits out at MoD over radiation

FORMER Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on the Ministry of Defence to speed up work to decontaminate a beach polluted by radiation.

The Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath told the Commons last night that "2013 has been a year of delays and intransigence" and that the MoD had failed to deliver on its promise to clean Dalgety Bay in Fife.

The site was a burial ground for the remains of more than 800 decommissioned warplanes in the 1940s and 50s which have leaked radioactive material. More than 1000 radioactive particles have been identified on the beach, yet a clean-up proposed by the MoD is yet to begin.

Mr Brown said: "I want justice for the residents of Dalgety Bay who have recently discovered that in the 1940s and 1950s, hun-dreds of military aircraft were scrapped, incinerated and the ash, including radiated particles, dumped near the sea shore.

"The Bay's foreshore, now cordoned off, is already the first area of the United Kingdom where a radiation risk study has had to measure the extent of contamination.

"And Dalgety Bay is now at risk of being named the only radiation contaminated area in the UK - over and above areas where there are nuclear weapons, nuclear power stations and nuclear waste stores - a designation that would blight the comm-unity, harm the environment and cause difficulties to the town that would last as long as we can see ahead."

Defence minister Andrew Murrison rejected the suggestion that the MoD was ducking its responsibilities.

He said: "The MOD has never sought to abdicate its legal responsibilities, much less delay progress in reaching a resolution. We have been up-front about the Department's historical activities."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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