Gordon Brown Demands MoD Takes Action Over Scottish Beach Radiation

By Sam Gibbs on at

Gordon Brown has got stuck into the debate over whether the radiation found on a beach in Scotland needs to be cleaned up, and if so, whose fault it is. The radioactive material found is radium, the original glow-in-the-dark element.

The radium has likely come from the various instrument panels of defunct World War II planes that the Ministry of Defence broke up and incinerated at the end of the war. The radioactive element, which could also be found coating watch hands among other things up until the 1960s, is thought to be fairly harmless unless ingested. In fact there's a debate as to whether the levels of radiation from the particles of radium could cause a problem or not.

Nevertheless, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has said that if the MoD doesn't formulate a solid plan for clearing up the radioactive particles on the beach in Dalgety Bay, Fife, by March 2012 -- they'll permanently declare the beach as "Radioactive Contaminated Land". Britain has yet to have any an area designated "Radioactive", unlike many other countries around the world, which would make Scotland the first out of the home nations to harbour such land -- a proud moment it'll be, I'm sure. [The Telegraph, The Register, Wikipedia]

Image credit: Arman Zhenikeyev/Shutterstock