ALBA Party MP Neale Hanvey has called on the Ministry of Defence to clean-up radiation contamination on the Dalgety Bay shoreline.

In a statement, Hanvey added that "there can be no excuse for inaction".

Leading a Westminster debate on the issue on Tuesday, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath – the constituency which includes the West Fife town – listed and condemned what he described as a “historical backlog in remediation”.

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Radioactive material was first detected at Dalgety Bay in 1990 and came from WW2 planes, which had aircraft dials coated in radium to help pilots see in the dark.

More than 3,000 radioactive particles, with a half-life of 1,600 years, have been found on the beach and next to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.

Restrictions were put in place in 2011, with parts of the beach fenced off.

The MoD admitted responsibility for the radioactive pollution in 2014. But plans to tackle the issue have frequently been delayed.

Balfour Beatty took on a £10.5 million contract in 2020 but decontamination work didn't get under way until May 2021 and hasn’t yet been completed.

Hanvey has repeatedly condemned the Ministry of Defense for continued silence and delays in tackling the issue.

At the debate, Hanvey asked the Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk, for further clarification as to when the work would be completed, the costs incurred and whether they will be fully covered by the MoD.

Chalk said the cost would be around £15 million. He said that the costs would be be met by the MoD, but added: “I stress that there was absolutely no legal requirement on the Ministry of Defence to do so. However, we decided to take that step.”

Chalk also stressed that many of the delays were unforeseen, including having to “search through many tonnes of sand and soil for minute radioactive particles”.

He added, however, that he was “delighted” to say that work will be completed by September 2023.

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Speaking after the debate, Hanvey said: “The defence minister Alex Chalk and his officials, who I met with on 21 March, have been very helpful in recent months, but this has come at the tail end of a lengthy and tortuous process that has often left my constituents concerned, frustrated and angry.

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

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

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

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

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

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