Radioactive beach faces closure

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The Independent Online

A beach in Scotland could become the first in the UK to be permanently closed amid fears that radium left over from the Second World War poses a cancer risk.

It follows the discovery of another "significant" radioactive source at Dalgety Bay in Fife, where 468 potentially dangerous particles have been discovered since September.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency said it could be forced off to seal off an area of the foreshore, which is a former airfield, unless the Ministry of Defence agrees to lead the clear-up. More than 1,700 radioactive items have been removed from Dalgety Bay since first being discovered in 1990. It is believed the radioactivity is caused by radium-coated instrument panels from military aircraft which were incinerated and put into landfill 60 years ago.

Safety officials fear that, although the radioactive material has been discovered at depths which make it inaccessible to beach users, erosion over the winter could lead to potential health risks.