Thursday, 18 July 2013

Dalgety Bay - adjournment debate

It is clear from the adjournment debate  just how desperate the MOD is to avoid liability, the MOD is quite aware of the reputational damage the Dalgety Bay contamination issue has and continues to cause. In particular the knock on effect in Scotland in the context of the referendum on independence and MOD nuclear programmes in Scotland.  

The adjournment debate achieved little apart from even more polarising views on liability etc. The MOD attempted to discredit SEPA and question their competence as the Scottish Environmental Regulator.  The Minister Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Andrew Murrison) approach to the debate was patronising and overbearing and yet again shows the MOD policy is to fight liability every inch of the way even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

The MODs' offer of help whilst offering no admission of liability is a cynical ploy to avoid  court action that could set a legal precedent should the MOD be found liable in the courts for the pollution it caused by historic activities involving Radium. Such a precedent would have implications for hundreds of sites across the UK such as Wig Bay Loch Rayan where there is the potential for Radium contamination and the risk of harm to both man and the environment.

Following the debate SEPA issued a statement  where Calum MacDonald, SEPA Executive Director, said: 

“I was surprised and disappointed by Dr Murrison’s comment that SEPA has been less than helpful."  

I believe its SEPA role to Regulate without fear or favour. In the past I had professional dealings with SEPA I found them to be competent, experienced, constructive and willing to listen . 

It's also clear from the debate that SEPA appears to have  better records of the MODs' historic activities involving Radium than the MOD itself.

Dr Murrison " I must say that we have already looked for some of the documents cited by SEPA but cannot find them. "

SEPA has shown extreme patience with the MOD I believe the time has now come for SEPA to take legal action against the MOD to resolve the issue without further delay

Video of the debate  starts at 21:55


SEPA attended a meeting of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) today, in which the Committee made five recommendations about the radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay.:

The recommendations were:

1. The Committee concluded that on the basis of available data to COMARE, from SEPA and Public Health England, 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 & 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment