Radioactive source found in Dalgety Bay mussel beds

  18 November 2015

Joint statement from Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Food Standards Scotland

Routine monitoring of the Dalgety Bay area, carried out as part of the joint Food Standards Scotland (FSS)/Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) radioactivity monitoring programme, has detected a radioactive source   in the mussel beds which sit offshore of the beach at Dalgety Bay.

Dr Paul Dale, Principal Policy Officer from SEPA’s Radioactive Substances team, said:

“While carrying out routine monitoring of the Dalgety Bay area this   weekend, our Radioactive Substances team found a radioactive source in mussels beds which sit offshore from the beach area. This is the first time   that sources have been found in the mussel beds and FSS has been informed of the findings.

“A monthly monitoring and recovery programme by Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO) contractors remains in place. SEPA will continue to   periodically check this monitoring, and monitor the mussel beds, in order to   assess the potential spread of radioactive sources, prior to remediation of   the site by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and their contractors.

“This find demonstrates the importance of people following the signs, staying off the demarcated area and not picking up items from the beach. We do not believe that at this stage any further actions are required.”

Dr Will Munro, Scientific Adviser in FSS, said:

“A Food and Environment Protection Act (FEPA) order prohibits the removal of any seafood from the Dalgety Bay area so we consider that this finding   does not present a food safety risk. This measure, to protect public health,   was introduced on 9 May 2012 and will remain in place until effective remediation measures are completed by MOD and their contractors.

"Mussel beds are included in the monitoring programme as mussels are most likely to ingest particles due to the way that they feed. Although the particles originate from specific parts of Dalgety Bay, the FEPA area covers the whole of the bay, in order to prevent fishing from areas to which the particles may have been transported.”