22/11/2011 06:24 GMT

MoD Urged To Clean Up 'Radioactive' Dalgety Bay Beach

Gordon Brown has called on the Ministry of Defence to clean up a radioactive beach in Scotland.

The former prime minister said the government needed to "recognise their responsibility" to take action at the Dalgety Bay beach in his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.

Dalgety Bay was used as a Royal Navy air base up until 1959 and the beach has been contaminated with Radium-266 from special paints used in aircraft's instruments.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland he said: "People must have their fears allayed. This is a radioactive substance, it's something that's only been discovered in the last few weeks. Action has got to be taken immediately.

"I want the Ministry of Defence to recognise their responsibility - we know it's come from previous work done by the Ministry of Defence - and to take action. They've got to clear the surface, they've got to continue to monitor this, then they have got to remedy what has been wrong here."

He added: "Action has got to be taken before the worst of the winter weather comes in."

The radiation was first detected in the 1990s. According to reports one sample collected was 10 times more radioactive than anything previously discovered at the beach and would have burned anyone if they had picked it up.