17/12/2011 11:24 GMT

Gordon Brown Welcomes MoD Beach Probe Vow

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has welcomed agreement by the Ministry of Defence to join a group investigating radioactive particles found at a Scottish beach.

Mr Brown, Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, has been campaigning for Dalgety Bay to be cleaned since the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) revealed that "significant" sources of radiation which could pose a risk to the public had been found at the beach.

More than 200 radioactive particles have been discovered on the site previously and Sepa warned that an area around the foreshore could be designated Radioactive Contaminated Land for public protection, as it called for a long-term plan to deal with the problem.

At a public meeting of Dalgety Bay residents Mr Brown said: "Everyone knows that for all previous years the surveying of the area has been accepted as an MoD responsibility; now they have to step up to the plate and make sure they remove the dangerous particles and then remedy the environment."

The MoD said it "fully appreciates" the concerns of residents in the area and takes the discovery of radioactive sources "very seriously".

A spokesman said: "MoD has assisted Sepa voluntarily and we have reached agreement on the way forward - working together to assess residual risks and determine the scope of any remedial action.

"The department is undertaking a further three-year programme of monitoring and removal of radioactive items from the foreshore.

"We have, therefore, offered Sepa further support in assisting with these new discoveries. However, it is not yet clear what the level of risk is.

"The recently established Expert Group will provide advice and guidance on the contamination at Dalgety Bay including the residual risks. The MoD has accepted an invite from Sepa to join this group, whose work will inform the way forward."

Mr Brown said it was better that the the MoD agreed voluntarily to remove the dangerous materials and repair the area to prevent further risk.