Dalgety mystery

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For three months, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had promised to declare Dalgety Bay’s beach “radioactive waste” if the Ministry of Defence did not pay an unspecified amount of Danegeld. It has not done so.

Now, suddenly, Sepa has lifted this threat – at least until next May. For years Sepa has claimed the proof that the radiation could not be natural is that it consists of particles of paint – but Freedom of Information requests on the subject have shown it either has no such evidence or is deliberately refusing to provide it.

For years it has claimed to have found the radioactive “daughter elements” of radium in the rock, though the only such element is the inert gas radon.

Again it can provide no evidence of this. Now Sepa has suddenly claimed to have found radium itself, but again refuses to provide the evidence when asked under the FoI. What is undisputed is that the radiation level is less than two-thirds that in any Aberdeen Street (Sepa’s own experts told it that years ago).

While it is widely claimed that radiation, even at naturally occurring levels, must be dangerous and the entire anti-nuclear scare is built on this claim, there is no evidence for that. According to HL Mencken “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”. By his reckoning, the Scottish Government bureaucracy must be among the world’s most expert practical politicians.

Neil Craig

Woodlands Road