The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Public safety paramount during Dounreay decommissioning
Sir, – I refer to recent press reports referring to new high numbers of “harmful” radioactive particles found on the Dounreay shoreline and Sandside beach which suggested they were related to leaks between 1958 and 1984, with 73% of the particles described as “significant”, and 15 particles found between February and March 2022.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), responsible for decommissioning the site, said it was closely monitoring the situation and Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) stated “we are content that the monitoring and retrieval programme in place continues to provide appropriate protection for the public”.
DSRL stated “the foreshore is not used by the general public” – this is not a reassurance as nuclear radiation has no boundaries.
Nuclear Transport (Hant) is represented on the Dounreay Stakeholder Group (DSG) and has regularly asked for information about the monitoring being carried out and the results – and has been told that information will be made available when the monitoring report is provided by an independent body.
Neither the DSG meeting on March 22 nor the Site Restoration Sub Group meeting on October 19 were informed of these findings of concern.
Given that this information has only been made available through press reports to date, Hant would want the following to be implemented:
i) Regular up-to-date reports provided to the DSG and by press releases to the local press on the monitoring results, so that the DSG can provide this information to organisations represented by members and the
general public will be informed by the local press. Assuming that the results of the monitoring can demonstrate that there is no danger to the public this will provide reassurance to everyone living in the area around Dounreay;
ii) That the Dounreay “clean up” reports provided by DSRL to the Particles Retrieval Advisory Group
Dounreay (Prag) be provided to the DSG and local press – an online search resulted in the latest information from the Prag online being from 2016 and this is totally unacceptable;
iii) That a presentation be made to the DSG by the outside body carrying out the monitoring to describe its methodology and how regularly
it is carried out – to provide local reassurance.
Hant looks forward to the immediate implementation of these proposals and will be monitoring this issue closely over the next months.
Tor Justad. Highlands Against Nuclear Transport,
Ord Terrace, Strathpeffer.