The Scotsman

Dounreay hot-spot

Friday, June 29, 2001

A Particle found on the seabed off Dounreay during the latest monitoring is between five and 20 times more radioactive than those previously discovered offshore, writes John Ross.

Last night the SNP said the find was "alarming" and claimed it is vital a comprehensive clean-up programme is put in place.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority disclosed this week it had recovered 90 new particles on the seabed in the last two months during efforts to plot the number and distribution of the so-called hot-spots.

According to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the particles found 300 metres offshore included a large fragment of irradiated nuclear fuel with a caesium-137 activity estimated to be 100 million Becquerels.

Previous finds have measured a few hundred to 20 million Becquerels.

A Dounreay spokesman said the discovery was 20 times the average radioactivity of seabed finds.