Hidden Menace of Nuclear Shells Lost under Sea

Article excerpt


THOUSANDS of nuclear artillery shells fired into the sea off Scotland have gone missing, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

The revelation comes days after the Government admitted that radioactive waste was secretly dumped in Beaufort's Dyke, a seven-mile trench off the Ayrshire coast.

Now environmentalists and one of the world's leading independent nuclear scientists say there is a potential health risk of radioactive particles entering the food chain from the uranium-tipped shells.

Around 7,000 shells containing depleted uranium, have been fired over the last 15 years at ranges in Kirkcudbright along the Solway Firth and Eskmeals in Cumbria.

It is the Scottish range which is causing the main concern because the MoD says it cannot trace any of the rounds fired into the sea.

Dr John Large, who advises Governments around the world on nuclear issues, said the shells released radioactive particles on impact, causing potential health risks. 'These particles are either wind borne or fall into the sea and could enter the food chain through fish or lower organisms,' he said.

'It is no good the MoD simply saying they have lost these shells - uranium can attack the central nervous system.' But the Government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, which runs the ranges, denied there was a problem. …