Hundreds of radioactive sources that could be made into devastating dirty bombs are badly safeguarded in hospitals across the UK, according to a damning new critique by the government's official safety watchdog.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that the security of radiation at NHS trusts is "inadequate". The regulations meant to ensure the safety of radioactive materials are frequently breached, and radiological protection practice is "poor".
It doesn't take much to make a dirty bomb. In the wrong hands a little high explosive like Semtex, some incendiary material and a lump of radioactivity from a hospital are enough to contaminate a city centre for years, as well as give people cancer.
Which is why you would expect that the hundreds of hazardous radiation sources used in health clinics across the UK for x-rays, radiotherapy and other medical purposes would be properly and safely secured. Unfortunately, however, you would be wrong.
Huge, square and symmetrical, it squats on the north side of the Firth of Forth near Kincardine. What catches the eye is its chimney, rising 183 metres straight to the sky from the shore, constantly spewing out smoke.
Longannet has long been lauded as one of the largest coal-fired power stations in Europe, capable of generating enough electricity for two million people. But for the first time this weekend, it can legitimately lay claim to another, less coveted, accolade. It is by far the biggest polluter in Scotland.
Out of its smoke stack last year there came a massive 11.1 million tonnes of pollutants. The vast majority was carbon dioxide, a gas which rises up in the atmosphere and wrecks the climate, causing storms, floods and droughts around the world.