A huge area of land has been contaminated from leaks at Hunterston nuclear power station in North Ayrshire. The contamination is much worse than previously suspected, and far more than has been admitted at other nuclear sites in Scotland.
Thousands of tonnes of radioactive scrap metal from nuclear plants could be melted down and recycled into cutlery, saucepans and baby buggies under a scheme being promoted by the nuclear industry and its regulators.
Safety standards at Britain’s nuclear weapons bases at Faslane and Coulport on the Clyde are inadequate, according to the Royal Navy’s internal regulatory body. An investigation by the Sunday Herald has revealed there have been 14 fires and 486 false alarms at the sites over the last year.
Several years ago, I rang the head of the government's Health and Safety Executive in Scotland. I was keen to discuss why its court case accusing a major company of breaking safety laws had just collapsed.
The response I received, via a personal assistant, was a classic piece of civil service escapology. "We cannot talk about this," I was told, "because we are in a general election period." It is one of the more ludicrous excuses I have heard. The court case, and the alleged failings of the company, were not party political issues. It sounded like the Health and Safety Executive was simply wanting to hide its embarrassment.