Radioactive honey found near nuclear power station (November 2015)

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Honey contaminated with nuclear waste has been found near a disused power station in Scotland, scientists have confirmed, with samples of the product testing positive for “elevated” radioactivity.

The samples showed levels of radioactive caesium-137 that are 14 times higher than samples of honey from elsewhere in the UK, prompting scientists to call for an investigation into wider contamination at the site.

The plant, which closed in 1994, no longer produces nuclear energy. It is still in the process of being decommissioned, however.

Independent nuclear energy consultant John Large said bees are an important barometer of environmental health.

“Bees are key indicators of what is happening in the environment.

They forage in a three-mile radius around the hive and anything in the soil is drawn up into plants and into the nectar they collect.

“This reading is within the limit for human consumption, but caesium-137 should not be turning up in honey at all,” he added.

The results are included in the government’s Radioactivity In Food and the Environment report, published last week.

A spokesman for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said the radiation level poses little danger.

“The concentration identified is low and is not a cause of concern for the public or the environment,” they said.

However the contamination will cast a shadow over the government’s renewed emphasis on nuclear power.


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