Dalgety Bay Sailing Club Radium Statement to Members – 26th April 2012


Dear Member

Further to the recent correspondences to yourselves its worthwhile that I make you aware of a number of issues that face the club in the forthcoming season. As I previously reported the Management Committee Senior members met on Monday 23rdApril to discuss a number of issues that had arisen recently. These were as follows

  • The club insurance policy was renewed and it was thought prudent to confirm the extent of cover regards the contamination. The insurance agent and underwriter have now replied and the club is not covered against any third party claims nor for any pollution emanating from the contamination within the clubs grounds.  I have replied to the insurer and asked for absolute confirmation of this as well as whether another company may underwrite the shortcoming in the cover and this action is outstanding.
  • The club has insurance to protect its Senior and Flag officers (past present and future) against claims from outside parties . The insurance agent and underwriter have confirmed that this cover also excludes any claims based around the radium contamination however I have written back to them to confirm the exact extent of cover. Again I have asked for absolute confirmation of this as well as whether another company may underwrite the shortcoming in the cover and this action too is outstanding.
  • The MOD have asked the club for approval to place a second container within the grounds of the club. Having checked with regard to the position of club liability with respect to thecontainers, it became apparent that the club is not covered for anyone either entering the containers, falling from them or any action or injury associated with them.  During correspondence with the MOD we learned that the current container is being used for the storage of low level radioactive material retrieved from the club site with which a number of Senior Committee officers and Flag Officers were uncomfortable.
  • The Committee members present then learned from SEPA, in advance of publication, that a new piece of radioactive material was removed from the headland, found at a depth of 35 cm, from the foreshore directly in front of the club during last weekend.  This was of significant energy and rated approximately as the third most active particle found within the club grounds.

With SEPA in attendance at the meeting the committee asked SEPA for, and have now today received, a statement to allow club members to assess from themselves the risks associated with the containers. Dr Paul Dale kindly sent us the following official SEPA statement;

“SEPA has given the MoD (DIO) permission to accumulate radioactive waste in a container at Dalgety Bay only in order that it may be disposed of in accordance with the conditions and limitations set by SEPA.  The radioactive waste within the store is radium and has arisen from monitoring and recovery operations at Dalgety Bay.  The external hazard posed by the radioactive waste currently in the container is low and does not warrant any special precautions to be taken for members of the public or club going about their daily business.”

During the meeting a number of decision were taken with the following actions were agreed by the committee –

  • MOD/DIO would be asked to remove the container from the club grounds within seven days to reduce the risk associated to the club and officers with the lack of insurance. This has now been issued to the MOD and the removal is awaited. Should this not occur then the club will contact SEPA and ask them to remove it on the clubs behalf.
  • A number of committee members were concerned about the container remaining on site and the committee knowingly allowing club activities to continue, with club members being unaware of the situation regarding it and the new radioactive material find. A vote was taken as to whether to postpone all sailing activities until members could be fully informed of the situation and thus able to make their own assessment of the situation. This vote was carried hence the note to members postponing the training and sailing planned.
  • The committee discussed the liability associated with the insurance issues, as forced by the contamination issue, and have agreed to consult a solicitor, at cost, to confirm how the club may best move forward safely and properly. This is currently in progress and two solicitors have been contacted. The terms of reference are being prepared as a brief for the chosen solicitor. The  solicitor chosen will be fully familiar and experienced with the issues surrounding the designation of contaminated land and will be employed to assist the club and committee in deciding the best way forward and how the club may best position itself for future sailing activity.

I do hope this clarifies the current position of the club and committee and goes some way to explaining why we had to make a quick judgement call to fully inform all members intending to participate in scheduled training and sailing events this week, of these lastest developments.  If you have any other questions contact me via e mail on  donald.adrian@btinternet.com

Regards

Donald Adrain, Commodore

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