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Heads of N-station 'were cowboys.

A FORMER safety officer at Dounreay nuclear plant last night branded his former employers 'cowboys', revealing a dossier of alleged breaches which he claimed showed a reckless disregard for public health.

Herbie Lyall, a health physics surveyor at the Caithness facility for 30 years, spoke out two weeks after it emerged that Dounreay's owners, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, could face prosecution over radioactive releases.

In the last two decades more than 50 radioactive particles have been recovered from Sandside beach, two miles west of the plant, which is currently being decommissioned.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) lodged a report with the procurator fiscal into the release of fragments of spent nuclear fuel from the reprocessing plant into the environment in the 1960s and 1970s.

Former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith demanded ministerial inquiry following the claims.

The UKAEA last night conceded that practices in previous decades were not as stringent as currently.

But they insisted that the discovery of a particle on Sandside was made public in 1984 and they could find no record to substantiate claims about a second find that year.

'This contamination is a legacy being left for my children's children. It is an absolute disaster,' he said.

'They are talking about prosecuting these people. They deserve execution, not prosecution
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2005
Words:216
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