MoD pressed for assurances over uranium shells in bay

The controversial issue over the use of cliffs and bays at

Dundrennan as a graveyard for depleted uranium (DU)shells has raised its head again this week.

The Ministry of Defence has used its site near Kirkcudbright for target practice over the past 30 years – the only such site in the UK – and it’s thought more than 6700 shells have been fired from the range, containing nearly 30 tonnes of DU.

Now a Freedom of Information request has shown the MoD denying it has “dumped” shells in the sea, but instead has “placed” them, a term which could therefore allow the area to continue to be used for testing.

The shells have long been connected to claims of cancer and other illnesses, 
and now SNP MP Aileen McLeod has asked the MoD to confirm it will cease firing at Dundrennan. She said: “The MoD doesn’t know how many DU shells there are in the Solway and does not know where they are, far less having any plans to remove them.

“These FoI responses would appear to have uncovered a cynical attempt to get round international agreements designed to protect the environment, so that test firing of DU shells can continue.

“I am therefore writing to the UK Secretary of State for Defence to seek an assurance that no further test firing of DU shells will take place at Dundrennan.