Sean Carr, chairman of Derry City Council’s Environmental Services Committee, has welcomed Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan’s assurances that no radioactive waste was dumped at Culmore after 1984.
Mr Carr said: “Officials informed members that to date the information provided suggests that no material was sent to Culmore post 1984 and that any material that was deposited originated from Altnagelvin Hospital where it was held for a period to allow radioactivity to decay before it was deposited under supervision and approved authorisation at Culmore.
“The Department assured members that it is confident that the material deposited in 1982/83 had essentially degraded even before it was placed in landfill and that no contamination can remain on the site.”
Cllr Carr added that the NIEA is currently compiling a detailed report for the DoE which will be completed in close collaboration with Derry City Council for presentation to ES members at the next available meeting.
He said that he hoped that the full report would provide full clarification on the issue and reassure the public in relation to any potential concerns they may have.
Mr Durkan addressed the meeting on Friday (January 3) after it emerged the Western Health and Social Services Board (WHSSB) was authorised to dump radioactive waste at the site from 1978.
Mr Durkan said: “To date the information provided suggests that no material was sent to Culmore after 1983/84. The material that was deposited originated from Altnagelvin Hospital and had been held at the hospital premises to allow radioactivity to decay. The appropriate precautions were taken for the disposal of the material. It is not considered that any contamination can remain.”
He added: “ I am keen to work with Derry City Council in order to allay any fears of residents in the area.”