Information

Effect of the Chernobyl disaster on Scotland's agriculture, fisheries and rural sector: EIR Release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004


Information requested

What radioactivity testing was done across Scotland after the Chernobyl accident on the 26th April 2016 [I am looking for the whole of Scotland; mainland and islands] and particularly looking at the year of 1986 from the date of the disaster onwards.

  • When exactly [what date/s] was the testing carried out?
  • What kind of testing was undertaken?
  • What were the full results from the testing carried out?
  • Were these results published?
  • What samples were tested?
  • Did the samples tested include soil, dairy, testing of cattle, sheep, water supplies, shellfish?
  • What bans were subsequently put in place, and for how long across Scotland - when were these lifted?
  • Where were these tests carried out: please state locations and dates?
  • Were people across Scotland informed of the dangers? How was this done? Public health campaign / direct mailing? What were the dangers?
  • Which specific areas were given warnings?
  • What was the official Government line on how members of the public in the affected areas should respond - eg were they told not to eat homegrown meat / vegetables / drink milk / use local water source, eat shellfish? Which areas were given warnings?
  • Were farmers given compensation for the loss of any livelihood? What was this compensation and when was it given?
  • Can you please inform me of when levels of radiation have been tested in Scotland since April 1986 until the present day and what was the outcome?

Questions specific to the Western Isles:

It has been documented that the testing was done late on the Western Isles -

  • When and where were the radioactivity tests carried out on the Western Isles: please state locations and dates?
  • What were the results of these tests and were these published?
  • What samples were tested? Did the samples tested include soil, dairy, testing of cattle, sheep, water supplies, shellfish?
  • What bans were subsequently put in place, and for how long - when were these lifted?
  • Were people on Benbecula and North Uist informed of the dangers?
  • Were people on Lewis informed of dangers?
  • What advice was given to people: were they advised not to eat any homegrown or home caught food, including mutton, cattle, dairy, vegetables, shellfish - anything else?
  • Were crofters given compensation for the loss of any livelihood?
  • Can you please inform me of when levels of radiation have been tested on Benbecula and North Uist since April 1986 until the present day and what was the outcome?
  • Can you please inform me of when levels of radiation have been tested on the Isle of Lewis April 1986 until the present day and what was the outcome?
  • Were people on the Western Isles as a whole informed of the dangers? What dangers were there?
  • What was the reason for testing some areas on the islands and not others?
  • It was documented in the news that the Western Isles was not tested at the same time as the mainland of Scotland; what was the reason given for this?
  • Did the delay / non-testing result in different rules / advice for the Western Isles compared to the mainland?

Response

In relation to this request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested under points listed above. Therefore, we are in part refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. 

However we have located some information in the form of instructions and policy documentation issued in the 1980’s. Those documents are enclosed for your information.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI - 202100256053 - Information released

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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