A SCOTS MP has said the 3.1 magnitude earthquake off the West of Scotland was a “wake-up call” over the “dig a hole and bury it” approach to nuclear waste.

Ronnie Cowan was speaking after Tuesday’s early-morning quake – recorded just 10km beneath its epicentre – was felt on the west coast and in Ireland.

The SNP MP for Inverclyde wrote on social media: “Hopefully too small and too far away from the nuclear waste dump and weapons storage to be concerning."

He later told The National that when it comes to nuclear powered submarines and their payload, safety had to be paramount.

Cowan said: “Likewise our nuclear energy industry isn’t just about the crucial day to day safety, it is about the long term security of the sites and the waste.

READ MORE: Anti-nuclear campaigners slam fusion reactor as attempt to 'keep industry alive'

“Currently the ‘dig a hole and bury it’ attitude to nuclear waste is concerning. It feels very much like we passing on a problem to future generations, which given the heightened awareness of environmental damage and climate change seems like a deliberate dereliction of duty.

“It therefore came as a wake-up call when I read that an earthquake had taken place just off the west coast of Scotland.”

Cowan stressed he was not claiming that the incident was a threat, but wondered if it was a warning shot given the “very unforgiving” nature of nuclear energy and waste.

“One mistake and the outcome could be catastrophic and as we see the climate change and weather patterns change, we are seeing more and more extreme weather episodes, and to future-proof our existing nuclear waste dumps we must consider the state of the planet thousands of years into the future,” he said.

“And secondly, the earthquake bothered me because for some time now I have been concerned about the amount of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Clyde and beyond.

“My concerns are around the safety of those working on the river and those who enjoy it recreationally.”

The MP said he wanted to see a massive clean-up of the munitions dump in the River Clyde, but it had to be disposed of thoughtfully.

“Historically on the occasions when unexploded ordnance has washed ashore or floated to the surface, the process has been to explode it where it has come to rest or drag it out to the middle of the river and explode it there.

“But on an optimistic note we now have technology that allows us to dispose of UXO without harming marine life.

“This should be the catalyst to push forward and clean up our waterways without fear of damaging the environment or wildlife.”

Cowan added: “There is an estimated 100,000 tonnes of UXO in waters around the UK. Much of it lies in areas designated for planned offshore windfarms.

“And in Inverclyde we were all delighted to see a pod of dolphins enjoying life in the Clyde.

“The existing method of high order detonation harms sealife and leaves toxins that can enter the food chain.

“The newly acknowledged method of low order deflagration will be invaluable in clearing UXO while protecting sealife and aiding the development of off-shore wind farms as a clean green renewable energy source.”