A WATCHDOG has banned a construction firm from transporting radioactive material until it complies with regulations.

The operators of a Fife quarry failed to put in place a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for transporting radioactive material, the UK’s nuclear regulator has found.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served a prohibition notice on Breedon Trading, preventing them from consigning or carrying radioactive materials until they fully comply with regulations.

The ONR issued the prohibition notice following a routine transport compliance inspection of the company’s Clatchard Quarry facility in Newburgh, Fife, on January 19 2023.

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The company operates a nuclear density gauge, an instrument that uses a small amount of radioactive material to measure soil density and can be transported for off-site use.

Companies transporting radioactive material must have procedures in place to ensure it is handled appropriately and in accordance with regulations.

The inspection showed that Breedon had not carried out a suitable and sufficient radiation risk assessment and so had not identified safe processes for the transport of their nuclear density gauge.

However, there was no harm posed to employees, the public or the environment as a result of the identified shortfalls.

Breedon is required to halt all transport of radioactive material until shortfalls have been resolved and the ONR will engage regularly with the company to monitor their progress.

Christopher Jones, ONR principal inspector, said: “Our inspection found there were unmanaged risks to the public and employees if the company continued to transport radioactive material, and consequently we have issued the prohibition notice to cease transport until such time as these risks are identified and mitigated.”

A Breedon statement read: "Breedon acknowledges the ONR audit and is implementing its recommendations with immediate effect.

"Safety remains our priority and as stated by the ONR, there was no harm posed to colleagues, the public or the environment as a result of the identified shortfalls.

"This prohibition in no way relates to any of Breedon’s quarrying activities, or construction materials produced and transported from the site."