Work to clear radiation from Dalgety Bay beach will finally begin on Monday – after a 30 year wait.
Environment watchdog Sepa has confirmed it has issued the final permit needed to allow the removal the hazardous radium from the foreshore.
Ministry of Defence contractors are expected to move in next week to provide “a permanent and positive resolution” for the community.
Local politicians welcomed the news, saying it had been a long time coming.
SNP councillor David Barratt said he was delighted work was finally getting under way.
“We’ve finally got a start date and this one looks real,” he said.
“Nor more denial, no more procrastination, no more blaming others and hopefully no more delay.
“It has taken over 30 years and significant pressure from the community to get to this point.
“It should send a clear message that it doesn’t matter how much time passes – the polluter should always pay.”
The work is due to finish next year and Mr Barratt said time would tell whether that was possible.
But he added: “It does feel like we’re on the home straight.”
Labour MSP Alex Rowley said: “The people of the area will be pleased.
“They just want to see the whole matter brought to a safe conclusion and the sooner the better.”
Radioactive material was first detected on Dalgety Bay beach in 1990.
Sepa investigations found the contamination originated from the residue of radium-coated instrument panels of military aircraft that were burned and buried at the end of the Second World War.
Several caches of particles were found, with the largest contained within the headland.
The beach has been partially closed to the public since 2011 as a result.
What the work will involve
Heavy excavating and moving equipment will arrive on Monday, marking the start of the £10.5 million contract.
And the remediation work will include replacing rock armour around the headland.
Contractors will also install a new slipway for the Dalgety Bay sailing club.
Remediation will be done once, and it will be done right.”
Dr Paul Dale, Sepa.
Areas of the foreshore will then be excavated and processed to remove asbestos and radiological contamination.
Meanwhile, all of the working areas and routes from the excavation areas will be screened off.
Contractors will initially be on site until October.
However, there will then be a six month break until April to allow protection for wintering birds.
Once the work is complete and verified by Sepa, it is expected all restrictions will be lifted.
This means the public will be able to enjoy full access to the beach for the first time in more than a decade.
Sepa will be on site every day
Sepa received the first application for the work on March 15 but the final details did not arrive until Friday.
Dr Paul Dale, Sepa’s radioactive substances manager, said specialist officers would be on site every day to ensure permit conditions are fully complied with and public health is protected.
This work will deal with the situation once and for all.”
Dr Paul Dale, Sepa.
“Communities around Dalgety Bay have for many years lived with the environmental legacy of Second World War radium contamination on the shore,” he said.
“Sepa has been clear in our requirements that remediation will be done once, and it will be done right – providing a permanent and positive resolution.
“Whist restricting beach access, monitoring and retrieving particles stipulated by Sepa has ensured the public has been protected, this work will deal with the situation once and for all.
“This is indeed an important milestone for Dalgety Bay and for Scotland’s stunning environment.”
Sepa will continue to monitor the area even once the work is finished.