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Nuclear waste threat to Olympic site future

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Hundreds of tonnes of radioactive waste is buried beneath the Olympic site in East London, The Guardian has claimed, casting serious doubt on the future development of the area

An investigation by the newspaper found that, contrary to Government regulations, thorium and radium waste had been buried 500 metres to the north of the Olympic stadium.

The Guardian said that any future development risked unearthing the radioactive material, which was dumped when the site served as a landfill decades ago.

While no decision has been made on the future shape of the stadium, suggestions have included transforming it into a music venue, making the structure a home ground for West Ham United and outright demolition.

Olympic bosses say there is no risk from the waste to athletes or spectators during the event, but experts fear for the future should development go ahead.

John Large, an independent nuclear analyst, told the Guardian: ‘The Olympic site’s hurried and unplanned development may have resulted in a great deal of public harm to the local communities remaining around the site. Overall, there is some doubt about the applicability and validity of the radiological risk analysis undertaken for the future legacy use.’

Andrew Boff, London Assembly member and Conservative spokesman on the Olympics, added: ‘I thought the £9.3bn cost would provide a remediation level sufficient for future development. But what we are left with is remediation which is just enough for us to hold the Games. The Olympic Development Authority is very proud that it came in under budget on remediation. I wish it had spent the whole amount and made the site fit for the future.

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