J.L. Knill writes: The paper by Hutchinson et al. (2001) provides convincing conclusions as to the rate of recession of the marine cliff at Dounreay towards the intermediate level radioactive waste disposal shaft. However, the paper omits any reference to the earlier joint study by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment & Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee (1995) even though this was the source for the newspaper article (Arlidge & Wilkie 1995) which is cited. The joint study concluded that ‘The shaft is likely to be breached by natural erosion within the next hundred...

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