A trust has fallen foul of the Environment Agency after a store containing radioactive waste was partly demolished.

St George's Healthcare trust, Tooting, had a 'near miss' which could have resulted in radioactive contamination, agency inspector Andrew Stone found.

Mr Stone issued an enforcement notice after finding the trust had broken the terms of its licence by allowing unauthorised personnel access to the store. He described the incident in December, when a demolition team knocked down a store wall before radioactive waste was removed, as 'a very unusual event. There was a breakdown in communications'.

A trust spokesman said the enforcement notice would be complied with fully and emphasised that no release of radioactive material into the environment had occurred. 'New procedures will ensure that a similar incident does not happen again,' he said.

Mr Stone said: 'If the demolition team had damaged the bags containing the waste there would have been the potential for the spread of radiaoctive material into the building, the workmen and their tools and out into the environment. The impact on the public would have been low risk but it would have been unfortunate.'