Published Tuesday, 31 December 2013
The State papers show that between 1977 and 1982 radioactive material was disposed of at Duncrue Street in north Belfast and at Culmore just outside Derry.
The papers refer to controlled burials of radioactive waste that came from hospital and university sources.
During that time, five areas in the region were authorised for the burial of radioactive waste.
Besides Belfast and Derry, a site in Newtownabbey and two sites in Coleraine were also earmarked.
In the end, though, Newtownabbey and Coleraine were not used.
The secret dumping of radioactive waste has raised concerns for those living near the affected sites.
Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan told UTV that the revelations certainly came as a surprise to him.
"I will now be endeavouring to ascertain whether or not they came as a surprise to everyone or had the British Government informed local authorities here, those responsible for waste here in Northern Ireland at that time, that they were dumping nuclear waste here.
"I have already instructed the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to carry out a full investigation of the sites mentioned in these papers to ascertain as to whether or not there is any risk posed, but I also want a historic check done as to what information, if any, was given to local authorities at that time to allow them to monitor the sites, indeed to ensure that they were safe and there was no risk to health and most importantly, that there is no risk to health."
It may be more than 30 years since the radioactive material was dumped, but questions remain over why members of the public - and specifically those council workers employed at these sites at the time - were never informed about the dumping of these hazardous materials.
Tony Hassan, Sinn Féin councillor for Culmore, has called for an emergency meeting of the Environmental Services Committee of Derry City Council.
He said that local people have been left shocked at the revelation.
"Residents are demanding to know the full facts of what went on thirty years ago and what are the health implications today. There needs to be full disclosure," he added.
"I have been in contact with health officials at Derry City Council and I am calling for an emergency meeting of the Environmental Services Committee.
"It also vitally important that residents in Strathfoyle and those living along the River Foyle in our neighbouring county of Donegal in areas such as Muff, Moville and Greencastle get the full facts of what has gone on here.
© UTV News