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Attention scrappers! Be careful!!

Tony Wells

Former Vice President
Staff member
Administrator
#31
A problem for scrap yards and oild pipeyards is radioactive material refered to as NORM. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in some oilfield pipe. As a well is produced, sulfates of Barium and other natural substances from underground come up with the oils and can "plate" out on the walls of the pipe. When pipe from an old well is pulled from the well and sent to a pipeyard or scrap yard it needs to be checked with radiation detectors - hence why yards now have detectors at the gate.

Side note. The oilfield source talked about in the OP produced Neutrons. these are not detected with a regular geiger counter. Those are good for beta and gamma radiation. Special detectors are needed to detect alpha, x-rays, and neutron radiation. So don't think by waving a geiger counter (or scintillation detector either) around and it comes up clear that all is OK. FYI. (I was a health physics technician at a Cyclotron for a while in a previous life. my job was finding and decontaminating stuff)

So - How's that for making everyone paranoid.:thinking:

Jack

Jack, what you say is true, but as far as I know, they still use Cs-137 for density measurements in MWD, so gamma radiation is still a potential hazard. The Am-241 likely to be in that lost (and recovered) tool is used in a Neutron generator, and is still dangerous.
 

cobraJack

Active Member
Active Member
#32
Jack, what you say is true, but as far as I know, they still use Cs-137 for density measurements in MWD, so gamma radiation is still a potential hazard. The Am-241 likely to be in that lost (and recovered tool) is used in a Neutron generator, and is still dangerous.



Oh, Absolutely! All of the forms of ionizing radiation are dangerous under many circumstances. I wasn't intending to downplay that. We had a 10 curie Cs-137 source. When the source was removed from the pig (shielding container) I measured harmful level of gamma over 50ft away through a couple of 4 ft thick high density walls. Once I used a neutron detector at midnight out in the parking lot of the facility and got a high reading. (Running experiments when fewest people around.)

The oilfield does use many types of sources- gamma, neutron, x-ray. All of which need special care and control.
I've been a safety engineer for close to 40 years- a significant portion in the oilfield (production side onshore and offshore)

Just emphasizing - Just because one meter reads zero not all is guaranteed safe. BE CAREFUL!


Thanks for the input/clarification, Tony

Jack
 

Tony Wells

Former Vice President
Staff member
Administrator
#33
At least there is a trend, or at least talk about generating the necessary radiation rather than using a hard source. I for one would welcome that. I'm not doing anything at the time closely related to such radiation, but I have in the past. I've been RSO in a research lab, and machined many, many components for the various tools used for MWD/LWD, and it always made me a little nervous when they would bring in a used tool for rework or modification. I'm also wary of a nearby Schlumberger field office where they do keep active sources. I know too many of the hands to be comfortable with some of them. I just hope they don't get to handle the tools to much.

I also have been exposed a little myself to NORMs from fracwater flowback. Dosimeter said I was safe, but I didn't like it one little bit.
 

cobraJack

Active Member
Active Member
#34
Understood. I was 18-19 years old when I was a HP technician for the local university radiological safety office. We had a rad matl machine shop at the cyclotron where I worked. Lots of decontamination to do.

I guess we both probably glow in the dark. :whistle: LOL. Looong time ago.

Good topic to bring to the attention of folks every so often.

Jack