Health

Radioactive

In the preceding In-Sights article, a comment by Mike Sheehan mentioned two million pounds of radioactive waste from oil and gas drilling being shipped 1,600 km from North Dakota to be illegally dumped in Oregon.

It is a subject that deserves further examination in British Columbia.

Visiting the website of BC Oil and Gas Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing oil, gas and renewable geothermal operations, I found little information.

Inputting the search term “radioactive” returned a question “Did you mean inactive?” That suggested I would find little about radioactivity at BCOGC.

In one six-year old paper, I found this:

…some incidents may not meet the criteria outlined in the Incident Classification Matrix but still require notification to the Commission as a minor notification.

These include the following:

Spills or release of hazardous substances which are not provincially regulated, such as radioactive substances

Radioactive tracers are used by the oil and gas industry but oil and gas deposits also contain Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM).

The United States Environmental Protection Agency offers further explanation:

Radionuclides are found naturally in almost all soils, rocks, surface water and groundwater. Bringing natural resources from below the surface to above the ground also brings up materials that naturally contain radionuclides. These naturally radioactive materials are called TENORM.

Radionuclides commonly found in TENORM are radium, radon, uranium, potassium and thorium. The level of radioactivity in TENORM can vary widely.

TENORM can be found in solids, liquids, sludges and/or gases. It’s possible for TENORM to come from different parts of the oil and gas extraction processes.

Parts that may contain radioactivity include:

  • Drill cuttings,
  • Flowback and produced water,
  • Pipe scale,
  • Sludges, sediments and filters.

EPA warns:

Wastes generated from oil and gas drilling must be properly managed to keep the radionuclides in these wastes from spreading to surrounding areas.

Professor Khalid ALNabhani, an expert in risk assessment in the oil and gas industry wrote:

In all, 30 years worth of research has shown that there is inadequate awareness in the oil and gas industry worldwide about the issue of worker protection from TENORM, and about the proper disposal of radioactive wastes into the environment.

According to the available data, the scientists and experts fear that critical clusters in the workforce of the oil and gas industry, as well as the general public, are at risk of being exposed to different levels of radiation doses; these doses range from low to extremely high levels of radiation under adverse conditions.

Such doses often exceed the currently acceptable occupational exposure limits for workers exposed to these materials.

However, according to the medical epidemiological and laboratory data, even low doses of exposure can pose the same threat as that of high doses exposure to radiation and eventually increase the chance of developing cancerous diseases.

We already knew the oil and gas business was poisoning land and water and polluting the atmosphere. Most, including workers in the northeast gas fields, are probably unaware that people are being exposed to radioactivity as well.


Categories: Health, Natural Gas

7 replies »

  1. .. these links each lead me to an article with a sense of the ‘science’ a layman like me could kinda get it. Each has really excellent links embedded.. like mother load stuff, the good ore.. What set me off though initially was the Rolling Stone article by Justin Nobel, America’s Radioactive Secret, set in Pennsylvania, and the Brine Truck driver’s growing comprension that we was increasingly radiated on the job. I already knew a ton about hysdraulic fracturing. So now we know.. the sedimentary formations such as The Montney or Marcellus shale hold more radionuclides and are within multiple layers of rock and aquifer. Radiation is cumulative. How many of Alberta or BC’s wells are producing levels such as in the Pennsylvania case ?

    https://www.ernstversusencana.ca/fracking-brine-gas-well-waste-full-of-radium/

    https://www.ernstversusencana.ca/nyc-signs-into-law-bill-prohibiting-fracking-oil-gas-waste-alberta-allows-it-dumped-in-landfills-on-roads-leases-muskeg-near-water-ways-on-foodlands-norm-increasing-because-fracking/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mandate letter for the Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources instructs the Minister to ensure natural gas projects protect our air, land and water, including living up to our climate commitments.

    The Deputy Minister is Dave Nikolejsin.

    The Oil and Gas Activities Act specifies the purpose of the Oil And Gas Commission.

    Purposes
    4  
    The purposes of the commission include the following:
    (a)
    to regulate oil and gas activities in British Columbia in a manner that
    (i)
    provides for the sound development of the oil and gas sector, by fostering a healthy environment, a sound economy and social well-being,
    (ii)
    conserves petroleum and natural gas resources,
    (iii)
    ensures safe and efficient practices,…

    The Chair of the Commission is Dave Nikolejsin.

    Mr. Nikolejsin has some work to do, lest a search of his name also returns the message “Did you mean inactive?”

    Like

  3. .. anyone recall this being reflected via Mainstream Media during the protests ? Surely the taxpayers and Albertan pensioners were informed they now owned the Coastal GasLink Pipeline ?

    https://www.tcenergy.com/announcements/2019/2019-12-26tc-energy-announces-the-partial-monetization-of-the-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-project/

    ‘Canada Is Broken’ – the ‘Poll’ (I use that term loosely) by DART Maru/Blue for Post Media very recently and converted into juicy headlines and articles – Quoting ‘a majority of Canadians’ blame the recent protests on ‘Ottawa’ is simply contrived garbage – fabricated ‘News’. Its malignant weaponized propaganda in my view. The context and questions did not include Coastal GasLink, its parent company TC Energy or LNG Canada as options when apportioning ‘Blame’ for the protests or handling of the protests or protesters.

    Like

  4. .. anyone recall this being reflected via Mainstream Media during the protests ? Surely the taxpayers and Albertan pensioners were informed they now owned the Coastal GasLink Pipeline ?

    https://www.tcenergy.com/announcements/2019/2019-12-26tc-energy-announces-the-partial-monetization-of-the-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-project/

    ‘Canada Is Broken’ – the ‘Poll’ (I use that term loosely) by DART Maru/Blue for Post Media very recently and converted into juicy headlines and articles – Quoting ‘a majority of Canadians’ blame the recent protests on ‘Ottawa’ is simply contrived garbage – fabricated ‘News’. Its malignant weaponized propaganda in my view. The context and questions did not include Coastal GasLink, its parent company TC Energy or LNG Canada as options when apportioning ‘Blame’ for the protests or handling of the protests or protesters.

    Like

  5. This does not create an sense of comfort. We have COVID 19, and American Pres. who is dismantling their democracy/justice system, now we have radiation because of oil/gas. OMG, I’m going to go back to bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep until this is all over.

    Wasn’t aware of this so thank you for the information. We all need to know. It is this type of information which makes us all better equipped to determine how we deal with oil/gas expansion or contraction. Reminds me of the coal miners and “black lung”. People kept working because they didn’t all become ill and needed to make a living. On the upside people who work in the field and develop cancer can now start working towards being covered by WCB, not that too many provincial governments are going to want to do that. It may also give some governments an out on the pipelines.

    Trust this information will make it into the msm, o.k. it won’t because they as their other corporate masters aren’t interested in having this information out there. On the upside, with falling oil prices there may be a second look at a pipeline. The demand for oil will drop doing the pandemic and afterwards the economy will most likely be slow to recover, given many people won’t have the financial resources to keep shop and vacationing.

    Like

Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s