Radiation Safety & Control Services Helps Oil and Gas Drilling Companies Balance Production and Environmental Protection

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Radiation Safety & Control Services (RSCS) now provides consulting services to the oil and natural gas industry on the safe handling and disposal of radioactive materials brought to the surface during drilling and fracking activities.

Radiation Safety & Control Services (RSCS) now provides consulting services to the oil and natural gas industry on the safe handling and disposal of radioactive materials brought to the surface during drilling and fracking activities. RSCS helps energy companies ensure these radioactive materials do not contaminate the environment, and comply with regulations for managing and transporting those materials that vary from state to state.

Drilling oil and natural gas wells and fracking, a process to break up shale rock to release natural gas and oil, commonly produces increased concentrated amounts of underground radioactive materials such as Radium, Uranium and Thorium, collectively classified as Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM).

“Mining activities that involve water and sludge processing can produce TENORM concentrations more than 1000 times safe drinking water levels and, if not managed and monitored carefully, can be costly to dispose of as radioactive waste,” said James Tarzia, Executive Director, Radiation Safety & Control Services. “RSCS can help identify TENORM hazards and manage the concentrations of these materials to facilitate cost effective and safe disposal.”

The regulations for monitoring, managing and transporting radioactive material vary widely from state to state, and the costs in terms of fines and damage to a company’s public reputation can be high. RSCS can help energy companies develop and implement a TENORM management plan that enables them to anticipate and identify these types and concentrations of radioactive materials, and isolate them for proper disposal. Often these materials can be managed during processing activities to ensure that waste products are maintained at safe levels and below radioactive waste limits. Elements of an RSCS-developed TENORM management plan include:

  •     Regulatory review and environmental impact assessment
  •     Radiation safety and radiological characterization
  •     Instrument design for unique sampling, measurements and surveys
  •     Hydrology and ground water characterization
  •     Waste characterization and management

The International Energy Agency predicts that North American oil production will dominate world-wide growth over the next five years as a result of growing production from technology that enables drilling deeper wells and the fracking process. “Domestic production of oil and natural gas is critical to helping the United States achieve energy independence, but improper handling of TENORM can have a significant negative impact on the environment and people living near drilling sites,” added Tarzia. “New drilling techniques can generate higher levels of TENORM. RSCS can help energy companies reduce the costs and streamline the processes associated with managing those materials without sacrificing production.”

About Radiation Safety & Control Services

Established in 1989 in Stratham, New Hampshire, Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc. specializes in helping its clients with all aspects of radiation safety and measurement applications. The company provides services to all users of radioactive material and X-Ray devices including medical, industrial, research, and nuclear-related companies. Core capabilities include nuclear and radiological project management, consulting, staff augmentation, site licensing and operations, decommissioning support, training, surveys and sample analysis, and instrument sales, installation, calibration and repair.

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Andrew Ryan
andrewyryan@maxborgesagency.com
305-374-4404 x151
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