Bayou Sinkhole: Radioactive dome issues covered up over a year

Bayou Sinkhole: Radioactive dome issues covered up over a year by Deborah Dupre, August 9, 2012, examiner
As officials were telling Louisiana bayou people pleading answers to not worry and little more, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and Texas Brine Co. officials have known for over a year that the company’s salt dome cavern had radioactive materials pumped into it and might have problems, according to government regulatory files uncovered Wednesday. … “They have never told me anything,” he said. “We have been fighting this since it began, and this is very concerning to me.” … Thursday, Barbara Levy commented on Facebook, “I would get outta there just as fast as my legs would carry me!” DNR records show that on Aug. 31, 1995, it authorized Texas Brine to dispose of 20 cubic feet of naturally occurring radioactive material by pumping it into the cavern and another Texas Brine salt cavern in Lafourche Parish. … A Texas Brine letter dated Aug. 25, 1995, requesting the disposal says the radioactive “scale” had accumulated in soils around the two cavern wells. … EPA says the radioactivity of scale, a common byproduct of oil and gas exploration and production, can vary widely, from background to much higher levels. … Attorney Stuart Smith…specializes in NORM victim cases, explains: “NORM, an acronym for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, includes all radioactive elements found in the environment. Long-lived radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium and any of their decay products, i. e radium and radon, have always been present in the earth’s crust and within tissues of all living beings. “Although the concentration of NORM in most natural substances is low, higher concentrations may arise as a result of human activities. For example radium may be precipitated out in scale that forms in a natural gas processing pipe or radon decay products may concentrate on the turbine blades of a natural gas pump. … “Additionally, technologically enhanced levels of NORM or (TERM or TENORM) often build up in oilfield equipment used to collect and dispose produced water. Equipment such as downhole tubing, surface piping, separator tanks, etc. are often found to have elevated levels of radioactive scales built up which can be a hazard whenever these fixtures are removed or disassembled for maintenance.”

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.