- Jan 22, 2011
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, 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.