Forums > Social Discussion > Megatons of radioactive waste - unaccounted for...

Login/Join to Participate

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Recent report in Germany revealed that the oil and gas producing companies produce megatons (in Germany alone 2.000t/ year) of radioactive waste.

Itself not a new finding. What's "new" is that in Germany, industries are required to produce proof on the whereabouts of this kind of waste - and they can't.

This is not about drilling waste, but waste accumulated in the refining process... waste that contains highly poisonous "Radium 226".

Unfortunately I can't find an English version of that report, which got published today. Directly questioned, representatives of the office for regulation of security in nuclear power plants admit that this is known already for 20 (and even 40) years... only that nobody saw a problem in this, or the need for regulation.

Fact right now is that the industry in Germany claims this radioactivity to be "natural" and within the permitted limits.

This is a lie. The contamination of soil is 700 times higher than natural and according to an Exxon document, which the reporters could get hold of the contamination is up to 3.000 times higher than average.

The German industry can't account for the safe disposal of up to 2.000 tons of radioactive waste. According to the German report:

Originally Posted By: WDRIn Lndern mit grerer l- und Gasfrderung stellen die radioaktiven Abflle aus dieser Industrie ein weitaus greres Problem dar. In Kasachstan etwa sind weite Landstriche damit verseucht. In den USA wurde kontaminierter Schrott an Schulen und Kindergrten verschenkt, und in Grobritannien werden bis heute die radioaktiven l- und Gasrckstnde in die Nordsee geleitet. Experten in Kanada vergleichen die Risiken vor allem der radioaktiven Altlasten aus der l- und Gasindustrie mit der Asbest-Problematik vor 20 Jahren.

translation:

"In countries with a higher oil and gas production rate, the radioactive waste from these industries pose a far greater problem. In Kasachstan vast areas are contaminated with it, in the USA contaminated scrap has been given away to kindergardens and schools and the UK the radioactive residues of oil and gas are deployed into the North Sea. Canadian experts compare the risks of these radioactive brownfields with those of the Astbestos-contamination 20years ago."

In all these environmental threads (and threats) over the recent past I'm trying to make one point:

Whilst it of course it is necessary for the general public to do their fair share in order to curb environmental pollution and to conserve nature, the amount and pace in which nature is destroyed in industrial/ agricultural processes is incomparable.

These issues need to get directly addressed to industries and their responsible managements through governments.

I feel quite helpless in my personal approach and - like most others - seek refuge in "raising awareness" or signing online petitions...

Any useful suggestions to get more impact?

*****************************************************************

update:


Please find a linklist:

the "Normland Spread Study" of the National Petroleum Technology Office, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Tulsa, Oklahoma here

an Irish/ Scottish study for the disposal of NORM waste here

a study of the "American Petroleum Institute" (API) on the costs of disposal of NORM waste and brownfields here

an article of the Environmental Research Foundation, Annapolis of 1992

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1260591040)
EDIT_REASON: linklist


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete Topic

Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:kill them all >.>

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Eco-terrorism?...

I considered it, but got nightmares... so it's not for me. wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:sorry for making lulz at your serious thread, i found it deeply amusing at the time.

it is the basic truth though, production and industry techniques are the biggest problem but they provide for a need, so until we ACT on our needs having to change, we wont go anywhere. unfortunately the owners and beneficiaries of said industry and production enjoy making a living.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:No worries, M wink

that being very true, we're living in a society.

As such we all rely on each other. Unless the profits generated are not then used to clean up the mess, corrective measures will not have any effect on the ethics of said individuals and companies.

Will correcting (or acting) on our needs alone do the trick in the long run? There are quite many consumers and not as many suppliers to choose from.

Personally I stopped refueling at Shell, Exxon (Texaco) and BP - as much as anyhow possible - a long time ago (Brent Spar, Exxon Valdez and Nigeria), does it have an impact? Most likely not. Did it make me feel better about myself - you bet...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:ha!

welcome to life cycle analysis! it looks at the creation, use, and disposal of an object - and this includes all the feedstocks and wastes from all phases of the life cycle. its does unfortunately tend to make a person more cynical about the world....

does it have an impact? tom regardless of where you fill up - be it major or minor local gas stations - your products all comes from the same place. going to an independant fuel station does not mean the petrol grows on organic sustainable soy plants - the refining process will give off the same byproduct regardless.

Quote:This is a lie. The contamination of soil is 700 times higher than natural and according to an Exxon document, which the reporters could get hold of the contamination is up to 3.000 times higher than average.

references please. im too well aware of reporters having no understanding of reality, let alone science.

Quote:Whilst it of course it is necessary for the general public to do their fair share in order to curb environmental pollution and to conserve nature, the amount and pace in which nature is destroyed in industrial/ agricultural processes is incomparable.

These issues need to get directly addressed to industries and their responsible managements through governments.

sorry do you actually know anyone who works in the mining, energy, industrial sector? do you think its full of evil people who pump out censored into the envrionment with complete disregard to public safety?
you talking about german engineers here - who in my experience are the most precise, anally retentive, safe, and conservative engineers in the entire planet.

i do not disagree with the validity of raisng your concerns - but find flaws in many of the statements so would be interesting in supporting documentation.


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

Delete

Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:this really just leaves one question.....



Non-Https Image Link


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

Delete

Ringshadow
Ringshadow

journeyman
Location: SW Michigan, United States
Member Since: 31st Oct 2009
Total posts: 81
Posted:I'm actually going into nuclear power when I graduate, specifically Radiation Protection, so I'm getting a kick out of this thread.

Frankly, yes, you've just caught on to the fact that fossil fuels are more radioactive than nuclear power. Mining brings up radioactive byproducts, coal is radioactive when it burns, fly ash is radioactive. The trick is that most of it is so low level that it flies under the radar so to speak.

As for the level of contamination being higher in the soil, that actually COULD be natural. Soil composition varies wildly, that's actually why some houses will accumulate radon and some won't. If it isn't natural, then someone needs to be beaten with clown hammers. Either way, I'd be more concerned about it from a heavy metal standpoint than a radioactivity standpoint, as they aren't quoting any numbers. I'm not seeing anything about Sieverts or Greys, so yeah. I'd be more worried about the heavy metal dose.


Happiness is a skill, not a commodity
I have been kidnapped by hooping.

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Dentrassi: they are... and as it has been found out it is not about engineers but management...

Deutsche Welle meanwhile has translated the article here

The report is getting raised by the environmental board of the parliament. Question is why governments were not including this radioactive waste in its annual reports and why the disposal was left to the discretion of the industries alone and did not get properly regulated.

Interesting that this was/is going on for decades - even at times where the green party has been part of the government.

Meanwhile some employees of oil and gas producing companies have contacted the news agency and let them measure radioactivity of barrels and pipes, stored in the open at a companies' disposal site. They measured radioactivity and found it 200 times higher than the natural values.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1260612443)
EDIT_REASON: add info


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Point being that these are not "evil people"... I don't say - nor believe that. These are just people. Doing what they perceive to be the best they can do in that very moment...

Like telling workers to wear light protective gear, do their job and get out quickly... "not to worry about"... Appliances that measure radioactivity are not common in the areas they work in.

These are people who have families - and children too.

I find it so astonishing what people are ready to do to make a living. Doesn't matter what the nationality... Western, Asian, African...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:It doesn't have much impact considering twice where you fill up... true... it's a "feelgood" approach...

Any feasible suggestions?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Ringshadow
Ringshadow

journeyman
Location: SW Michigan, United States
Member Since: 31st Oct 2009
Total posts: 81
Posted:Firetom: They measured radioactivity and found it 200 times higher than the natural values.

Well, that's dandy, got some numbers for me there? Rem or mRem if possible but I can run a conversion out of Sieverts or Greys into mRem. Sadly, I don't find "200 times natural value" to be scary yet. That's what, 200 mRem a day? Ok, maybe it's because I've worked in nuclear plants but I honestly figured anyone who mines coal, oil, or gas to get a pretty decent dose.

Firetom: Like telling workers to wear light protective gear, do their job and get out quickly... "not to worry about"... Appliances that measure radioactivity are not common in the areas they work in.

I just checked. Radium breaks down with alpha and beta radiation. The danger here is ingestion and dose to eyes. Light protective gear, such as coveralls, safety goggles, and a dust mask will turn alpha and beta radiation.

Seriously. This isn't a radiation hazard unless it's ingested/inhaled. The "radium girls" swallowed it and allowed it to get into their skin.


Happiness is a skill, not a commodity
I have been kidnapped by hooping.

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Originally Posted By: DW for WDRThe WDR report says that in Germany alone, up to 2,000 metric tons of naturally-occurring radioactive waste is sucked out of the earth every year and dumped in the surrounding countryside. By extrapolating these figures to oil production in the United States, which produces much more oil and has lower industry safety standards, up to 260,000 metric tons of radioactive waste could be produced there.

Radioactive waste drum by road signBildunterschrift: Groansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Nuclear waste continues to be a hot-button issue in Germany

Juergen Doeschner, the WDR journalist behind the report, says that as many as 10 barrels of water are dragged up to produce every barrel of oil, and that this water contains various naturally occurring radioactive substances like uranium. The most dangerous of these is radium 226, a substance with intensive radioactive power, particularly if it is ingested. Radium 226 retains a high level of radioactivity for 1,600 years before it disintegrates into radon. The gas is one of the main causes of lung cancer.

I'm no expert shrug and I already spend too much time on the net phrasing and rephrasing my opinions or trying to dig out reliable facts here...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Ringshadow
Ringshadow

journeyman
Location: SW Michigan, United States
Member Since: 31st Oct 2009
Total posts: 81
Posted:Hrm. Yet still no dose estimations. Someone's slacking (and no, I don't mean you, I mean on their end).

Well, that does confirm what I figured though, that it's mainly an inhalation hazard. Alpha and beta radiation can kick the unholy crap out of your lungs. That being said, it's a natural breakdown product of uranium and it's being created regardless, it's just that the mining process is bringing the gas up. Filtered ventilation and fine micron dust masks could probably solve the problem, or at least manage it. More seriously the workers should wear TLDs and get body counted on a regular basis.


Happiness is a skill, not a commodity
I have been kidnapped by hooping.

Delete


Similar Topics

Using the keywords [megaton* radioactive waste unaccounted] we found the following similar topics.
1. Forums > Megatons of radioactive waste - unaccounted for... [13 replies]
2. Learn > POI > Transitions > Waste Wrap to Meltdown *help/resource
3. Forums > Broadband, good?bad?complete waste of time/money?? [30 replies]
4. Forums > Incrediably addictive waste of time part 3 [3 replies]
5. Forums > Another pointless waste of time :D [11 replies]

     Show more..