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Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale Challenge for Regulators and Water Treatment Plants Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D. Radioactive Waste Management Associates WEF.

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Presentation on theme: "Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale Challenge for Regulators and Water Treatment Plants Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D. Radioactive Waste Management Associates WEF."— Presentation transcript:

1 Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale Challenge for Regulators and Water Treatment Plants Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D. Radioactive Waste Management Associates WEF Annual Conference October 2, 2012 New Orleans, LA

2 Objective To examines the fate and transport of radionuclides brought to the surface, and the environmental impact in the environment To examines the fate and transport of radionuclides brought to the surface, and the environmental impact in the environment

3 Areal Extent of Marcellus Shale

4 Depth of Marcellus Shale

5 Marcellus Thickness in New York

6 Beaver Meadows Core

7 Uranium Content in Four Cores Location of the Core Depth of Sample (feet) Uranium Content (ppm) Allegheny Cty, PA 7342 – – 67.7 Tomkins Cty, NY 1380 – – 53 Livingston Cty, NY 543 – – 83.7 Knox Cty, OH 1027 – – 41.1

8 Well Development – Hydraulic Fracturing

9 Well Development Rock Cuttings Rock Cuttings Drill Fluid Drill Fluid Flowback Flowback

10 Rock Cutting Shakers

11 Flowback Water 10% to 40% of original pumped volume 10% to 40% of original pumped volume High levels of salt and NORM High levels of salt and NORM TDS 1,470 to 402,000 mg/L TDS 1,470 to 402,000 mg/L TDS median 157,000 mg/L TDS median 157,000 mg/L

12 Well Production Brine Brine Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Radon in natural gas Radon in natural gas

13 Radium in Brine Water WellTownCountyRa-226Ra-228 Maxwell 1C CatonSteuben Frost 2 OrangeSchuyler Webster T1 OrangeSchuyler Schiavone2ReadingSchuyler

14 Well Production Brine Brine Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Radon in natural gas Radon in natural gas

15 Gas Equipment Well Water/gas separator Condensate Tank Natural Gas Line

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19 Well Production Brine Brine Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Scale buildup in gas equipment (well pipes, feeder lines, condensate tanks) Radon in natural gas Radon in natural gas

20 Wellhead Radon Concentrations Calculated radon concentrations: 36.9 to 2576 pCi/L Calculated radon concentrations: 36.9 to 2576 pCi/L R Johnson (EPA, 1973) measured average 37 pCi/L in pre-fracking period R Johnson (EPA, 1973) measured average 37 pCi/L in pre-fracking period

21 Transit Distance to Consumers Distance to New York consumers from TX and LA wells: 1800 miles Distance to New York consumers from TX and LA wells: 1800 miles Distance to Ne York consumers from Marcellus Shale: <400 miles Distance to Ne York consumers from Marcellus Shale: <400 miles Pipeline velocity: 11 mph Pipeline velocity: 11 mph Radon half-life: 3.8 days Radon half-life: 3.8 days

22 Dilution in NYC Apartments Avg. volume of apartment: 183 m 3 (EPA, Exposure Factors Handbook) Avg. volume of apartment: 183 m 3 (EPA, Exposure Factors Handbook) Avg. air exchanges in apartment: 0.71/hr Avg. air exchanges in apartment: 0.71/hr

23 Increase in Lung Cancer Rates Wellhead concentration (high): 2576 pCi/L Wellhead concentration (high): 2576 pCi/L Air NYC apartment: 0.482pCi/l lifetime exposure concentration in living space Air NYC apartment: 0.482pCi/l lifetime exposure concentration in living space Lifetime risk: 2.56E-03 (excess deaths per capita; EPA risk model, 2003) Lifetime risk: 2.56E-03 (excess deaths per capita; EPA risk model, 2003) excess lung cancer deaths per 11.9 million residents excess lung cancer deaths per 11.9 million residents

24 Uncertainties Calculated wellhead radon concentrations – need measured concentrations Calculated wellhead radon concentrations – need measured concentrations Pipeline dilution Pipeline dilution Storage time Storage time Propane removal Propane removal

25 Summary Rock cuttings: solid waste landfill, wet Rock cuttings: solid waste landfill, wet Drill fluids: recycle somewhat, slightly hot Drill fluids: recycle somewhat, slightly hot Flowback water/brine: hot, licensed, but then? Flowback water/brine: hot, licensed, but then? Filter/sludge: licensed, but then? Filter/sludge: licensed, but then? Pipes: licensed, but then and also < 50 microR/hr released for commercial use Pipes: licensed, but then and also < 50 microR/hr released for commercial use Radon: hold up Radon: hold up


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