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Radiation Safety NORM Presented By: Etech Environmental & Safety Solutions, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Radiation Safety NORM Presented By: Etech Environmental & Safety Solutions, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Radiation Safety NORM Presented By: Etech Environmental & Safety Solutions, Inc.

2 Radioactivity The tendency of unstable atoms to undergo radioactive decay. The tendency of unstable atoms to undergo radioactive decay. Radioactive atoms are called radionuclides. Radioactive atoms are called radionuclides.

3 Background Radiation Is unavoidable Is unavoidable Comes from cosmic sources and earth materials Comes from cosmic sources and earth materials Averages uR/hr gamma in the USA Averages uR/hr gamma in the USA

4 What is NORM? “Naturally occurring radioactive material” “Naturally occurring radioactive material” The oil & gas industry is mainly concerned with 3 types of radioactive materials: The oil & gas industry is mainly concerned with 3 types of radioactive materials: Radium – 226 Radium – 226 Radium – 228 Radium – 228 Radon – 222 Radon – 222

5 A Quick Chemistry Lesson! Uranium 238 and Thorium 232 decay and change into many different radioactive materials (daughter minerals), including Radium 226 and Radium 228, finally becoming a stable Lead (non- radioactive). Uranium 238 and Thorium 232 decay and change into many different radioactive materials (daughter minerals), including Radium 226 and Radium 228, finally becoming a stable Lead (non- radioactive). Uranium 238 Thorium 232 Radium 226Radium 228

6 NORM Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material Prevalent in scale from produced water operations in certain oil fields Prevalent in scale from produced water operations in certain oil fields Most common emitter is Alpha but can also contain Gamma & Beta Most common emitter is Alpha but can also contain Gamma & Beta Greatest hazards present for most sites are respiratory and ingestion Greatest hazards present for most sites are respiratory and ingestion Some sites may have time exposure potential Some sites may have time exposure potential

7 NORM Radium will dissolve readily into production water associated with oil & gas production (water rich in chlorides) Radium will dissolve readily into production water associated with oil & gas production (water rich in chlorides) It will not dissolve into the oil itself. It will not dissolve into the oil itself. Example: When water flooding a formation. (inject water at various areas around a formation to aid in the flow rate to the well.) The mixing of formation water and injection water can cause scale to form. Example: When water flooding a formation. (inject water at various areas around a formation to aid in the flow rate to the well.) The mixing of formation water and injection water can cause scale to form.

8 NORM - Scale NORM accumulation in scale is typically the result of radium precipitating out of the produced water along with barium sulfates.

9 Major Types of Radiation Source(Symbol)Form # of ionizations per cm of Air Path Length in Air Hazard Location of Source Alpha ( α) Particle100,000’s < 1 inch Internal Beta ( β) Particle100’s 1 meter Internal&External Gamma ( γ) Electro- magnetic Energy 1 Several Meters to Kilometers Internal&External

10 Definitions Roentgen – The unit of measure for X or gamma radiation in air. (R) Roentgen – The unit of measure for X or gamma radiation in air. (R) Roentgen Absorbed Dose (RAD) – The unit of measure for radiation energy transferred to an absorbing tissue. Roentgen Absorbed Dose (RAD) – The unit of measure for radiation energy transferred to an absorbing tissue. Quality Factor – The factor by which absorbed doses are multiplied to obtain a quantity that expresses the risk associated with the dose. Quality Factor – The factor by which absorbed doses are multiplied to obtain a quantity that expresses the risk associated with the dose. Roentgen Equivalent Man (REM) – The unit of measure which represents the risk associated with radiation exposure. Roentgen Equivalent Man (REM) – The unit of measure which represents the risk associated with radiation exposure. 1 R = 1 REM 1 R = 1 REM

11 Example RadxQF= Rem RadxQF= Rem Gamma1 Radx1= 1 Rem Beta1 Radx(1 to 2.6)= 1 to 2.6 Rem Alpha1 Radx20= 20 REM

12 Sub-units Millirems (mRem) Millirems (mRem) 1000 mRem = 1 Rem 1000 mRem = 1 Rem Microrems (µRem) Microrems (µRem) 1000 µ Rem = 1mRem 1000 µ Rem = 1mRem 1,000,000 µRem = 1 Rem 1,000,000 µRem = 1 Rem

13 Acute Exposure Risk 700 Rem = LD Rem = LD Rem = LD Rem = LD Rem = LD Rem = LD Rem = LD LO 200 Rem = LD LO 100 Rem = TD LO 100 Rem = TD LO 25 Rem = ED LO 25 Rem = ED LO A normal U.S. citizen has a 25% risk of cancer. 1 Rem increases that risk to 25.03%. 100 Rem increases the risk to 28%. The USEPA action level for personnel safety is 1mr above background

14 Why be cautious of NORM? Radium is a “bone seeker” Radium is a “bone seeker” If radium is ingested or inhaled, it will migrate to the bones of the body where it has the ability to remain for a very long time. If radium is ingested or inhaled, it will migrate to the bones of the body where it has the ability to remain for a very long time. Radium is carcinogenic and is directly linked to diseases of the bones such as leukemia and bone cancer. Radium is carcinogenic and is directly linked to diseases of the bones such as leukemia and bone cancer.

15 Should I be worried? The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) has stated that while exposure of workers and the general public should be kept to the lowest practical level at all times, the presently permitted doses represent a level of risk that is small compared to other risks encountered in everyday life. The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) has stated that while exposure of workers and the general public should be kept to the lowest practical level at all times, the presently permitted doses represent a level of risk that is small compared to other risks encountered in everyday life.

16 Exposure Reduction Mechanisms Time Time Amount of time exposed to and away from the source Amount of time exposed to and away from the source Distance Distance Closer is not always better Closer is not always better Shielding Shielding Dependent upon the type of radiation Dependent upon the type of radiation Can include respiratory and skin protection Can include respiratory and skin protection ALARA ALARA As Low As Reasonably Achievable As Low As Reasonably Achievable

17 Dose Limits Total Effective Dose Equivalent of 5 Rem per calendar year to the whole body for workers exposed to occupational radiation. Total Effective Dose Equivalent of 5 Rem per calendar year to the whole body for workers exposed to occupational radiation. For individual members of the public the dose is limited to 0.1 Rem per year For individual members of the public the dose is limited to 0.1 Rem per year A declared pregnant women is limited to a Dose Equivalent to the Embro/Fetus of 500 mRem during her pregnancy, delivered at a recommended rate of approximately 50 mRem per month or less. A declared pregnant women is limited to a Dose Equivalent to the Embro/Fetus of 500 mRem during her pregnancy, delivered at a recommended rate of approximately 50 mRem per month or less.

18 Hazard life expectancy loss estimate Smoking (20 cig/day) 6 years Cancer 3.4 years Overweight (15%) 2 years Alcohol (US Avg) 1 year Vehicle accidents 360 days Lightning 1.1 days Single dose of 1 mRem 2.1 minutes Health Risks

19 NORM Naturally occurring radioactive materials are present all around us. Naturally occurring radioactive materials are present all around us. They are found in our backyard soil, food drinking water, even in our bodies. They are found in our backyard soil, food drinking water, even in our bodies.

20 TENORM TENORM is “technologically enhanced” TENORM is “technologically enhanced” Oil & gas production and refining are examples of technical processes which concentrate NORM. Oil & gas production and refining are examples of technical processes which concentrate NORM.

21 Where NORM is found in the Oilfield Water lines Water lines Flowlines Flowlines Separators Separators Water/Production Tanks Water/Production Tanks Pumps Pumps Heater treaters Heater treaters wellheads wellheads

22 General Regulatory Information Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulates the management (receipt, possession and storage), *transportation and *disposal of NORM. Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulates the management (receipt, possession and storage), *transportation and *disposal of NORM. Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) regulates the requirement for surveying tank batteries and the disposal of oil and gas NORM waste. Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) regulates the requirement for surveying tank batteries and the disposal of oil and gas NORM waste.

23 General Regulatory Requirements cont. All tank batteries must be surveyed by the operator and labeled if NORM is present…… (TRRC). All tank batteries must be surveyed by the operator and labeled if NORM is present…… (TRRC). Any equipment with a reading of 50uR/hr or greater (including background) is considered NORM contaminated (TRC,DSHS). Any equipment with a reading of 50uR/hr or greater (including background) is considered NORM contaminated (TRC,DSHS). Soils/BS&W with a reading of 30 pCi/g of Ra 226, Ra 228, Thorium or Total activity > 120 pCi/g is considered NORM contaminated (DSHS). Soils/BS&W with a reading of 30 pCi/g of Ra 226, Ra 228, Thorium or Total activity > 120 pCi/g is considered NORM contaminated (DSHS).

24 General Regulatory Requirements cont. All operators engaged in the possession, use, transportation or storage of NORM are a general licensee. All operators engaged in the possession, use, transportation or storage of NORM are a general licensee. All contractors engaged in the removal, packaging, transportation and/or disposal of NORM are required to have a specific license. All contractors engaged in the removal, packaging, transportation and/or disposal of NORM are required to have a specific license.

25 Contractor Requirements For each project/job a contractor must address the following: For each project/job a contractor must address the following: Preliminary Assessment (NORM, Physical & Chemical) Preliminary Assessment (NORM, Physical & Chemical) Public Protection Public Protection Personnel Protection Personnel Protection Visitors Visitors Air Monitoring Air Monitoring Contamination Minimization Contamination Minimization Decontamination Decontamination

26 Instrumentation Determine risk of exposure Determine risk of exposure Determine types of radiation Determine types of radiation

27 Instruments Consist of two main components Consist of two main components Meter Meter Probe (reads gamma) Probe (reads gamma)

28 Meters Two types Two types Analog Analog Digital Digital Most common Most common Model 3 (Analog) Model 3 (Analog) Model 2241 (Digital Model 2241 (Digital

29 Analog Meters Can be simple or complex Can be simple or complex Can be set to read in specific or multiple units Can be set to read in specific or multiple units May require scale adjustment and use of basic math to determine the correct reading May require scale adjustment and use of basic math to determine the correct reading

30 Analog Meters - Scaling Reading is taken based upon the reading of the meter multiplied by the setting of the scale (Red Arrow) Reading is taken based upon the reading of the meter multiplied by the setting of the scale (Red Arrow) May require resetting (Yellow Arrow) every time the scale setting is changed or the instrument overloads the current scale May require resetting (Yellow Arrow) every time the scale setting is changed or the instrument overloads the current scale

31 Digital Meters Most configured to self scale, reduces the potential for error. Most configured to self scale, reduces the potential for error. Depending upon the instrument configuration, will read in either uR/hr, mR/hr or CPM. Depending upon the instrument configuration, will read in either uR/hr, mR/hr or CPM. Can automatically adjust for the type of probe used. Can automatically adjust for the type of probe used.

32 Probes Two primary types of probes used: Two primary types of probes used: Gamma Scintillation Gamma Scintillation Reads is uR or mR per hour Reads is uR or mR per hour Alpha/Beta Alpha/Beta Common Name: Pancake Probe Common Name: Pancake Probe Measures in CPM Measures in CPM

33 Other Probes

34 Probe Care and Use Take care to prevent the probe from falling or hitting any hard surface Take care to prevent the probe from falling or hitting any hard surface The membrane on a “Pancake” probe can be punctured with minimal effort The membrane on a “Pancake” probe can be punctured with minimal effort All probe surfaces should be kept clean of oil, grease, dirt or significant amounts of dust All probe surfaces should be kept clean of oil, grease, dirt or significant amounts of dust Never immerse a probe in water or any other cleaning solution Never immerse a probe in water or any other cleaning solution

35 General Instrument Care and Use Always perform a battery check before and after use. Always perform a battery check before and after use. Always check the probe against a known source before and after use. Always check the probe against a known source before and after use. Always reset the instrument when changing scales, probes or if an overload occurs. Always reset the instrument when changing scales, probes or if an overload occurs. Always keep the instrument in a secure location when transporting and remove batteries. Always keep the instrument in a secure location when transporting and remove batteries.

36 Limitations of Instruments Accuracy may vary between user Accuracy may vary between user Distance from source Distance from source Speed of monitoring Speed of monitoring Thickness and type of material surrounding the source Thickness and type of material surrounding the source Annual calibration Annual calibration

37 NORM meters are NOT Intrinsically Safe

38 Never use a NORM meter in an area where explosive vapors may be present. The meter could set off an explosion.

39 Always check for flammable vapors and H 2 S with an appropriate instrument before taking a NORM reading – Especially in a confined space such as a tank or a heater treater

40 Questions ?


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