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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Should People Be Worried About Radioactive Filter Socks?

From ShaleReporter:
This is quite a problem in North Dakota, where naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is common in certain parts of the Bakken shale. North Dakota landfills will not accept waste with radioactive levels higher than 5 picocuries per gram, and the average filter sock’s level ranges from five to eighty, although one did clock in at 374.
A year ago, after landfill Geiger counters began clicking incessantly, the government helpfully distributed pamphlets listing businesses that would accept radioactive waste. Since the nearest ones were in South Dakota, Colorado and Utah, this has led to a spate of radioactive sock dumping.
Thirty were found during a cleanup day at the Fort Berthold Reservation. A hundred were found in a Williston city garbage can. 250 were dropped into a container box near New Town and picked up by an unsuspecting trucker. Last spring, after the snow melted in Tioga, a “large sack of them” were found along a highway. “They appeared to have fallen off a truck,” reported a local paper, just like the radioactive rod that fell off a truck in Texas, and the radioactive gauge that fell off a truck in West Virginia.
“There are only a few places that have facilities designed to take radioactive materials, and North Dakota is not one of them,” says Kurt Rhea, the CEO of the Colorado-based radioactive waste removal company Next Generation Solutions. Rhea’s company has contracts with certain companies fracking the Bakken shale; picking up a container of waste, trucking it out of state, and disposing with it properly costs about $8,000. He guesses that approximately 20% of North Dakota's radioactive waste is being disposed of properly. What about the rest?
“Good question,” he responds.
Read the rest of the article here.

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