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Security Science

Radioactive Tool Goes Missing In Texas 163 163

Hugh Pickens writes "Oil-field service companies lower radioactive units into wells to let workers identify places to break apart rock for a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which frees oil and natural gas. Now Bloomberg reports that Halliburton workers have discovered that a lock on the container used to transport one such device has gone missing, along with the unit, after employees drove a truck from a site near Peco to a well south of Odessa and while the loss of radioactive rods occurs from time to time, it has been years since a device with americium-241/beryllium, the material in Halliburton's device, was misplaced in Texas. NRC spokeswoman Maureen Conley says the material would have to be in someone's physical possession for several hours for it to be considered harmful as teams comb the route between the two wellsites searching for the seven-inch tube, which is clearly marked with the words 'DANGER RADIOACTIVE' as well as a radiation warning symbol, "Halliburton strongly cautions members of the public that if they locate this source, they should not touch or handle it, stay a minimum of 25 feet away," and contact local law enforcement or the company's emergency hotline if they find the cylinder, says the company which is also offering a reward for information about the tube's whereabouts."
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Radioactive Tool Goes Missing In Texas

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  • From time to time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djdanlib (732853) on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:02AM (#41361379) Homepage

    Wait. Who's saying that "the loss of radioactive rods occurs from time to time" in such a nonchalant way, like they're trying to convince the readers that it's no big deal? It's a big deal. You don't just lose stuff like that.. they're transported in large, heavy packages!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:09AM (#41361467)

    The nuclear density gauges are relatively common in civil engineering.Yeah, they go missing from time to time.

    How they usually go missing--some joker steals a worker's truck on a job site. The idiot doesn't realize he has taken a van with a restricted device in the back. Then a world of hurt descends on the person when they are finally caught.

    The person who was in charge of the gauge finds they are in trouble for leaving the vehicle unsecured.

  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:45AM (#41361819)

    Halliburton: Endangering American Lives, With Taxpayer Dollars!

    God, if there were ever a corporation that needed to be dissolved in a vat of acid and the remains scattered to the far corners of the earth, Halliburton is it. They are the epitome of casual, incompetent, expensive evil.

  • Re:Thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @01:08PM (#41364285)

    And what is stupid if not "simple."

    Stupidity and Simplicity are orthogonal. Complex solutions can be stupid. Simplicity can be brilliant.

Weekend, where are you?