At the recent CLG concerns were raised about safety issues surrounding the radioactive source that was used in the wire line logging operation undertaken on the Tinker Lane borehole. The exchange was as follows:
The IGas Communications Manager (IGas) was asked about the container that had been seen leaving site marked with a radiation label. IGas said that this was the wireline logging tool which was used to test the porosity and density of the rock down the well. IGas explained that the use of the equipment was strictly regulated and all operators had the required training and permits.
A member of the CLG asked if the container had past the local school and said that the perception of the container had been poor due to its condition. IGas said he would report that back to colleagues. (image above is of the container in question leaving Tinker Lane).
Subsequently the Environment Agency who were represented at the meeting have responded (email received today from IGas) with more detail.
“Regarding the question raised at the last meeting regarding down hole logging and radioactive sources please see the following information from our team who deal with the regulation of radioactive substances:-
“Radioactive sources have a wide range of uses in industry. This includes instruments that are commonly used in oil and gas exploration to investigate the geological properties of the rocks surrounding a borehole, known as well or borehole logging. The radioactive material is securely encapsulated in a metal casing so that it cannot be dispersed. (It is lowered into the borehole on a strong cable. Some of the radiation emitted by the radioactive source will be reflected back from the surrounding rocks. The properties of the reflected radiation give information about the nature of the surrounding rocks, particularly the porosity and moisture content that can be detected by sensitive instruments.)
“Companies who use radioactive sources for this type of operation must have a permit from the Environment Agency. The conditions of the permit mean that the sources must be securely stored, properly maintained an only used by suitably trained staff.”