I did cover fracking and its radiation risks several times before. (See info down below.)
- Wrecking the Earth: Fracking has grave radiation risks few talk about (RT, Aug 28, 2013):
Christopher Busby is an expert on the health effects of ionizing radiation and Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk.
Environmentalists point to various dangerous consequences of using fracking technology, but none can be compared to the issue of radiation exposure and radioactive contamination of the development areas it poses.
UK government plans to use fracking technology in populated areas of the country recently drew hundreds of people to the streets in protests. Protesters pointed to the dangerous example of the US, the worldwide leader in fracking, where hydraulic fracturing (which consumes vast amounts of water) led to areas of Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming facing a dire water crisis.
Fracking involves toxic chemicals being lowered into kilometer-deep holes drilled in the ground to isolate gas and oil from shale. The toxic chemicals can then float into lakes and rivers or contaminate the ground. Also, fracking produces a disproportionate amount of waste, including radioactive water, which then has to be dumped somewhere.
The key to fracking
Uranium is the key element to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, to use its proper name. In the real-world version of Phineas Fogg’s “Eighty Days Around the World,” burning the ship’s masts and furniture to make steam, governments are now encouraging the oil and gas merchants to blast their way deep into the Earth to squeeze the last ounce of oil and gas from that poor creature. But there will be a terrible revenge. Locked up in the strata into which they pump the pressurized process water, to fracture and thus create the huge surface area sponge which will yield up its cargo of gas and oil, is a monstrous amount of natural uranium and its deadly daughter Radium-226. And vast amounts of the radioactive alpha emitting gas Radon-222, and its own daughters Bismuth 214, Lead-210 and the alpha emitter Polonium-210. Remember Polonium-210? That was the material used when a few millionths of a gram poisoned ex-Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.
Deep down in the earth, there is a lot of radioactivity, which is safe enough, so long as it is not brought up to the surface. The technical term is NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material). When it is brought to the surface it becomes Technologically Enhanced, or TENORM, and it is a serious health problem near oil wells and gas production sites. It is in the production water, in the oil, in the gas, around the production sites, the groundwater, in the pipes and tanks – and in your kitchen.
Continue reading »
Tags: Chris Busby, Contamination, Environment, Fracking, Global News, Government, Health, Politics, Radiation, Science