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Mon Jun 27, 2016, 04:07 PM

 

4 States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste

The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year.

But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste stream. No federal agency fully regulates oil and gas drilling byproducts—which include brine, sludge, rock and soiled equipment—leaving tracking and handling to states that may be reluctant to alienate energy interests.

“Nobody can say how much of any type of waste is being produced, what it is and where it’s ending up,” said Nadia Steinzor of the environmental group Earthworks, who co-wrote a report on shale waste. [Earthworks has received funding from The Heinz Endowments, as has the Center for Public Integrity.]

The group is among several suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate drilling waste under a federal system that tracks hazardous materials from creation to final disposal or “cradle to grave.” The EPA declined to comment on the lawsuit but is scheduled to file a response in court by early July.

-snip-

http://ecowatch.com/2016/06/26/states-radioactive-fracking-waste/


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Reply 4 States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste (Original post)
arcane1 Jun 2016 OP
ciaobaby Jun 2016 #1
DirkGently Jun 2016 #2
arcane1 Jun 2016 #3
eppur_se_muova Jun 2016 #4

Response to arcane1 (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 04:31 PM

1. Yet the Democratic Platform committee failed to ban fracking.

 

SHAME.

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Response to arcane1 (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 04:57 PM

2. "We're just going to do some FRACKING, here."


What could possibly go wrong with forcing kabillions of gallons of toxic "trade secret forumula" fluid into the ground? Where, you know, the drinking water comes from?

It's like a satirical parody of an issue.

"And then we argued over whether FRACKING was a good idea. Some thought obviously not, while others noted there was money to be made so ..."

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 04:59 PM

3. It pollutes the air and water, so let's exempt it from air and water rules.

 

Brilliant, I say!

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Response to arcane1 (Original post)

Mon Jun 27, 2016, 05:03 PM

4. Quick answer to the question: Where does the radioactivity come from ? Basically, "radiobarite" ...

I.e., barite (BaSO4, the major barium mineral) containing small amounts of radium as RaSO4. Both have extremely low solubility in water (under normal conditions), so any radium salt that gets dissolved quickly precipitates back out, together with the more abundant barium, as soon as it encounters sufficient sulfate ions in solution. Here's a 2010 post on that:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=115x249200

Scaly precipitates on oil industry equipment may show the radioactivity as high as 103 Bq/g.

http://www.mindat.org/min-7267.html


Note that's per gram, not per kilogram.

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