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Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2011/2/17 19:56
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 57
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Here's more actual science from the US Geologic Service involving radioactive radium related to data available re: hydrofracking (in addition to the uranium problem):
"As a radioactive element, radium
may represent a potential health hazard if released into the
environment. The half-lives of the two principal isotopes of
radium, Ra-226 and Ra-228, are 1,600 and 5.75 years, respectively
(Akovali, 1996; Artna-Cohen, 1997), and approximately
10 half-lives are required for a radioactive element to decay to
negligible quantities. Chemically, radium behaves in a manner
similar to calcium and is capable of bioaccumulation in plants
and animals. There is a significant body of research aimed at
quantification of radium uptake in crops and livestock that
make up the human food chain."

Radium is released by the process of hydrofracking.

"The term “produced water” in this report represents water produced from an oil or gas well at any point during its life cycle. The term, therefore, includes
waters produced immediately after hydraulic fracturing, with compositions close to those of the injected fluid, as well as waters produced after months or years
of production, whose compositions resemble formation water."

http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5135/pdf/sir2011-5135.pdf

AND

"Radioactive waste expert Dr. Marvin Resnikoff", argues "that Marcellus Shale drill cuttings are unusually radioactive, owing to a high concentration of Radium-226, a decay product of Uranium-238 which is known to occur in high concentrations in shale formations that originate in briny conditions of ancient evaporative sea water; that Ra-226 (unlike U-238) is soluble in water; and that, as a result, brine and cuttings returned to the surface during well development concentrate Ra-226 by separating the radium from the uranium remaining in the formation. Ra-226 in the formation is about 25 times more radioactive than background radioactivity in the surface environment and the water surrounding wet drill cuttings as they come up from a wellbore can be as high 1,000 times background. Dr. Resnikoff had been working for over ten years in the Barnett Shale gas fields in Texas, which is a similarly briny shale formation."

http://www.garyabraham.com/ChemungLF.html

Info on Dr. Marvin Resnikoff: http://www.rwma.com/mr.htm

Posted on: 2013/5/26 10:42


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2011/7/24 7:01
From SWPA
Posts: 66
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Soil, rock, marble, bricks, granite (counter-tops, etc), sun, are all naturally occurring radiation that you have contact with every day. That's not even counting the radiation that we allow ourselves and our children to be exposed to through medical and dental x-rays. Not to mention the naturally occurring radon gas that comes to the surface with no help from us humans.
There is little to any chance that you would be anywhere near affected by the small amounts of radioactive materials that are disposed of correctly and without incident from drilling for gas and oil. This wasn't a problem during the drilling boom of the 70's and 80's and its not a problem now. In fact, due to the high profile of Marcellus drilling, it is being handled much better than it was in the 70's and 80's. Quote:

Missy wrote:
Here's more actual science from the US Geologic Service involving radioactive radium related to data available re: hydrofracking (in addition to the uranium problem):
"As a radioactive element, radium
may represent a potential health hazard if released into the
environment. The half-lives of the two principal isotopes of
radium, Ra-226 and Ra-228, are 1,600 and 5.75 years, respectively
(Akovali, 1996; Artna-Cohen, 1997), and approximately
10 half-lives are required for a radioactive element to decay to
negligible quantities. Chemically, radium behaves in a manner
similar to calcium and is capable of bioaccumulation in plants
and animals. There is a significant body of research aimed at
quantification of radium uptake in crops and livestock that
make up the human food chain."

Radium is released by the process of hydrofracking.

"The term “produced water” in this report represents water produced from an oil or gas well at any point during its life cycle. The term, therefore, includes
waters produced immediately after hydraulic fracturing, with compositions close to those of the injected fluid, as well as waters produced after months or years
of production, whose compositions resemble formation water."

http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5135/pdf/sir2011-5135.pdf

AND

"Radioactive waste expert Dr. Marvin Resnikoff", argues "that Marcellus Shale drill cuttings are unusually radioactive, owing to a high concentration of Radium-226, a decay product of Uranium-238 which is known to occur in high concentrations in shale formations that originate in briny conditions of ancient evaporative sea water; that Ra-226 (unlike U-238) is soluble in water; and that, as a result, brine and cuttings returned to the surface during well development concentrate Ra-226 by separating the radium from the uranium remaining in the formation. Ra-226 in the formation is about 25 times more radioactive than background radioactivity in the surface environment and the water surrounding wet drill cuttings as they come up from a wellbore can be as high 1,000 times background. Dr. Resnikoff had been working for over ten years in the Barnett Shale gas fields in Texas, which is a similarly briny shale formation."

http://www.garyabraham.com/ChemungLF.html

Info on Dr. Marvin Resnikoff: http://www.rwma.com/mr.htm

Posted on: 2013/5/27 7:40


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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As it comes to radiation, it's something I know a little about. Is some brought up with frack water? Yes, of course it is. Is this a problem? Depends on the concentration. From what I've seen, no. But it's important to test for to keep tabs on that concentration.

The concentrations have been considerably less than, for instance, fly ash produced by coal power plants. Which, by the way, is produced in far greater volumes than frack water.

The question isn't whether it's 100% safe for everyone. Nothing is. The correct question is whether it's better than the alternative. Which, right now, is still coal and oil. Both of which produce more radiation worries than gas.

And gudgeon is correct, we've been drilling for gas in PA for 150 years. Fracking for the majority of that time. Because of the depth and volume, Marcellus adds some dangers. Radiation isn't one of them. It's no worse than traditional drilling. And if it were a problem, the worst stuff wouldn't be re-used frack fluid. It'd be tailings and drilling mud.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 12:47


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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From a USGS report regarding fly ash. Other rock types are listed. Any drilling or extraction of any type (ore mining, coal mining, oil and gas drilling, water well drilling, etc.) will bring up various types of rock from underground. All of which are radioactive (as is our surface soil), but some of which are more radioactive than others.

Various processing can enrich the remaining materials with radioactive elements. For instance, fly ash is enriched with radioactive elements in comparison with the coal it originated from, as the volatiles burn off and leave the heavier elements behind in the ash. We use fly ash in cement!

Drilling fluids and tailings should not be "enriched" by processing, per se. But it is possible/likely that it goes through a formation which is naturally enriched, and brings it to the surface, which would make it enriched in comparison with many surfaces. We're still talking concentrations which are naturally occurring. It's rock. Phosphate rocks are the highest in this graph, higher than tailings and fly ash would be, and are used in things like fertilizer for your plants, animal feed, water treatment, cosmetics, and food preservatives, and include limestone (though I'm not sure of the radioactivity of various limestone formations).

It's something to keep tabs on, but not get outraged about. The public's fear of radioactivity is ridiculous. I'm naturally radioactive. You are too!

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Posted on: 2013/5/28 13:53

Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/5/28 14:09:34
Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/5/28 14:10:13


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2009/5/29 16:32
From Nicholson PA
Posts: 236
Offline
Wouldn't their be a higher amount or equal amount of radioactive materal in the grindings left over from the drilling,Yea its been in the ground for ever but now it in a train in meshoppen.Car after car after car.Hope nothing happens to that train.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 16:09


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
Offline
Talking in terms of radioactivity only here, not toxins. But it's rock. You're moving rock from one place to another.

For starters, lets accept that ALL rock has radioactivity. Some rock types more than others. But being at depth isn't anything special. It's not higher concentrations because it's deep, like some plague that's been buried for ages and being deep is the only reason it hasn't killed us yet. It's not like you're bringing something up that the surface hasn't seen, the surface is very much the same! If I measure natural rock radioactivity here, and then drive 30 miles to the east and measure again, it may be very different.

So these tailings bring many rock types up, mixed together. They could very well have increased levels of radioactivity compared to the rock right here, while still being less than the background 30 miles to the east. Or it could be less than both.

If the train crashes, it'll dump a bunch of, well, rock, on top of rock!

Limestone formations, for instance, are rich in phosphates. Some of those formations would be among the most radioactive sources of rock. Where's your outrage that we mine it, crush it up and put the gravel on people's driveways, or gasp, make it into sand and dump it into the headwaters of acidic trout streams!!!!

Posted on: 2013/5/28 16:35

Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/5/28 16:51:03


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/6/25 9:41
From Pgh
Posts: 1232
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
And gudgeon is correct, we've been drilling for gas in PA for 150 years. Fracking for the majority of that time.


pc,
I thought fracking was a relatively recent innovation... maybe the ability to do it at the depths of the Marcellus formation?


Posted on: 2013/5/28 16:51
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Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 829
Offline
You see Greenghost, a frack is a frack, so they are all the same because the name is the same. By the same token, a Trico is the same as a Green Drake because they're both mayflies. Just because one is a zillion times bigger doesn't mean they're not the same just so long as you call them the same thing. Once you learn these mind over matter things it's all good.

PR flaks, lobbyists and politicians play this game nonstop.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 17:37


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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Greenghost,

They've been fracking in PA since 1960 at least, probably much earlier than that. It's not a new technique. As DGC alludes to, though, Marcellus certainly adds a new flavor. For one, Marcellus is a lot deeper than the traditional wells. More importantly, horizontal drilling is new. On a horizontal well, the volume of the borehole is exponentially higher. Which means the volume of water used to frack is also exponentially higher, as is the volume of cuttings which are removed, the pressures involved, the size of the pad, the amount of truck traffic, etc, etc, etc. Same process, but everything is MUCH bigger.

The same basic principles do apply. What matters from an environmental standpoint is only what's above the water table. i.e. what happens on the surface and in the top few hundred feet of the hole (cement job and so forth). It's just that with everything so vastly upscaled, the unavoidable impacts are higher, potential for damaging errors and accidents are higher, as are the effects of those events.

There are real impacts, and valid concerns about more serious complications. I just think radioactivity falls WAY down the list of concerns. It always bugs me that nobody ever seems to be objective on issues like this. If you're anti-drilling, every thing is horrible, and if the drillers had their way this would be an uninhabitable moonscape. If you're pro-drilling, the industry can do no wrong and there are zero negative impacts. Neither is anywhere close to reality.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 20:03


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2012/3/14 23:03
Posts: 314
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Quote:
I think the problem was this report-
List of 78 Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Pennsylvania

An earlier version of the list, provided by DEP to the Associated Press and published in newspapers throughout the state this week, purportedly included all of the chemicals used in Pennsylvania during the gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing. Instead, it included not just the chemicals pumped deep underground but also those stored or used on a well site, including fuel for vehicles and brake fluid.

“You can blame it on me,” Scott Perry, the director of DEP’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, said on Wednesday.

The original list was a compilation of the chemicals identified on safety documents called material safety data sheets that hydraulic fracturing contractors must submit to the department, but he did not realize that it included substances the contractors use both above and below ground on a well site, he said. The second list was winnowed by a DEP chemist, who recognized that some of the chemicals on the initial list are not among those injected underground during the fracturing process.

Thus it was broadly reported to and by the press that products like diesel fuel and brake fluid are being pumped underground in fracking fluids. Too bad the retraction didn't receive as much attention...


Is this not diesel going down the hole here? "have injected over 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or hydraulic fracturing fluids containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states between 2005 and 2009. "

source:
http://democrats.energycommerce.house ... in-hydraulic-fracturing-f

Posted on: 2013/5/28 20:18


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
Posts: 4808
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How much radioactive material is exposed each year around the state from road construction? There was certainly a lot during the highway construction boom years. Many hundreds of thousands of times more than what the current drilling is exposing.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 12:55


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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Certainly could shake things up some. But again, you are using "exposed" in a manner that implies that stuff at depth is radioactive, and stuff at the surface isn't. Being at depth makes it no more or less radioactive than the surface.

ALL ROCK IS RADIOACTIVE. Just some types more than others, based on their composition, not their depth.

If you dig up rock and lay it on the surface, it is just as just as likely that you are digging up less radioactive material and covering more radioactive material. In a road, or a well, some of the material brought up will be more radioactive than the surface at that spot, and some of it less, as both the surface rock and the stuff brought up will vary wildly.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 13:46


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
Posts: 4808
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Certainly could shake things up some. But again, you are using "exposed" in a manner that implies that stuff at depth is radioactive, and stuff at the surface isn't.


Not at all. Nothing in my post implies anything about depth being more radioactive than materials at/near the surface. Quite the contrary. My point is that significantly more surface or near surface material is disturbed in ways that increases human exposure but no one raises that as an issue. This whole thing is about rolling rocks (pun intended) in front of the gas industry.

I think we both agree that the engineering related to fracking is established and proven safe if followed. Same thing with well site procedures. Much of what is being published today is rehashed problems a few unscrupulous drillers had a few years ago and they have already been cited and punished.


BTW for BeastBrown; using diesel fuel as a fracking medium in shale oil drilling is an accepted and responsible practice. In these sites they are bringing up crude from which the diesel could not be differentiated.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 15:31


Re: Fracking Issues 101

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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Quote:
I think we both agree that the engineering related to fracking is established and proven safe if followed.


To a point. I wouldn't say that ANY industrial practice is "proven safe", because none of them are. Nomatter what the procedures, you can't engineer to zero accidents. And even without accidents, they all still have negative impacts. Continuous improvement is a good thing, within reason. But here's the part I agree with:

Quote:
This whole thing is about rolling rocks (pun intended) in front of the gas industry.


You're right of course, and it's not within reason. Trying to improve on REAL concerns, or force individual companies to play by the rules? Fine. Inventing concerns to stop or slow entire industries at all costs? Not fine.

If opponents succeed in stopping them, or driving the price higher, what does it accomplish? We still need X amount of energy at the end of the day. Do we mine more coal? Import more oil? Are the issues with that better or worse?

There's an inevitable result of turning non-issues into issues. You pay more for dirtier forms of energy.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 16:24


Re: Fracking Issues 101

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2012/3/14 23:03
Posts: 314
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Quote:

franklin wrote:
Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Certainly could shake things up some. But again, you are using "exposed" in a manner that implies that stuff at depth is radioactive, and stuff at the surface isn't.


Not at all. Nothing in my post implies anything about depth being more radioactive than materials at/near the surface. Quite the contrary. My point is that significantly more surface or near surface material is disturbed in ways that increases human exposure but no one raises that as an issue. This whole thing is about rolling rocks (pun intended) in front of the gas industry.

I think we both agree that the engineering related to fracking is established and proven safe if followed. Same thing with well site procedures. Much of what is being published today is rehashed problems a few unscrupulous drillers had a few years ago and they have already been cited and punished.


BTW for BeastBrown; using diesel fuel as a fracking medium in shale oil drilling is an accepted and responsible practice. In these sites they are bringing up crude from which the diesel could not be differentiated.


Why is this talking about injected into, as far as accepted medium, I believe the diesel is what one very large company in particular favored and kept doing it and doing it, until they had the showdown, and they are still trying to use it with definition spats.

Of course, this whole deal is a scarce resource, and the fact that we are discussing diesel fuel as a fracing medium is freaking ridiculous, because we should just have thousands of clean nuclear power plants emitting steam, but.....we have bankers, and they love to milk the peasants with closed systems of science and money.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 21:24



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