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OGFG – Oil & Gas Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) – Comparison of Australian and Other First World Oil & Gas Industry Practices
August 16, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pmFree
This presentation examines the post-treatment management of Oil & Gas NORM (predominantly Radium-26 & Radium-228 in oil producing facilities and Pb-210 in gas producing facilities) within Australia compared with other mature jurisdictions with radioactive and nuclear material handling industries.
Oil and gas radioactive waste storage in Australia is not subject to any prescriptive restrictions with regard to timeliness of disposal and as such managed on a case by case basis, normally underpinned by the expectation that a solution will present itself in the near future. Currently, there is no commercially or Government run intractable waste disposal facility available to industries across all state, territory and Commonwealth jurisdictions within Australia.
This combination has led to the on-going ‘temporary’ storage of radioactive material pending an inexpensive, easy and local disposal solution, akin to that for non-hazardous waste stream. Firm plans for this type of facility are yet to appear and are not forecast for the near future.
While not specifically prohibited in Australia, ‘speculative accumulation’ is an on-going liability for the generator of the material, members of the public or the environment in the vicinity of the stored material and the state/territory government in which it is being stored.
Comparison with other jurisdictions such as the United States (under 40 CFR 261 & 10 CFR 61) shows that the on-going storage and continual growth of material stockpiles, is identified as a major risk for solid wastes and mixed wastes that include radioactive components and is generally not permissible.
Dean has provided high-level advice and consultation in occupational hygiene, radiation safety and safety management systems to the oil&gas and mining sectors for the last 10 years. Having held roles on both sides of the regulatory fence on the subject of specialised radiation safety with industrial sealed sources and NORM waste material produced during oil& gas and mining production and decommissioning. Dean has also been lead project advisor/manager for the only two large-scale oil produced NORM disposal campaigns to leave Australia for final disposal overseas.