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Regulatory Actions in the Case of a Radioactive Source Stuck in an Oil Well

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  • proteccion contra las radiaciones
  • reglamentos
  • arn argentina
  • radiactividad
  • industria petrolifera
  • pozos de petroleo







ARN (Argentina)


Ermacora, M.G.; Chiliutti, C.; Amado, V., Lee Gonzáles, H.; Vicens, H


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Radioactive sources, and in some cases radiation generators, are widely used in the petroleum industry as tools for the purposes of well characterization. The radioactive sources used in this activity imply certain unique hazards, thus strict protocols must be followed, regulatory control is essential and a solid safety culture must be promoted. The mobile nature of these tools and risk associated with their transport through difficult access locations are important issues to be considered. There are approximately 9 000 well logging sources in the world and hundreds of such sources have been lost down-hole and cemented in place over the years. At present, 228 radioactive sources are used for this purpose in Argentina. The radioactive sources are under the control of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority and 5 have been cemented since 2002. This paper describes the regulatory framework in Argentina with regard to well logging sources and the compliance with these regulations will ensure their safe use. The paper also describes a particular

event in which a tool containing radioactive sources got stuck in an oil well. Doses of members of the public which may be associated with the possible dispersion of the material in the radioactive source for loss of tightness, as well as radiological consequences, were evaluated using conservative scenarios. Based on these results and considering the location of the radioactive sources, the sequential actions made and the regulatory decisions taken are described. As a conclusion, all the steps were analyzed and they were consistent with the practices recommended at an international level for similar cases. 14th International Congress on the International Radiation Protection Association. Cape Town, Sudáfrica, 9 al 13 de mayo de 2016