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Depleted uranium, radiation, and fracking

depleted-uraniumtext ionisingWrecking the Earth: Fracking has grave radiation risks few talk about   Rt.com  Christopher Busby 28 Aug 13,  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…….. The key to fracking

highly-recommendedUranium 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……. specially designed explosives called “shaped charges.” These are cone-shaped dense metal explosive devices that send the explosive energy in an enormously powerful directed jet of metal atoms that act as a drill and melt the rock or shale along the length of the jet. This creates a radially distributed set of channels along and around the length of the drill tube, in the shape of a bottle-cleaning brush. ……Nuclear implications

The metal which was formerly employed for the shaped charge head or “gun” was copper. This creates a pressure of 300,000 atmospheres which pushes the rock aside by plastic deformation. But in 1984 a (US Patent 20110000669)  was filed by one Thomas Wilson, entitled “Conical Shaped Charge Liner of Depleted Uranium.” The patent begins: “this invention relates to a novel blasting device especially adapted for drilling oil and gas wells.” Wilson records that DU is 5-times as efficient as copper in terms of the length of the jetted hole, creating a pressure of 600,000 atmospheres.

In case you might think this is all scaremongering, academic and unrelated to fracking, another patent was filed more recently in 2011 (US Patent 20110000669) by Halliburton (think: oil, gas, armaments, missiles, Dick Cheney) entitled “Perforating gun assembly and method for controlling wellbore pressure during perforating”. The patent specifically refers to Depleted Uranium.

So not only is there a lot of natural radioactive material surfacing in the gas or oil stream, and the production water, there is the possibility also a lot of unnatural radioactivity coming up from the DU shaped charges. And besides the fact that Depleted Uranium is the most efficient of these shaped charge metals, let’s not forget the attraction to the US nuclear industry of a way of getting rid of its vast stocks of Depleted Uranium, or even natural Uranium, or even nuclear waste. I mean, who is going to look at the radioactivity in the process water? It will be radioactive from the Radium and Radon daughters anyway. You would need to carry out some sophisticated analysis to see if it contained any nasty man-made radionuclides, especially DU nanoparticles.  Who will do that?……..

As Phineas Fogg is completing his “Around the World in 80 Days” trip, he is forced to burn the cabin furniture, the masts and other critical pieces of the ship carrying him back on his final leg, to win his wager. But in the dismantling and burning of our planet, there is no wager, just greedy and powerful individuals. We are burning our ship – when it’s all we have.    http://rt.com/op-edge/fracking-radioactive-uranium-danger-ecology-057/

August 29, 2013 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, depleted uranium, technology, Uranium

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