Published: 18/09/2012 12:23
DALLAS, Texas (AP) Engineers oil services company Halliburton misled a steel rod used to study radioactive drilling sites for oil and gas, sparking a massive search in southwest Texas.
In the search operation involving National Guard soldiers, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), staff Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local and state police.
The rod, 17 inches long, contains the radioactive element ‘americium-241/beryllium’, classified as Category 3 radiation source, which means it could cause permanent injury to any person were to manipulate.
Exposure could even be fatal, although that would require you to register for days or weeks.
The bar was used to study the drilling sites in southwestern oil fields of Texas to measure the porosity and mineralogy of the rock.
Engineers carrying the bar in a company truck on 11 September of a site to another in Odessa Pecos, 130 miles away, when they realized that the bar was lost, as it was not in the protective packaging.
Halliburton employees assured the authorities that did not stop anywhere along the route.
The package containing the bar has a warning: “Danger Radioactive. Manipulate not. Notify authorities if found civilians” as well as a radiation warning symbol.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the United States issued a report on the loss of the bar, reporting that all attempts to find her have been unsuccessful so far.
‘The vehicle in which he was transported in its facilities in Odessa and are virtually disarming now looking for this item, “the NRC said.
The agency added that it has also inspected twice in the last well in which we used the bar and revised the road between Pecos and Odessa search vehicles driving at speeds between five and 10 kilometers per hour.