[ RadSafe ] rad material at your local high school

John R Johnson idias at interchange.ubc.ca
Sun Dec 3 20:49:26 CST 2006


Your comments remind me of an incident involving NORM in Northern B. C. A railroad car with pipes from the "oil patch" in the Peace River area were sent to Prince George for recycling and rejected because it alarmed the monitors. It went "back and forth" several times before the reason was understood and the radioactive scale was removed and the pipes could be recycled.

John R Johnson, Ph.D.
President, IDIAS, Inc
4535 West 9-Th Ave
Vancouver B. C.
V6R 2E2
(604) 222-9840
idias at interchange.ubc.ca

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl]On
Behalf Of John Andrews
Sent: December 3, 2006 4:23 PM
To: radsafe
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] rad material at your local high school

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [ RadSafe ] rad material at your local high school
Date: 	Sun, 03 Dec 2006 19:20:57 -0500
From: 	John Andrews <andrewsjp at chartertn.net>
To: 	BLHamrick at aol.com
References: 	<bec.37df451.32a2511c at aol.com>

BLHamrick at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 12/1/2006 12:03:28 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
> windrunner at gmail.com writes:
> Read  that, as well as the CNN artice you linked, and found it
> interesting.   I'm surprised there's a market for people to charge
> $1000 to remove uranium  ore from high schools - especially because,
> and correct me if I'm wrong,  the decay chains of uranium don't contain
> a great deal of gamma emission,  so the hazard to those walking past
> that display case was  minimal?
> Not to mention the fact that unprocessed ore is exempt, and could be thrown  
> away at essentially no cost to anyone.
> Barbara L. Hamrick
In my experience people don't want simple efficient solutions to the 
problems of radioactive materials.  They want CYA solutions that will 
never be questioned by regulators or activists.  So, $1000 is a small 
fee to pay for secure certain no-issues disposal. As an example, a 
client once asked for a survey of a rail gondola car that had tweaked 
the meter.  The gamma spec and further investigation (more than $1000) 
verified that the material was railroad ballast (granite that was 
naturally radioactive) lodged in the bottom of the car.  The realistic 
simple answer to the "problem" was that it was natural material. So, 
don't worry about it.  The state (not Hamrick) did not like the solution 
and the car went onto a siding in limbo, later to be combined with 
others of like condition to be cleaned at great cost by the railroad.  
CYA achieved.  Dumb!

An airline called.  They had a stain of I-131 on the tarmac from a spill 
that had been cleaned up.  What to do?  The simple solution: cover it 
with steel plates long enough to decay, then remove the plates.  The CYA 
implementation: remove the asphalt and send it to Utah at great cost.

It is really hard to convince people to believe that the radioactivity 
will go away all by itself.  CYA - send it somewhere else.

John Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee

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