Follow-up to: Chemist: Dangerously elevated hydrocarbons in sinkhole sludge -- Levels may be in flammable range
Title: Sampling Continues at Bayou Corne as Sinkhole Expands
Source: Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Author: Wilma Subra
Date: Sept 22, 2012
Boston Chemical Data received a sample of surface material from the Bayou Corne sinkhole collected on September 18, 2012. On arrival, a portion of the sample was analyzed for radiation using an alpha and beta radiation counter, and a gamma spectrometer (Oil and gas production often concentrates naturally occurring radioactive material). [Note from ENE: Radioactive waste was also pumped into the salt cavern. See Louisiana Sinkhole: Radioactive waste in cavern may have exceeded radiation limits -- Up to 20 cubic feet pumped inside]
The gamma spectral results found 5.9 picoCuries per gram [5,900 picocuries per kilogram] of radioactive decay products of naturally-occurring uranium and thorium. Testing of total alpha and total beta radiation showed that these were at levels about twice the natural background.
The State of Louisiana found much higher levels of radiation in deeper parts of the sink hole than the place where we received our surface sample. There is enough radiation present to show that natural underground radioactive material has been concentrated in the sink hole. Even though the diesel hydrocarbons are currently the greater hazard, radiation testing should continue.
Watch the video here
Published: September 21st, 2012 at 1:08 am ET