skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Effect of leachability on environmental risk assessment for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in petroleum oil fields

Abstract

Elevated concentrations of NORM often occur in petroleum oil fields. The NORM generated by oil field operations comes from {sup 238}U and {sup 232}Th contained in geologic materials. The predominant NORM radionuclide brought to the surface by produced water is radium, which co-precipitates with barium in the form of complex compounds of sulfates, carbonates, and silicates in sludge and scale. These NORM deposits are highly stable and very insoluble under ambient conditions at the surface. However, the co-precipitated radium matrix is not thermodynamically stable at reducing conditions, and all of the radium trapped in it could be released to the environment. The leachability of radium from NORM deposits due to acid-rain and other aging processes are generally unknown. Experiments have been performed on soil samples collected from eastern Kentucky oil fields to find the leachability of radium due to change in pH, temperature, sulfate ion concentration, and accelerated aging of the soil. The average concentration of radium in the soil is in the order of 5.92 Bq g{sup -1}. The risk assessment for different scenarios using the RESRAD code show that the annual total dose to a person living or working on this NORM contaminated soil will be in themore » range of 6.4-9.6 mSv for the initial 100 years. However, as the soil ages from exposure to acid rain, ultraviolet light from the sun, irradiation from the decay of {sup 226}Ra and its progeny and other kinds of reducing conditions, the solubility of radium in the NORM also changes. Results of accelerated aging and other leaching studies with these samples of soil show that the available radium for uptake increase over time with a corresponding increase in dose to the exposed individuals.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Cincinnati, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
393972
Report Number(s):
CONF-9607135-
Journal ID: HLTPAO; ISSN 0017-9078; TRN: 96:028655
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Health Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: Suppl.6; Conference: 41. Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Seattle, WA (United States), 21-25 Jul 1996; Other Information: PBD: Jun 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; 99 MATHEMATICS, COMPUTERS, INFORMATION SCIENCE, MANAGEMENT, LAW, MISCELLANEOUS; 02 PETROLEUM; RADIUM; LEACHING; RADIATION DOSES; R CODES; MAN; CARBONATES; OIL FIELDS; PETROLEUM; PROGENY; SOLUBILITY; RISK ASSESSMENT; NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY; PH VALUE; DEPOSITS; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE

Citation Formats

Rajaretnam, G, Blasio, C, Lovins, K, and Spitz, H B. Effect of leachability on environmental risk assessment for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in petroleum oil fields. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
Rajaretnam, G, Blasio, C, Lovins, K, & Spitz, H B. Effect of leachability on environmental risk assessment for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in petroleum oil fields. United States.
Rajaretnam, G, Blasio, C, Lovins, K, and Spitz, H B. Sat . "Effect of leachability on environmental risk assessment for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in petroleum oil fields". United States.
@article{osti_393972,
title = {Effect of leachability on environmental risk assessment for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in petroleum oil fields},
author = {Rajaretnam, G and Blasio, C and Lovins, K and Spitz, H B},
abstractNote = {Elevated concentrations of NORM often occur in petroleum oil fields. The NORM generated by oil field operations comes from {sup 238}U and {sup 232}Th contained in geologic materials. The predominant NORM radionuclide brought to the surface by produced water is radium, which co-precipitates with barium in the form of complex compounds of sulfates, carbonates, and silicates in sludge and scale. These NORM deposits are highly stable and very insoluble under ambient conditions at the surface. However, the co-precipitated radium matrix is not thermodynamically stable at reducing conditions, and all of the radium trapped in it could be released to the environment. The leachability of radium from NORM deposits due to acid-rain and other aging processes are generally unknown. Experiments have been performed on soil samples collected from eastern Kentucky oil fields to find the leachability of radium due to change in pH, temperature, sulfate ion concentration, and accelerated aging of the soil. The average concentration of radium in the soil is in the order of 5.92 Bq g{sup -1}. The risk assessment for different scenarios using the RESRAD code show that the annual total dose to a person living or working on this NORM contaminated soil will be in the range of 6.4-9.6 mSv for the initial 100 years. However, as the soil ages from exposure to acid rain, ultraviolet light from the sun, irradiation from the decay of {sup 226}Ra and its progeny and other kinds of reducing conditions, the solubility of radium in the NORM also changes. Results of accelerated aging and other leaching studies with these samples of soil show that the available radium for uptake increase over time with a corresponding increase in dose to the exposed individuals.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/393972}, journal = {Health Physics},
number = Suppl.6,
volume = 70,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {6}
}