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Ionisation Radiation Hazards in Oil and Gas Industry

SanjayVyas's picture

Ionising radiations are particles carrying energy sufficient to liberate an electron from an atom or molecule. It includes cosmic rays, alpha, beta, gamma, X rays, etc from radioactive sources and sources of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM).  NORM encountered in oil and gas exploration, development and production operations may contain radioactive materials such as uranium, thorium, and radium226/228 and radon gas may be found in produced natural gas. Ionising radiation has many uses in Oil and gas and petrochemical industries starting from non destructive testing/radiography testing during construction phase of a project to use of radioactive source instruments for level indication, density measurement etc. during Industrial operations.

The hazard from radiation exposure is an increased risk of cancer and the amount of risk depends on the radiation dose received, the time over which the dose is received, and the body parts exposed. However, the risks can be minimised when the radiation source is handled and managed properly.

Most of the countries have their own legislation for prevention and control of radiation hazards in Industries. In UK the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the main public body which regulates work that causes or could cause radiation exposure of workers and the public. In general regulators require permits prior to transport, use and storage of radioactive source, use appropriate personnel protective and radiation monitoring equipment, and training and awareness for safe handling and use of radioactive materials and radiation producing devices.


1.    UK Health and Safety Executive

2.    Guidelines for Management of Naturally Occuring Radioactive Material in Oil and Gas Industry

3.    Radiation Protection and the Management of Radioactive Waste in the Oil and Gas Industry by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


Sanjay Vyas-51234203

Msc In Safety and Reliability

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