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Radioactive Tool Goes Missing In Texas 163

Hugh Pickens writes "Oil-field service companies lower radioactive units into wells to let workers identify places to break apart rock for a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which frees oil and natural gas. Now Bloomberg reports that Halliburton workers have discovered that a lock on the container used to transport one such device has gone missing, along with the unit, after employees drove a truck from a site near Peco to a well south of Odessa and while the loss of radioactive rods occurs from time to time, it has been years since a device with americium-241/beryllium, the material in Halliburton's device, was misplaced in Texas. NRC spokeswoman Maureen Conley says the material would have to be in someone's physical possession for several hours for it to be considered harmful as teams comb the route between the two wellsites searching for the seven-inch tube, which is clearly marked with the words 'DANGER RADIOACTIVE' as well as a radiation warning symbol, "Halliburton strongly cautions members of the public that if they locate this source, they should not touch or handle it, stay a minimum of 25 feet away," and contact local law enforcement or the company's emergency hotline if they find the cylinder, says the company which is also offering a reward for information about the tube's whereabouts."

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