Demand Repercussions For Dangerous Mishandling of Radioactive Materials

halliburton

Target: Allison M. Macfarlane, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Goal: Fine Halliburton for inappropriate handling of radioactive materials

Halliburton is one of the most notorious and powerful corporations in the United States and the largest oilfield contractor in the world. With their myriad military and energy contracts the company is worth billions. Recently, Halliburton lost a crucial piece of natural gas drilling equipment; a radioactive rod used in locating potential fracking wells. After a month long search the rod has been found, yet it does not appear that the Nuclear Regulatory Committee will be levying any kind of punishment on Halliburton for this egregious oversight.

The seven-inch rod, made of an americium-beryllium alloy, is classified as a “category three” radiation source, meaning that exposure to or handling of the object could be fatal if it is for a prolonged period of time. The device fell off the back of a truck traveling down a Texas highway between drilling sites.

It is absurd that something that is potentially deadly could be handled so carelessly. The fact that it was lost off the back of a truck suggests that whoever packed it in merely tossed it there, taking absolutely no effort to safely pack, or even label the rod.

This is a glaring oversight on Halliburton’s part and an inexcusable threat to public safety; Halliburton absolutely must be fined. The NRC must fulfill its duty and actually regulate. The only way that companies such as Halliburton will begin taking more care is if they are heavily fined for their transgressions and have such ludicrous mistakes revealed to the public.

Halliburton put lives at risk when they allowed radioactive materials to get lost. When an individual puts others lives at risk, even if by accident, they are reprimanded; the same should hold true for Halliburton. Do not let Halliburton’s disregard for public safety go unnoticed—sign the petition and tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fine Halliburton.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Macfarlane,

Recently the oilfield contractor Halliburton lost a small rod along a stretch of highway in Texas. While the seven-inch rod, which is used in detecting natural gas reserves, appears to just be a piece of metal, in actuality it is highly radioactive and potentially deadly. The radioactive rod sat on the side of the road for a month before it was recovered, posing a formidable threat all the while. It is absolutely necessary that Halliburton be appropriately fined for their carelessness involving this item.

The rod, an alloy of americium and beryllium, is categorized as a “category three” piece of radioactive material. This means that the item can prove deadly, and should be closely monitored and cared for. Yet it would seem that the rod was just tossed carelessly in the back of a truck and during some point of its journey was thrown to the roadside. Someone at Halliburton was in gross dereliction of his or her responsibilities if a piece of radioactive material was treated in such a reckless manner.

The fact is simple: Halliburton put the public at risk when they decided not to treat a piece of radioactive equipment with the respect it deserved; because of this they deserve a hefty fine. It is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s responsibility to intervene on the behalf of the American public in cases such as this one. Unless the NRC shows its power now, companies like Halliburton will continue to act carelessly. Halliburton endangered the public, and for that they must be punished.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: friendofdurutti via flickr

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