Notification of Incidents, Abandonment and Lost Sources
(1)Notification of incidents and sources lost in other than well logging operations must be made in accordance with appropriate provisions of division 120 of these rules.
(2)Whenever a sealed source or device containing radioactive material is lodged downhole the licensee must:
(a)Monitor at the surface for the presence of radioactive contamination with a radiation survey instrument or logging tool during logging tool recovery operations;
(b)If the environment, any equipment, or personnel are contaminated with licensed material, they must be decontaminated before release from the site or release for unrestricted use; and
(c)Notify the Authority immediately by telephone and subsequently, within 30 days, by confirmatory letter if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that a sealed source has been ruptured. This letter must identify the well or other location, describe the magnitude and extent of the escape of radioactive material, assess the consequences of the rupture and explain efforts planned or being taken to mitigate these consequences.
(3)When it becomes apparent that efforts to recover the radioactive source will not be successful, the licensee must:
(a)Notify the Authority by telephone of the circumstances that resulted in the inability to retrieve the source:
(A)Obtain Authority approval to implement abandonment procedures; or
(B)That the licensee implemented abandonment before receiving Authority approval because the licensee believed there was an immediate threat to public health and safety;
(b)Advise the well-operator of requirements specified in these rules regarding abandonment and an appropriate method of abandonment, that must include:
(A)The immobilization and sealing in place of the radioactive source with a cement plug;
(B)The setting of a whipstock or other deflection device unless the source is not accessible to any subsequent drilling operations; and
(C)The mounting of a permanent identification plaque at the surface of the well, containing the appropriate information required by section (4) of this rule.
(c)Notify the Authority by telephone, giving the circumstances of the loss and request approval of the proposed abandonment procedures; and
(d)File a written report with the Authority within 30 days of the abandonment. The report must contain the following information:
(A)Date of occurrence;
(B)A description of the well logging source involved, including the radionuclide and its quantity, and chemical and physical form;
(C)Surface location and identification of the well;
(D)Results of efforts to immobilize and seal the source in place;
(E)A brief description of the attempted recovery effort;
(F)Depth of the source;
(G)Depth of the top of the cement plug;
(H)Depth of the well;
(I)The immediate threat to public health and safety justification for implementing abandonment if prior Authority approval was not obtained in accordance with section (3)(a)(b) of this rule;
(J)Any other information, such as a warning statement, contained on the permanent identification plaque; and
(K)The names of state agencies receiving a copy of this report.
(4)Whenever a sealed source containing radioactive material is abandoned downhole, the licensee must provide a permanent plaque for posting the well or well-bore. This plaque must:
(a)Be constructed of long-lasting material, such as stainless steel or monel; and
(b)Contain the following information engraved on its face:
(A)The word CAUTION;
(B)The radiation symbol without the conventional color requirement;
(C)The date of abandonment;
(D)The name of the well-operator or well-owner;
(E)The well name and well identification number(s) or other designation;
(F)The sealed source(s) by radionuclide and activity;
(G)The source depth and the depth to the top of the plug;
(H)An appropriate warning, depending on the specific circumstances of each abandonment and approved by the Authority; and
(I)The size of the plaque should be convenient for use on active or inactive wells, e.g., a seven-inch square. Letter size of the word “CAUTION” should be approximately twice the letter size of the rest of the information, e.g., 1⁄2-inch and 1⁄4-inch letter size, respectively.
(5)The licensee must immediately notify the Authority by telephone and subsequently by confirming letter if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that radioactive material has been lost in or to an underground potable aquifer. Such notice must designate the well location and must describe the magnitude and extent of loss of radioactive material, assess the consequences of such loss and explain efforts planned or being taken to mitigate these consequences.
(6)The licensee may apply to the Authority for a variance to the requirements of this division for abandonment of an irretrievable well logging source. The request must include the reason these rules cannot be followed and the proposed acceptable alternative. The request must be signed by both the licensee and the well owner/operator.
Rule 333-113-0501 — Notification of Incidents, Abandonment and Lost Sources,