Halliburton Finds Radioactive Rod Lost in Texas

Crew used it to find fracking sites in the desert
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2012 6:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Halliburton finally tracked down the radioactive rod it lost in Texas about a month ago, ending fears that someone might discover it and suffer permanent injury, the Guardian reports. A three-man company crew lost the rod while identifying possible fracking sites between Pecos and Odessa on Sept. 11. Since then, the 7-inch rod, marked "Danger Radioactive: Do not handle," had been lying on a road in the Texas desert.

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The national guard, police officers, and Halliburton workers all searched for the rod, which the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said "could cause permanent injury to a person who handled" it. The agency said the rod's source of radiation—called americium-241/beryllium, or Am-241—would likely take hours to cause health problems, but after a few days or weeks "could possibly—although it is unlikely—be fatal." It was the NRC's first case of a lost radioactive rod in 5 years. (Read more Halliburton stories.)

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