Nuclear incident results in conditions

An oilfield services company that uses radioactive material in some of its operations is back to full operation following the exposure of a Red Deer worker to radioactive material while working in Manitoba.

An oilfield services company that uses radioactive material in some of its operations is back to full operation following the exposure of a Red Deer worker to radioactive material while working in Manitoba.

Canadian Sub-Surface Energy Services Corp., which provides oilfield services primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in Western Canada, had its nuclear energy component restored to full order recently by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The commission on Aug. 31 ordered Canadian Sub-Surface to halt its use of nuclear material following the exposure of the unnamed employee.

The employee was working near Goodlands, Man., on Aug. 13, when he forgot to put the radioactive substance back into its protective container. The company has a shop in Blackfalds.

A day later, he realized his error and returned the material to its container before storing it in the back of the truck and driving back to his home base in the Red Deer area.

Company president Brad Gabel said earlier the employee was checked at a hospital. Since he was suffering no ill effects, he was cleared to return to work. Gabel also said there was no risk to the public or the environment.

The company conducted a full investigation and worked with the commission.

The details of a hearing held in late October in Ottawa were released earlier this month.

The commission restored Canadian Sub-Surface’s nuclear operations in full, on the condition they perform safety procedures, including:

• updating the transport of dangerous goods manifest to include signature line for each destination;

• updating of the safety manual to include handling, transport and storage of radioactive material;

• reviewing all employee files to confirm that transport of dangerous goods certificates are on file for authorized workers;

• confirming that all Canadian Sub-Surface nuclear energy workers have been retrained by an independent training consultant, including additional radiation safety and dangerous goods transportation training for drivers;

• confirming advanced radiation safety officer training;

• confirming that discussions took place with the Petroleum Safety Association of Canada to ensure that members who use nuclear substances understand their obligations under the Nuclear Safety Act;

• confirming by Jan. 31 the radiation doses received by nuclear energy workers who reported to have lost their personal dosimeters in 2009.

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