Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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iT Matters Fracking

US Nuclear Device a Failure with Fracking

US attempts to Frack for Gas in the Colorado was a disaster for the environment and community.

1969 the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) detonated a 40-kiloton nuclear device 8,426 feet below the ground surface in an attempt to release commercially marketable quantities of natural gas from the fine-grained, low-permeability sandstone of the Williams Fork Formation.

The purpose of Project Rulison detonation was to stimulate a flow of natural gas through fractures created from the blast and use the chimney as a collection chamber.

A reentry well was drilled into the top of the chimney to collect data on gas production by burning or “flaring” the natural gas, and the tests showed that production of natural gas after the nuclear detonation was less than anticipated, coupled with elevated levels of radioactivity in the gas made it unacceptable for use.

The site was abandoned in 1976 and eight wells were installed to monitor groundwater quality and to verify that no contamination was moving into the groundwater.

In 1998 DOE provided the Colorado regulators with a Surface Closure Report and recommended closure of the Rulison Site surface with no further action.

No plan to remove the radioactive contamination in or around the test cavity in the deep subsurface because no feasible technology currently existed.

Since 1972, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has monitored groundwater each year at the Rulison Site as part of a long-term hydrologic monitoring program. No radioactive contamination associated with the Rulison test have been detected in any samples taken from the nearby local drinking water supply springs, the water supply wells on five local farms, or the spring and three wells on the test site.

A permanent monument at surface ground zero bears a plaque with the inscription denoting the historical significance of the site and states that excavation, drilling, and removal of subsurface materials below a depth of 6,000 feet is prohibited without permission of the U.S. Government.

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