- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Two government lab researchers are in the process of licensing technology that could improve disposing of and tracking radioactive waste.

Idaho National Laboratory physicist Doug Akers and software engineer Lyle Roybal started developing the Integrated Waste Screening System last year when they realized similar INL-produced technology that tracks nuclear waste could be tailored to apply to the oil and gas drilling industry, the Post Register reported (http://bit.ly/1Uf1Feg ).

The project is focused on North Dakota and is funded by $550,000 in North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council grants. State health officials recently indicated they are in favor of the technology.

A truck equipped with a screener will take oil field waste readings to determine radiation levels and appropriate dump sites. Akers said the device is intended to reduce waste that disappears or is improperly disposed of.

“It’s the Wild West out there,” he said. “Waste sites are taking the wrong stuff, or they’re dumping it in fields. Nobody really knows what’s going on.”

He said it will also improve worker safety.

“People want to know that the waste is properly managed, treated and disposed of correctly,” Akers said. “The state is just desperate. They would like us to be in the field now.”

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Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com

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