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Could new study begin to open door to fracking?

Byline: Katie Davies Reporter katie.davies@ncjmedia.co.uk

FRACKING will increase water radioactivity but not pose a threat to public health, a study has warned. Research published by experts at Durham University has found that waste uids from shale gas exploitation will contain radioactive elements.

e research looked at the changing levels of radioactivity in waste uid at three places, including Bowland shale in Lancashire.

In all three locations, the levels of the liquid wouldn't expose radioactivity to a level greater than the annual exposure limit set by the UK Environment Agency. Professor Fred Worrall, a professor of environmental chemistry at Durham University and author of the paper, said: "e ndings of this research conrm that levels of water radioactivity in the owback water from shale gas operations would be lower than the annual exposure limit set by the Environment Agency and would not pose a signicant threat to public health.

"e ndings of this research conrm that levels of water radioactivity in the owback water from shale gas operations would be lower than the annual exposure limit set by the Environment Agency and would not pose a signicant threat to public health.

"It is important to bear in mind the context of the shale gas industry against other forms "It is important to bear in mind the context of the shale gas industry against other forms of energy production.

"We, in the UK, already handle larger volumes of uid with higher radioactivity from other energy industries, such as conventional oil and gas production."

e research was carried out by ReFINE (Researching Fracking in Europe), an independent research consortium.

e report, called the Environmental Science & Pollution research, found that in the Bowland shale, the waste uid would be 500 times more radioactive than the level expected from local ground water.

ground water.

is, however, would still be less than the Environment Agency's annual exposure limit.

is, however, would still be less than the Environment Agency's annual exposure limit.

Prof Richard Davies, of Durham University and ReFINE project leader, said: "e publication of ReFINE's fourth research paper comes at a critical time in the national debate around shale gas and oil exploitation.

Prof Richard Davies, of Durham University and ReFINE project leader, said: "e publication of ReFINE's fourth research paper comes at a critical time in the national debate around shale gas and oil exploitation.

"It underlines the need to have up-to-date independent and impartial scientic research on issues which the public wants and the Government needs."

"It underlines the need to have up-to-date independent and impartial scientic research on issues which the public wants and the Government needs." e paper found that radioactivity release in water would be higher for both o-shore oil and gas and nuclear power generation, than those estimated for shale gas operations.

would be higher for both o-shore oil and gas and nuclear power generation, than those estimated for shale gas operations.

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Inside a site which is used for fracking. Below, the new process has caused <B concern and anger, which has led to protests
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 25, 2014
Words:512
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