Kathy Warbelow and Brian Wingfield
September 14, 2012
Texas may call out the National Guard in the hunt for a seven-inch radioactive rod used in drilling natural-gas wells, lost this week by Halliburton Co. somewhere in a 130-mile swath of the state’s western oil fields.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said yesterday it sought help from an Austin-based National Guard unit that has equipment to locate the radioactive item, which can pose a health risk if touched or held for several days.
Halliburton lost the unit on Sept. 11, according to a report yesterday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Pickup trucks with detection gear retraced the route of a vehicle that carried the radioactive rod before it was lost. The trucks drove at 10 miles an hour between Pecos, where the device was used on a well, and Odessa without finding the unit, the report said.