(a)  The licensee shall comply with the applicable notification requirements in Section .1600 of this Chapter for incidents and sources lost in other than downhole logging operations.

(b)  Whenever a sealed source or device containing radioactive material is lodged downhole, the licensee shall:

(1)           monitor at the surface for the presence of radioactive contamination with a radiation survey instrument or logging tool during logging tool recovery operations; and

(2)           notify the agency immediately by telephone if radioactive contamination is detected at the surface or if the source appears to be damaged.

(c)  When it becomes apparent that efforts to recover the radioactive source will not be successful, the licensee shall:

(1)           advise the well‑operator of the rules of the appropriate state agency with jurisdiction over abandonment and appropriate method of abandonment, which shall include:

(A)          the immobilization and sealing in place of the radioactive source with a concrete plug;

(B)          a means of preventing inadvertent intrusion on the source, unless the source is not accessible to any subsequent drilling operations; and

(C)          the mounting of a permanent identification plaque, at the surface of the well, containing the information required by Paragraph (d) of this Rule;

(2)           notify the agency by telephone, giving the circumstances of the loss and requesting approval of the proposed abandonment procedures; and

(3)           file a written report with the agency within 30 days of the abandonment, setting forth the following information:

(A)          date of occurrence and a brief description of attempts to recover the source; and

(B)          a description of the radioactive source involved, including radionuclide, quantity, and chemical and physical form;

(i)            surface location and identification of well,

(ii)           results of efforts to immobilize and set the source in place,

(iii)          depth of the radioactive source,

(iv)          depth of the top of the cement plug,

(v)           depth of the well, and

(vi)          information contained on the permanent identification plaque.

(d)  Whenever a sealed source containing radioactive material is abandoned downhole, the licensee shall provide a permanent plaque for posting the well or well‑bore.  This plaque shall:

(1)           be constructed of long‑lasting material, such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, or monel;

(2)           be at least 7 inches (17 cm) square and 1/8 inch (3mm) thick; and

(3)           contain the following information engraved on its face;

(A)          the word "CAUTION";

(B)          the radiation symbol without the conventional color requirement;

(C)          the date of abandonment;

(D)          the name of the well‑operator or well owner;

(E)           the well name and well identification number(s) or other designation;

(F)           the sealed source(s) by radionuclide and quantity of activity;

(G)          the source depth and the depth to the top of the plug; and

(H)          an appropriate warning, depending on the specific circumstances of each abandonment, which may include:

(i)            "Do not drill below plug back depth",

(ii)           "Do not enlarge casing", or

(iii)          "Do not re-enter the hole" before contacting the agency at the address in Rule .0111 of this Chapter.

(e)  The licensee shall immediately notify the agency by telephone and subsequently by confirming letter if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that radioactive material has been lost in or to an underground potable water source.  Such notice shall designate the well location and shall describe the magnitude and extent of loss of radioactive material, assess the consequences of such loss, and explain efforts planned or being taken to mitigate the consequences.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 104E‑7;

Eff. June 1, 1989;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2005; January 1, 1994; May 1, 1992;

Transferred and Recodified from 15A NCAC 11 .1324 Eff. February 1, 2015.