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Audit of use of radioactive sources when inspecting structures

Together with the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (CoPSAS) and its subcontractors on 29 May 2007. The audit was related to the use of radioactive sources involving Flooded Member Detection's (FMD) inspection of subsea structures. We have a generally positive impression of CoPSAS' planning and implementation of its inspection activity.

Subsea 7 has been hired to conduct the inspections using a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) fitted with a radioactive source and detector for scanning the structures. The radioactive sources are owned and handled by Pro-Sub Services.

Background for the audit
The audit is based on the PSA's paramount target objective of conducting audits to ensure that the players are improving the management of their working environment and technical integrity on facilities and plants which are drawing close to their lifetime, or are used for a longer period than they were originally designed for.

Furthermore, the audit is based on the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority's secondary target of ensuring that all use of radiation is prudent, and that the user, the population and environment are protected, and that the users of radiation have the necessary expertise.

Purpose of the audit
The object of the audit was to inspect how CopSAS manages the qualification of suppliers, as well as the planning and implementation of the inspection activities.

During the inspection the intent was also to see how CoPSAS avoids or reduces the risk of personnel being exposed to radiation, and how they ensure that persons who are exposed to radiation have sufficient competence regarding radiation protection.

To inspect how suppliers of inspection services and radiation sources safeguard the radiation protection during their handling of radioactive sources, was also an objective of the activity.

Result of the audit
We have a generally positive impression of CoPSAS' planning and implementation of the inspection activity. This impression was supported by our assessments of the risk and measures for risk reduction.

One improvement item related to the follow-up of radioactive sources was identified.

Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway:
Mike Theiss