Top News

X-ray vision: Cape Breton man wrote the book on industrial radiography

George Jaques holds a copy of his book “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” at his home in Georges River. Jaques co-wrote the book with Aziz U. Rehman.
George Jaques holds a copy of his book “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” at his home in Georges River. Jaques co-wrote the book with Aziz U. Rehman. - Chris Connors
GEORGES RIVER, N.S. —

After more than two decades of using gamma rays to inspect welds on everything from oil pipelines to nuclear power plants, a Cape Breton man has literally written the book on industrial radiography.

George Jaques, who was born in North Sydney and now lives in Georges River, spent the past five years co-writing “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” with his mentor Aziz U. Rehman.

He said the book is the first of its kind and will help improve and standardize the industry by outlining all of the best practices in one place.

“There was no real industrial radiography book out there on the practical side of industrial radiography and there was a gap in the industry between your training and experience. People getting into the field, they were kind of getting in too quick with no practical experience. This kind of bridges that — it provides that better training aspect that was lacking elsewhere,” said Jaques, 41, who has two daughters, Julia, 6, and Jessica, 3, with his wife Angela (Slade) Jaques.

“So we wrote this book, which is almost 500 pages, and we tried to bridge that gap. We created one book that could be used now internationally, based on international standards — we didn’t just focus on Canada, we focused on the big markets internationally within the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and we worked with them and we got their support.”

With more than 100 sketches, illustrations and graphs, nearly 200 fully interpreted radiographs, and the answers to more than 400 certification questions, Jaques said the book is a university text book, film interpretation manual, refresher compendium and day-to-day field guide all in one.

George Jaques looks at X-ray images of welds at his home in Georges River. He recently co-wrote “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” with Aziz U. Rehman.
George Jaques looks at X-ray images of welds at his home in Georges River. He recently co-wrote “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” with Aziz U. Rehman.

Essentially an X-ray for manufactured components, industrial radiography uses gamma rays from a small nuclear device to take pictures that reveals any flaws in the item.

“It is basically the same thing as what you would do in the medical field if you had a broken bone or something, but we do it on the industrial side to check the integrity of light welds and materials that are being inspected, like pipelines — anything that involves welding,” explained Jaques. “You have the medical where you get radiology and then you’ve got the industrial side, which is radiography.”

Since starting in the field in 1997, Jaques has conducted inspections for the oil-and-gas, nuclear energy, shipbuilding and mining industries, both as an independent consultant through his business Jaques Enterprise Inspection and as an employee for various companies.

He recently returned from Clarington, Ont., where he inspected the feeder tubes that cool the nuclear fuel at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. He also audited the Kinder Morgan assets before the Canadian government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline for about $4.5 billion.

He will also launch a YouTube page called RTFIPro to coincide with the book where he hopes to build a community of radiography professionals and share useful and entertaining videos.

“We predict that we’re going to get a lot of views and a lot of subscribers because there’s nobody else out there on YouTube doing this,” said Jaques, whose last name is pronounced “Jakes.”

“We plan on teaching it, too. We’re in the process of talking to the different certification bodies to get approval to teach internationally so we can go around to different parts of the world and teach this with the approval of the different certification bodies.”

Jaques said “A Practical Field Handbook in Industrial Radiography and Radiograph Interpretation” will be available this month on his soon-to-be-launched website, RTFIPro.com, as well as Amazon and eBay. Meanwhile, he will be speaking about radiography at upcoming American Society of Mechanical Engineers conferences in San Diego, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev.

RELATED: Annual catalogue looks at books from Cape Breton

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories