Naturally Occuring Radioactive Materials (NORM)

Figure 1

Figure 1. U-238 decay chain

Naturally occurring radionuclides are present throughout the natural and built environment. Materials are regulated as NORM when they contain elevated concentrations of radionuclides and are handled or produced within certain industries. Common NORM include, for example, minerals and ores that contain thorium or uranium, together with their daughter products (e.g. Figure 1) and radium-rich precipitates that form in the pipes of the oil and gas industry. Awareness of NORM management and disposal is now increasing globally.



Kemakta’s experience and services


Kemakta has the expertise and modelling tools to support the analysis of NORM management options. We have extensive experience in the classification of wastes and assessing radiological risks associated with disposal options and reuse. These analyses are site-specific and tailored to the regulations in the country of interest. Example projects are given below:

  • Decommissioning the Ranstad uranium-ore processing site in Sweden (Figure 2). In this project, the DOS2U model was used to assess the immediate and long term radiological risks associated with different waste disposal options.
  • Assessment of remediation and waste management options for Ra-rich waste deposits.
  • Environmental impact and health and safety analysis relating to NORM in the emerging European rare earth element industry. This is part of the European 

    project EURARE.

  • Recycling and disposal options for NORM contaminated metals.
  • Clearance and management of NORM waste.
Figure 2

Figure 2. Demolition of the Ranstad site

We are also members of the European ALARA network on NORM and sponsors of the 1st European Rare Earth Resources (ERES) Conference in Milos, September 2014.

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