NORM in Exploration & Mining
The impact of NORM on both the health and safety of workers and the environment must be effectively managed through the lifecycle of the operating mining and/or mineral processing facility.
Using a structured approach to the management of NORM through robust planning, training, surveillance, analysis, and controls; the impact upon scheduling can be improved and the production efficiency of the asset can be optimized against the potential generation and accumulation of NORM. By implementing the following stages, potential NORM risks can be addressed during operations, for maintenance periods, at the end of life, for re-use and for re-deployment.
Radiation Professionals consultants have extensive expertise identifying and quantifying NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) contaminated sites and facilities in the mining industry. Support from our team includes:
- Site surveys to identify the presence of NORM
- Ongoing supervision and monitoring
- Quantification and classification of NORM present
- Supervision of remediation activities on contaminated facilities
- Storage of NORM at our facility until disposal
- Support with identifying and obtaining approval for disposal methods for you NORM
NORM – WHAT IS IT?
Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is material found in the environment that contains radioactive elements of natural origin. NORM primarily contains uranium and thorium (elements that also release radium and radon gas once they begin to decay) and potassium. These elements are naturally decaying and are considered a primary contributor to an individual’s yearly background radiation dose.
WHERE CAN NORM BE FOUND?
NORM is often found in its natural state in rocks or sand. It can also be associated with oil and gas production residue (such as mineral scale in pipes, sludge and contaminated equipment), coal ash (produced from burning coal for energy production) and on filter media (such as the used filters from municipal drinking water treatment equipment). NORM can also be present in consumer products, including common building products (like brick and cement blocks), granite counter tops, glazed tiles, phosphate fertilizers and tobacco products.
Some industries may regularly encounter NORM – for instance, those engaged in the production of oil and gas, phosphate fertilizers, forest products and thermal electricity; mineral extraction and processing; tunnelling and underground workings; metal recycling; waste management; and water treatment.