Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) and Technologically Enhanced NORM (TENORM)

Author:  P. Andrew Karam and Brian J. Vetter, Editors
ISBN:  9781930524477
Published:  2009 | 550 pp  | Softcover



Naturally occurring radioactive materials are ubiquitous—they have been a part of the natural radiation environment since the Earth first formed and, when the Earth is consumed by the Sun 4 or 5 billion years from now, there will still be natural radioactivity in the rocks and soils. Naturally occurring radioactive materials account for the majority of natural radiation to which we are exposed each year. The geology and geochemistry of the NORM elements and the industries where they are likely to be found are the subject of the first part of this textbook. In addition, NORM may be artificially concentrated by industrial processing. Removing the titanium from ore, for example, causes concentrations of uranium in the residual materials to increase, creating technological enhanced NORM (TENORM). It is also necessary to work with NORM and TENORM once they have been recognized. This entails controlling them as radioactive materials, performing surveys, and possibly maintaining an inventory to comply with regulatory requirements. In addition, it may be necessary to communicate the presence of even small quantities of radionuclides to co-workers or to the public. The second part of this textbook discusses these practical aspects of NORM and TENORM. Finally, NORM and TENORM may be subject to regulatory requirements. These regulations are often confusing because they can vary from state to state: failure to comply with regulatory requirements can lead to regulatory or legal problems. The third section of this book discusses regulatory and legal issues as they pertain to NORM and TENORM. The intention is that this textbook—produced for the Health Physics Society 2009 Professional Development School held in Minneapolis, MN, July 16-19, 2009—will be the most comprehensive reference currently available on the subject of naturally occurring radioactive materials. Each chapter is written by an expert in a particular aspect of the subject, and each chapter can be considered authoritative. This should remain a valuable reference for many years.