Topical sessions


NORM and environment: – challenges due to the release of formation/process water

This session deals with the fate of formation or process water from underground mining, oil and gas exploitation (including non-conventional exploitation methods), geothermal energy and spas with enhanced radium concentrations. The goal is to understand the key safety issues linked with NORM released with formation or process water and highlighting key (scientific and technological) challenges and experiences to manage them.

The objectives are:

  • identification and characterization of involved industries, either processing formation water with enhanced natural radioactivity or release into working or natural environment,
  • definition of generic terms reflecting possible exposure scenarios in combination with process sequences typical for the affected industries,
  • description of possible environmental effects as well as impacts on installations and a raise of radiation exposure,
  • prevention, mitigation and remediation of the environmental impact and criteria for long-term human and environmental protection discussion,
  • experiences and challenges with authorities in duty,
  • residue classification and final waste treatment.


NORM in building materials - practical approaches to control radioactivity

The reuse of NORM in the construction industry is one of the key issues of sustainable management of NORM residues. Due to growing use of by-products as secondary raw materials, this aspect becomes more and more important. The exchange of knowledge between industry operators, authorities, practitioners, stakeholders and the scientific community is necessary to facilitate the sustainable development in this field. The main goal of this session is to bring together practitioners and researchers from the field of construction works interested in monitoring and control of radioactivity in building materials. Discussions on relevant measurement methods and innovations are expected on both, rapid in-situ methods and more sophisticated analytical measurement techniques. Advances, e.g. in sampling, data processing, computational applications, laboratory set-ups and field monitoring techniques are highly welcome.

Contributions should include metrological aspects but are not limited to the following topics:

  • existing measurements methods vs. construction industry expectations,
  • certification vs. technological process control,
  • accuracy vs. results availability,
  • complete building materials characterization (including radon issues) and  exposure modelling,
  • sampling and sample preparation.


NORM in industry - looking beyond of oil and gas, phosphorite and red mud

Activities involved with NORM cover broad industrial sectors of much diversified characteristics. Many involved industries have not been regulated in terms of radiation safety to date. NORM usually gives rise to enhanced occupational exposure. However, in managing the residues and waste in NORM generating industries, radiation protection of the public and environment needs to be addressed. The occurrence of NORM in industrial processes may enhance the occupational exposure. However, radiation protection of the public and environment must be taken in to account, as well. This includes discharge control, decommissioning and remediation of relevant sites, reuse of residues and control of waste disposal in a conventional landfill, as well.

While radiological aspects of NORM generating industries can be characterized in a general way, radiation protection management should be site and practice specific. Avoiding discrepancies of exposure assessments or inadequate restrictions in licensing processes, a generalised assessment method based on well-justified scientific guidance is needed. Inventories and case studies focussed on not well-known NORM are strongly expected. 

The topics of this session are:

  • to clarify situations when natural radioactivity should be considered as a source of risk from the radiation protection perspective,
  • identify critical processes leading to enhanced exposure or environmental burden,
  • NORM-oriented screening assessment based on well justified scientific guidance,
  • occurrence of NORM residues beyond industries listed in Annex VI of EU-BSS,
  • waste characterization, classification and final treatment options.