NORM / TENORM

The treatment and disposal of natural radioactive waste from the oil ­and natural gas industry – potentials and limitations, part 1

Summary: As a result of in some cases unclear waste-law classification, the majority of ­industrial countries suffer from a deficit in suitable preparation technologies and technically acceptable disposal methods for natural radioactive waste yielded in the oil and natural gas industries (NORM/TENORM). The following article provides an overview of general ­practice in the industrial states of North America as compared to Germany, the United Kingdom and, to some extent, Australia. The current status of preparation procedures and technologies for waste from the oil and natural gas industry, and also their potential and/or already tested application to NORM/TENORM, is also reported.

1 Introduction

Waste contaminated with radioisotopes occurs in the mineral resources industries, and in conjunction with the mining of copper, nickel, gold and rare earths, in particular, and also in the recovery and preparation of zircon sands and monazite sands [1]. Radiotoxically contaminated waste materials which are currently grouped together under the NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) designation are also generated in the context of prospecting for and the recovery of oil and natural gas, in particular, and also in the context of deep geothermal wells. Corresponding waste...

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