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Activity Name CONCORE: Characterisation of NORM Contaminated Objects: Reliable & Efficient
Research Area
Measurement strategies, technology and quality assurance
Project Summary

The predominant contributors to the production of technically enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) and NORM-waste in the Nordic countries are the on- and offshore oil and gas producers. In oil and gas production processes, host rock formation water containing low concentrations of NORM is mixed with seawater containing high concentrations of sulphate. This leads to precipitation of NORM (Ra, Pb, Po)SO4, which is deposited as either scale or sludge in the production equipment. NORM contaminated pipes, tubes, pumps and tanks, etc. are therefore subject to radiological characterization in order to ensure safe reuse or recycling as well as safe NORM waste handling.


The procedures and measurement techniques may significantly affect the amount of material that is categorized as NORM contaminated equipment and NORM waste. At present, different procedures are used for categorization by the individual operators in the North Sea. A number of parameters considerably influence the measurement accuracy and may cause false categorization of the materials, for instance abnormal geometry of objects, various density and composition of the scale and sludge, inhomogeneous distribution of NORM, and measurement sensitivity and uncertainty. Incorrect characterization can however be prevented by the use of well certified methods and inappropriate handling of these materials can be avoided.


This activity is anticipated to provide a common Nordic, scientifically based set of recommendations for practicable and reliable characterization of NORM contaminated objects. The activity will focus on oil/gas industry NORM, but may be extended to establish recommendations for other industrial NORM from mining, metal and fertilizer industries. The recommendations of the activity will be incorporated in existing regulatory guidelines on the management of NORM from oil and gas industry. Depending on the outcome of the activity the need for a common Nordic platform for communication of the results will be evaluated.


Lead Organization     National Institute of Radiation Protection, Denmark
Contact Person Charlotte Nielsen
phone number: +45 44543459


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