Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)

NORM is found naturally almost everywhere in low concentrations, including in oil and gas deposits. It can be transported along with gas and petroleum, decaying into other gaseous and solid radioactive particles as they travel and concentrating in such material as pipe scale and waste products. These radioactive elements can also be released during mineral extraction and processing. As such, NORM causes concerns in transportation, handling and disposal.

SRC Environmental Analytical Laboratories provides NORM testing to determine whether materials meet the Unconditional Release Limits. Solid materials are analyzed using a gamma spectroscopy scan.  Liquid samples may require individual analysis for Ra-226, Pb-210, Th-230 and Th-232 to achieve required detection limits.

The following isotopes are regulated under the NORM guidelines:

  • Uranium238 series
  • Thorium230
  • Radium226
  • Lead210
  • Thorium232
  • Radium228
  • Thorium228
  • Potassium40

Since NORM waste is not part of the nuclear fuel cycle or a manmade radioactive substance, it is exempt from the jurisdiction of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Jurisdiction rests with each province or territory.

Contact the lab for more information about NORM testing.