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Under the auspices of the Dutch Society for Radiation Protection (NVS) the Dutch foundation “Radiation Protection Symposium North-West Europe” is organizing the 10th international symposium on NORM. This will take place in May 2022 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

At that time, it will be 25 years ago that the first NORM symposium was organized (1997), also in The Netherlands. The title of that symposium was “Radiological problems with natural radioactivity in the non-nuclear industry”. It was attended by more than 100 experts, both from industry and from the regulatory authorities, from countries all over the world.

The first NORM symposium was held one year after the publication of Council Directive 96/29/Euratom of the European Union (at that time the European Basic Safety Standards [EU BSS]) which paid specific attention to natural sources of radiation. EU Member States were obliged to identify those activities with natural sources that could not be ignored from a radiological protection point of view and declare parts of the Directive applicable in their national regulations with respect to natural sources. NORM I was the first event in history that paid attention to the radiological consequences of natural radioactivity in raw materials in a variety of industries. Since that time 8 other NORM symposia were held, first in Europe, but later on also in other parts of the world (see list of NORM symposia below). It showed that there was, and still is, a great need to address the radiation protection issues associated with NORM for workers in these industries, the exposed population and the environment.

Since NORM I, we came a long way. A lot of research has been carried out to identify the radioactivity concentrations in the raw materials, the behaviour of the natural radionuclides in the industrial processes, the residues and waste from NORM processing and generating industries, and the exposures to the workforce and the public at large. Specific requirements for NORM, in 1997 in many countries non-existent, have been developed since then and are now part of the Euratom Directive 2013/59/Euratom (the EU BSS) and the IAEA General Safety Requirements Part 3 (the International BSS). These have now been incorporated in the regulations of many countries.
The central theme of NORM X is “Residues applied in a circular economy” . The challenge for the future is to reach closed circular courses in many parts of society. This also accounts for the closed circular course of materials in our society, including the reuse and recycling of NORM residues.

Participants are particularly invited to present examples of practices that are promoting a circular economy, next to contributions showing the latest developments within their country or industry related to any NORM issues from cradle to grave, such as reuse and recycling of residues, remediation of legacy sites, etc. Site visits showing examples of reuse and recycling will be part of the symposium programme of NORM X.