Refresher course 1A
Regulatory Framework for the Safe Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) – from Regulations to Implementation, “International recommendations and European requirements”
Burçin Okyar (International Atomic Energy Agency –IAEA-, Austria) and Stefan Mundigl (European Commission, Belgium)
Learning objectives of the refresher course:
- Insight into international requirements and recommendations and European requirements on regulatory control of activities involving naturally occurring radioactive material
- Graded approach to regulatory control
- Protection of workers and members of the public from exposures to naturally occurring radionuclides
- The regulatory framework for radioactive materials and involvement of various regulatory authorities
- How NORM is currently regulated and examples of regulated industries involving NORM Efforts to provide a more consistent and pragmatic approach for the management and regulation of NORM
Minerals, ores and other raw materials are mined and processed in many countries. Some may contain NORM at significantly elevated concentrations and the concentration of NORM radionuclides can be significantly enhanced during physical and chemical processing of minerals. Some practices involving naturally occurring radioactive material may result in exposures to ionizing radiation of workers or members of the public at levels, which cannot be disregarded from a radiation protection point of view and thus require regulation and control.
The refresher course will be structured in two parts;
- The first part will provide an insight into the international requirements and recommendations on regulatory control of NORM activities as laid down in the International Basic Safety Standards (IAEA GSR Part 3) and GSG-7,
- The second part shall outline the requirements on regulatory control of activities involving naturally occurring radioactive material as stipulated in the European BSS Directive.
The course will touch upon the following issues:
- Identification of practices/activities involving naturally occurring radioactive material
- Graded approach to regulatory control of these practices
- Exemption and clearance of naturally occurring radionuclides
- Protection of workers
- Protection of members of the public
There is a potential for higher exposures if adequate control measures are not implemented. Exposure to natural sources is normally considered as an existing exposure situation in GSR Part 3, however there are certain exceptions.
- Graded approach: Application of the requirements for planned exposure situations “shall be commensurate with characteristics of the practice or source and with the magnitude and likelihood of exposures”
- Activity concentrations are specified in the GSR Part 3 below which it is usually unnecessary to regulate.
National regulatory approaches include;
- Adoption of GSR Part 3 directly or with some modifications
- Need for an evidence-based approach for regulatory decisions
- Uncertainties in worker and public dose assessment
- Determination of the nature and extent of surveillance.
List of recommended (pre)reading literature:
- EUROPEAN COMMISSION, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, OECD NUCLEAR ENERGY AGENCY, PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION, UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3, IAEA, Vienna (2014)
- Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5 December 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122/Euratom, Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L13, 17.01.2014, p. 1 -73)
- Radiation Protection N° 193 Radon in workplaces – Implementing the requirements in Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, 2020
- ICRP, 2019. Radiological Protection from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in Industrial Processes ICRP Publication 142. Ann. ICRP 48 (4)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, Occupational Radiation Protection, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-7, IAEA, Vienna (2018)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radiation Protection against Indoor Radon and Building and Construction Materials – Methods of Prevention and Mitigation, TECDOC- 1951, IAEA, Vienna (2021)
- INTER-AGENCY COMMITTEE ON RADIATION SAFETY, Managing Exposure Due to Radon at Home and at Work, Information overview, IACRS, July 2020
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radiation Protection and NORM Residue Management in the Zircon and Zirconia Industries, Safety Reports Series No. 51, IAEA, Vienna (2007)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radiation Protection and NORM Residue Management in the Production of Rare Earths from Thorium Containing Minerals, Safety Reports Series No. 68, IAEA, Vienna (2011)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radiation Protection and Management of NORM Residues in the Phosphate Industry, Safety Reports Series No. 78, IAEA, Vienna (2013)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Occupational Radiation Protection in the Uranium Mining and Processing Industry, Safety Reports Series No. 100, IAEA, Vienna (2020)
- INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radiation Protection of Itinerant Workers, IAEA Safety Reports Series No 84, IAEA, Vienna (2015)