Refresher course 3B

Decommissioning of NORM Sites: Case studies of oil/gas and water treatment facilities

Mette Nilsen (Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority -DSA-, Norway) and James McCullough (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, USA)

Learning objectives of the refresher course:
Through the review of real-world examples of oil/gas and water treatment facilities, participants will:

  • Gain an overview of NORM residues generated through facility operation including routine waste management and facility decommissioning activities.
  • Review methods of remedial actions implemented at case study facilities.
  • Learn about detection of NORM residues during facility operation, maintenance and decommissioning activities.
  • Learn about the regulatory aspects of decommissioning of NORM facilities

Participants will be able:

  • To understand range of NORM impacts at case study facilities and reasons decommissioning-related activities occur.
  • To identify information sources valuable to review during operation to inform decommissioning planning.
  • To gain familiarity with survey types and challenges which may exist during decommissioning activities at NORM facilities.
  • To gain understanding for the regulatory aspects of decommissioning of NORM facilities

Participants will also be informed about lessons learned through discussion of real-world examples and have an opportunity to share their own observations and experiences with course attendees.  

The aim of the refresher course is to familiarize participants with topics necessary in the decommissioning of NORM residues through the presentation of two case studies: an oil and gas facility and a water Treatment facility.

Part 1 of the refresher course will focus on NORM from the oil and gas industry. The presentation will include an overview of industry practice and regulation of NORM in the Oil and Gas industry with a focus on decommissioning. The presentation will also show how the relevant regulatory authorities cooperate on the regulation of the Oil and Gas industry. Examples of best practice on NORM management from the Norwegian industry will also be shared in this refresher course

Part 2 of the refresher course will focus on NORM from Water Treatment facilities.  The presentation will include an overview of NORM generation, routine and decommissioning surveys/sampling, special challenges implementing field surveys, locations of potential NORM accumulation, methods of remediation and waste management.  Real world examples from inspection findings and review decommissioning activities at several water treatment facilities will share lessons learned from New Jerseys experience regulating water treatment facilities since 2005.

List of recommended (pre)reading literature:

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems: Radionuclides Rule (website: particularly:
  1. Norwegian Oil and gas Association Decommissioning Work Breakdown Structure Handbook (
  1. Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM)
  1. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance, NUREG-1757 (