Oil and gas production and processing operations sometimes result in accumulation of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) at elevated concentrations in by-product waste streams. EVS has assessed the potential human health risks associated with petroleum industry NORM, estimated the economic impacts associated with different management options, and developed and/or disseminated tools that will streamline oil and gas companies efforts to manage NORM-containing wastes. EVS has completed radiological risk assessments on a variety of NORM management and disposal options, including underground injection into subsurface formations and salt caverns, landspreading, placement in nonhazardous landfills, and remelting of NORM-contaminated scrap equipment.
Because the regulatory landscape for petroleum industry NORM varies by state, EVS developed the NORM Technology Connection website to streamline access to regulatory information relevant to NORM management. The website also provides a directory of information about NORM service providers to assist operators with NORM management.
Environmental contamination associated with accidental releases of NORM or legacy production sites can require remediation. EVS has demonstrated that potential cost savings can be realized by applying an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Program (ASAP) approach to characterization and restoration of NORM-contaminated sites. The ASAP approach, developed by EVS researchers, integrates systematic planning, dynamic work plans, and real-time measurement technologies to achieve more cost-effective waste site cleanup strategies. EVS conducted a successful demonstration of this approach at a pipe storage facility in Michigan.
The results of Argonnes work on NORM issues are documented in numerous publications:
- Risk Assessment of the Disposal of Petroleum Industry NORM in Nonhazardous Landfills (392 KB)
- Risk Assessment of Salt Cavern Disposal of NORM (430 KB)
- Risk Assessment of Landspreading Disposal of NORM (146 KB)
- Assessment of Multiple NORM Management and Disposal Options (329 KB)
- Expedited Characterization and Cleanup of Petroleum Industry NORM Sites (5.7 MB)
- Overview of NORM in the Petroleum Industry (4.7 MB)
Related Research Areas
See the Research Highlights Index for a complete list of EVS research highlights.