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Organization and operation of the sixth international symposium on the natural radiation environment (NRE VI). Final report

Description: An important source of human exposure to radiation is the natural world including cosmic rays, cosmogonic radionuclides, natural terrestrial radionuclides, and radon isotopes and its decay products. Considerable effort is being expended on a worldwide basis to characterize the exposure to the natural radiation environment and determine the important pathways for the exposure to result in dose to tissue that leads to injury and disease. The problem of background exposure to naturally occurring radioactivity has been the subject of research since the initial discovery of the radioactivity of uranium and thorium. However, with the advent of artificial sources of radiation with both benefits (medical x-rays and nuclear medicine), and harm (Chernobyl fallout), the nature and magnitude of the natural radiation environment and the effects on various populations are important in the development of overall public health strategies as ALARA principles are applied. To facilitate the exchange of information and the review of uncertainties and scientific research priorities, a series of 5 international meetings on Natural Radiation Environment, 1963, 1987, 1991. This conference (Montreal, 1995) covers the range of natural radiation environments that give rise to human exposure and dose. This document is a program summary.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Hopke, P.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiological dose assessment related to management of naturally occurring radioactive materials generated by the petroleum industry

Description: A preliminary radiological dose assessment of equipment decontamination, subsurface disposal, landspreading, equipment smelting, and equipment burial was conducted to address concerns regarding the presence of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in production waste streams. The assessment estimated maximum individual dose equivalents for workers and the general public. Sensitivity analyses of certain input parameters also were conducted. On the basis of this assessment, it is concluded that (1) regulations requiring workers to wear respiratory protection during equipment cleaning operations are likely to result in lower worker doses, (2) underground injection and downhole encapsulation of NORM wastes present a negligible risk to the general public, and (3) potential doses to workers and the general public related to smelting NORM-contaminated equipment can be controlled by limiting the contamination level of the initial feed. It is recommended that (1) NORM wastes be further characterized to improve studies of potential radiological doses; (2) states be encouraged to permit subsurface disposal of NORM more readily, provided further assessments support this study; results; (3) further assessment of landspreading NORM wastes be conducted; and (4) the political, economic, sociological, and nonradiological issues related to smelting NORM-contaminated equipment be studied to fully examine the feasibility of this disposal option.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Smith, K.P.; Blunt, D.L.; Williams, G.P. & Tebes, C.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A study of the relationship of geological formation to the NORM. Quarterly technical progress report, January 1, 1997--March 31, 1997

Description: Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) is a common and costly contaminant of produced waters associated with natural gas production and exploration. One way of combatting this problem is by identifying the problem beforehand. Our approach to this problem involves development of NORM prediction capabilities based on the geological environment. During the tenth quarter of this project, emphasis again remained on two major tasks; identifying new sampling sites and seeking approval for final project revisions. In light of the delays experienced, the project has been granted a one year extension, and a revision is currently under review.
Date: April 20, 1997
Creator: Bursh, T.P. & Chriss, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bibliography of reports, papers, and presentations on naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in petroleum industry wastes

Description: This bibliography was created to support projects conducted by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) addressing issues related to naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in petroleum industry wastes. The bibliography provides citations for many of the available published reports, papers, articles, and presentations on petroleum industry NORM. In the past few years, the rapid expansion of NORM treatment and disposal technologies, the efforts to characterize NORM wastes and their associated potential risks, and the promulgation of state-level NORM regulatory programs have been well-documented in project reports and in papers presented at technical conferences and symposia. There are 221 citations.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Smith, K.P.; Wilkey, M.L. & Hames, R.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

AStudy of the Relationship of Geological Formation to the Norm.

Description: Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) is a common and costly contaminant of produced waters associated with natural gas production and exploration. One way of combating this problem is by identifying the problem beforehand. Our approach to this problem involves development of NORM prediction capabilities based on the geological environment. During the eleventh quarter of this project, emphasis again remained on two major tasks; identifying new sampling sites and seeking approval for final project revisions. In light of the delays experienced, the project has been granted a one year extension, and a revision is currently under review.
Date: July 8, 1997
Creator: Bursh, T. P. & Chriss, Derald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analytical model for radial injection of NORM with a step-function source

Description: This paper presents information on a model used to analyze the underground injection of wastes containing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). This model uses a step-function contaminant source, which models intermittent NORM injection in a continuous brine injection well. The governing equations are presented and transformed into Laplace space, where the equations are solved. The numerical inversion of this solution is detailed. The model is cast in a nondimensional form such that a single model solution is valid for a large number of different field conditions. This paper also presents a case study that compares this analytical model to a simple mixing model for a field demonstration site in west Texas. This case study showed that at distances of more than 100 meters from the injection well, calculated subsurface NORM activities were lower than proposed US Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. The comparison also shows that the simple mixing model overpredicts activity levels close to the injection well and underpredicts activities further from the well.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Williams, G.P.; Tomasko, D.; Smith, K. & Blunt, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil field waste disposal in salt caverns: An information website

Description: Argonne National Laboratory has completed the construction of a Website for the US Department of Energy (DOE) that provides detailed information on salt caverns and their use for disposing of nonhazardous oil field wastes (NOW) and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). Specific topics in the Website include the following: descriptions of salt deposits and salt caverns within the US, salt cavern construction methods, potential types of wastes, waste emplacement, regulatory issues, costs, carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic human health risks associated with postulated cavern release scenarios, new information on cavern disposal (e.g., upcoming meetings, regulatory issues, etc.), other studies supported by the National Petroleum Technology Office (NPTO) (e.g., considerations of site location, cavern stability, development issues, and bedded salt characterization in the Midland Basin), and links to other associated Web sites. In addition, the Website allows downloadable access to reports prepared on the topic that were funded by DOE. Because of the large quantities of NOW and NORM wastes generated annually by the oil industry, information presented on this Website is particularly interesting and valuable to project managers, regulators, and concerned citizens.
Date: December 10, 1999
Creator: Tomasko, D. & Veil, J. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Update on cavern disposal of NORM-contaminated oil field wastes.

Description: Some types of oil and gas production and processing wastes contain naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). If NORM is present at concentrations above regulatory levels in oil field waste, the waste requires special disposal practices. The existing disposal options for wastes containing NORM are limited and costly. Argonne National Laboratory has previously evaluated the feasibility, legality, risk and economics of disposing of nonhazardous oil field wastes, other than NORM waste, in salt caverns. Cavern disposal of nonhazardous oil field waste, other than NORM waste, is occurring at four Texas facilities, in several Canadian facilities, and reportedly in Europe. This paper evaluates the legality, technical feasibility, economics, and human health risk of disposing of NORM-contaminated oil field wastes in salt caverns as well. Cavern disposal of NORM waste is technically feasible and poses a very low human health risk. From a legal perspective, a review of federal regulations and regulations from several states indicated that there are no outright prohibitions against NORM disposal in salt caverns or other Class II wells, except for Louisiana which prohibits disposal of radioactive wastes or other radioactive materials in salt domes. Currently, however, only Texas and New Mexico are working on disposal cavern regulations, and no states have issued permits to allow cavern disposal of NORM waste. On the basis of the costs currently charged for cavern disposal of nonhazardous oil field waste (NOW), NORM waste disposal in caverns is likely to be cost competitive with existing NORM waste disposal methods when regulatory agencies approve the practice.
Date: September 22, 1998
Creator: Veil, J. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A study of the relationship of geological formation to the norm. Quarterly technical progress report, July 1, 1995--September 30, 1995

Description: Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) is a common and costly contaminant of produced waters associated with natural gas production and exploration. One way of combating this problem is by identifying the problem beforehand. Our approach to this problem involves development of NORM prediction capabilities based on the geological environment. During the fourth quarter of this project, emphasis was placed on three major tasks; identifying new sampling sites, continuance of preliminary geologic data acquisition, and determining acceptable project revisions.
Date: October 18, 1995
Creator: Bursh, T.P. & Chriss, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of the freeze-thaw/evaportation process for the treatment of produced waters. Quarterly report, April 1 - June 30, 1996

Description: The use of freeze-crystallization is becoming increasingly acknowledged as a low-cost, energy-efficient method for purifying contaminated water. Freeze-crystallization has been shown to be effective in removing a wide variety of contaminants from water. Water purification by using natural conditions to promote freezing appears to be an extremely attractive process for the treatment of contaminated water in many areas where natural climatic conditions will seasonally promote freezing. The natural freezing process can be coupled with natural evaporative processes to treat oil and gas produced waters year-round in regions where sub-freezing temperatures seasonally occur. The objectives of this research were related to development of a commercially-economic natural freeze- thaw/evaporation (FTE) process for the treatment and purification of water produced in conjunction with oil and gas. During the reporting period of 4/l/96 to 6/30/96, project research concentrated on Task 3. The objectives of Task 3 were to conduct detailed inorganic, organic, and radionuclide analyses of the process streams, evaluate the operation of the field demonstration based upon operating data collected and the results of sample analyses, and prepare a final report delineating the results of all project research conducted. All tasks of the research program were completed. Results confirm that the FTE process is effective in removing a wide variety of constituents from produced water, such as salts, organics, and heavy metals (including NORM). Further, the FTE process is capable of economically providing significant quantities of water of a quality suitable for beneficial use from oil and gas produced waters.
Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: Boysen, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulatory Initiatives for Control and Release of Technologically Enhanced Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials

Description: Current drafts of proposed standards and suggested State regulations for control and release of technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material (TENORM), and standards for release of volumetrically-contaminated material in the US are reviewed. These are compared to the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) Safety Series and the European Commission (EC) proposals. Past regulatory efforts with respect to TENORM in the US dealt primarily with oil-field related wastes. Currently, nine states (AK, GA, LA, MS, NM, OH, OR SC, TX) have specific regulations pertaining to TENORM, mostly based on uranium mill tailings cleanup criteria. The new US proposals are dose- or risk-based, as are the IAEA and EC recommendations, and are grounded in the linear no threshold hypothesis (LNT). TENORM wastes involve extremely large volumes, particularly scrap metal and mine wastes. Costs to control and dispose of these wastes can be considerable. The current debate over the validity of LNT at low doses and low dose rates is particularly germane to this discussion. Most standards setting organizations and regulatory agencies base their recommendations on the LNT. The US Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft Federal Guidance Report that recommends calculating health risks from low-level exposure to radionuclides based on the LNT. However, some scientific and professional organizations are openly questioning the validity of LNT and its basis for regulations, practices, and costs to society in general. It is not clear at this time how a non-linear regulatory scheme would be implemented.
Date: March 2, 1999
Creator: Egidi, P.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department