Transport of NORM falls under provincial jurisdiction unless the activities of the NORM shipment are greater than 70 Bq/g. NORM shipments greater than 70 Bq/g fall under federal jurisdiction of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) through the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations (PTNSR). The PTNSR reference and follow the International Atomic Energy Agencies (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials 1996 Edition (Revised). Shipments with activities under provincial jurisdiction must be packaged so as to prevent the dispersal of the radioactive materials during transport and require a manifest with the descriptor “Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials – NORM”. NORM shipments under federal jurisdiction are further classified based off the amount of radioactivity in the shipment, specific activity and radionuclides contained in the materials being shipped and form of radioactive materials (Equipment, liquids, Solids). Typically federal shipments of NORM fall under the following classifications:
- Exempt Package
- Limited Quantity of Materials in Excepted Packages – UN2910
- Low Specific Activity Materials (LSA-I) UN2912
- Surface Contaminated Objects (SCO-1) UN2913
- Type A Package – UN2915
A laboratory analysis is required to ship NORM or the activity can be estimated by a qualified person who must be able to justify the activity calculations using standard radiation estimation principles and practices. A history of the NORM materials can help substantiate radionuclide’s and activity concentrations. NORM shipments can typically include radionuclide’s from both the U-238 and Th-232 decay series, and as such maybe considered a mixture of radionuclide’s. The PTNSR outlines the calculations required to determine exemption limits for mixtures of radionuclide’s.