Radioactive atoms which are found in our
environment naturally are referred to as NORM
All matter found on Earth is made up of atoms. Some of these atoms are radioactive. All this means is the atoms are unstable and breakdown over time. If the concentration of these atoms in a given substance is high enough, Health and Safety issues can arise for workers handling these materials. For example, all soils contain radioactive atoms with varying concentrations throughout the earth. The uranium mines of northern Saskatchewan contain some of the highest concentrations levels of uranium found in the world and the oilfields of northern British Columbia some of the highest concentrations of radium. The radioactive atoms which are found in our environment naturally are referred to as “NORM”.
All Industries that produce our natural resources have the potential to concentrate the low levels of NORM found in our environment. Those industries, such as uranium mine operators, which concentrate the radioactive materials on purpose, are governed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Those industries which concentrate the materials by accident, while producing non-radioactive resources, such as oil and gas companies, are governed by provincial legislation in Canada.
The Canadian NORM Guidelines are a federal document developed to help provincial regulators and industry with the challenges of properly managing NORM. The guidelines are the basis for development of more formal provincial legislation and industrial radiation safety programs that meet Canada’s international commitments to radiation protection. These International bodies include the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). Their recommendations form the basis of radiation best practices in Canada.
NormTek was formed to provide cradle to grave NORM management services to industries that concentrate radioactive materials (NORM) during the production of our natural resources. Our experience stems back to the first oil and gas well identified by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to contain radioactive materials (1988). Since this time we have worked with industry and regulators in developing policies, procedures and regulations for the safe management of NORM from initial detection through decontamination and ultimate disposal.