Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is the term used to describe materials containing radioactive materials that exist in the natural environment.
NORM is widespread. Sands, clays, soils, rocks and many ores and minerals can contain varying amounts of naturally occurring radionuclides.
These include coal, oil, gas, bauxite, phosphate rock, ores containing tin, tantalum, niobium, rare earths and some copper and gold deposits. As a result, some processed commodities and products derived from these materials, and the resulting residues and wastes, may also contain NORM.
The Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982 (RPC Act) applies in circumstances where such concentrations of NORM meet the definition of a ‘radioactive material’ in the Radiation Protection and Control (Transport of Radioactive Substances) Regulations 2003.
Premises where unsealed radioactive substances are handled or kept must registered. The following operations involving NORM are registered under the RPC Act: