Presentation on theme: "What do Workers in the Field Need to Know About NORM/TENORM"— Presentation transcript:
1 What do Workers in the Field Need to Know About NORM/TENORM Alan Fellman, Ph.D., C.H.P.Dade Moeller & Associates, Inc.
2 Outline Definitions Sources and types of NORM/TENORM NORM Regulations Oil and Gas Industry NORM WastesNORM/TENORM Radiation SafetyDecember 2-3, 2014
3 NORM as a Public Health Issue and a Public Perception Issue Basic interactions of people and their environmentMust understand, assess, and controlImpacts of people on their environmentImpacts of the environment on peopleOil and Hydraulic Fracturing waste may contain radioactive materialsWhat are these materials?When is this a concern?When/how is it regulated?December 2-3, 2014
4 DefinitionsNORM: Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material – U, Th, Ra, Rn, etc.or if you prefer:Cheers regular; loves beerSome oil and gas drilling waste (shale)Fertilizer (from phosphate ores – uranium)Rare earth mine tailings (uranium, thorium)Ceramic products (uranium in clay)Welding rods (thorium sands in coatings)December 2-3, 2014
5 Definitions (Cont’d)TENORM: Technologically Enhanced NORM – natural material whose radioactive concentrations have been enhanced by human activities including:Oil & gas pipe scaleOil & gas sludgesSelected mining wastesCoal ash (concentrated uranium & thorium)December 2-3, 2014
6 Ionizing Radiation – Why Worry? Ionizing radiation health risks:Acute effects – high levels of radiation produce effects such as blood chemistry changes, nausea, fatigue, various skin effects, cataracts, and deathDelayed effects – at some lower level of radiation, can increase risk of some cancersWhat about at typical environmental and occupational dose levels? No risk? Hormesis? What are the implications?Radiation is a weak carcinogen compared to other materials (beryllium, asbestos, tobacco smoke…)December 2-3, 2014
7 Background RadiationPeople around the world are continually exposed to radiation from natural sourcesThese sources include:Cosmic radiation from outer spaceTerrestrial radiation (materials in the earth)Internal radiation from materials taken into the body through breathing air, drinking water, and eating foodsDecember 2-3, 2014
8 Sources and Types of NORM/TENORM Oil field pipe scale (radium)Oil field/refinery sludge (radium)Geothermal waste (radium)Drinking water purification waste (uranium/radium)Metals and tailings from certain ores (rare earth elements)Coal fly/bottom ashDecember 2-3, 2014
9 Oil & Gas Industry NORM/TENORM present in all phases Concentrations depend on geologyHigher concentrations in production phase (scale/sludge)Drill cuttingsProduced water/flowback waterRadon decay products in gas production equipmentGas well drillers often use well logging to determine radiation levels to find gasDecember 2-3, 2014
11 Who Regulates NORM?EPA – sets federal radiation standards for the publicOSHA – has authority over hazardous materials in the workplaceStatesNORM-specific regulationsClean Air ActClean Water ActWorkplace dose ratesWaste managementDecember 2-3, 2014
12 Waste Characterization Generators have the responsibility to know about their waste and appropriate management – DOT HAZMAT issuesGenerators should know waste characterization:Can be done through analytical testing, orThrough generator knowledge of a waste based on defensible and demonstrated factorsIf uncertain, generators have the responsibility to perform analytical testingDecember 2-3, 2014
13 Oil Field WasteNORM radionuclides may be concentrated in the oil recovery processRadium is more soluble in brine solutions than uranium or thoriumCarbonates and sulfates of calcium, barium, and strontium may precipitate as pipe scaleRadium will also precipitate in pipe scaleSludge in refineries may also contain radiumDecember 2-3, 2014
14 Oil Field Waste: Example Radionuclide Content Average Sludge Average ScaleRadionuclide pCi/g pCi/g210Po210Pb226Ra228Th228RaTotal: ,320Note: Typical radium-226 in soil is ~1 pCi/g* EPA DataDecember 2-3, 2014
15 Oilfield NORM/TENORM – Who is Exposed? General site workersMaintenance personnel – cutting, grinding, welding, scraping, dismantling pipes (scale/sludge)Pipe/equipment recyclersPersonnel involved in remediation and decontamination operationsWaste handlers/transportersDecember 2-3, 2014
16 Oilfield NORM/TENORM – Who Else Could be Exposed? Members of the publicLandowners who have leased mineral rightsTransportation of wastes containing radioactive materialsWater treatment plant workers – they are members of the public with respect to radiation regulationsLegal Implications?
17 Radiation Safety at a NORM Facility Written Radiation Safety ProgramTrainingSurvey Activities:Instrument surveys for dose rate, contaminationCollect airborne dustsRestrict pipe cutting areaPPE – air filter, gloves, otherDecember 2-3, 2014
18 Radiation Safety at a NORM Facility (continued) InstrumentationDose MonitoringRecord-keeping – if there’s no record, then it wasn’t doneCan you defend your program if challenged?We live in a very litigious society so this can’t be stressed enough
19 What it all means to the operator Be familiar with your State’s regulationsDevelop a worker protection planManage and dispose of NORM waste properlyProvide NORM training to workersKnow your NORM environment:SamplingField MeasurementsDecember 2-3, 2014
20 Summary Not all States Regulate NORM/TENORM Wide range of State regulationsSeveral States considering regulation of TENORMIncrease in oil and gas drilling in northern statesDecember 2-3, 2014
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