The recognition of NORM as a potential occupational, environmental, and regulatory concern in U.S. production operations has prompted the identification of management tools and the preparation of radiation protection programs for field use. This paper outlines the steps followed by one company to identify the extent of NORM contamination, estimate the level of risk to its employees and the general public, communicate that risk to its employees, examine management alternatives for dose and risk reduction, prepare operational guidance for its U.S. and overseas operations, and to assure that the recommended operating procedures are understood and followed.
The identification of NORM containing Radium in production operations in April 1986 was followed by an extensive survey of all suspect facilities. The results and the subsequent exposure assessment of internal and external occupational radiation exposure are reported. Also reported are data on scale in pipes, equipment contamination, soil contamination and the presence of 226 and 228 Radium in produced water.
Methods used to communicate the results of the exposure assessment to employees will be included.
The next step taken was to identify and establish the environmental acceptability of operating procedures, possible disposal options and site remediation methods. The options studied will be described, the method of study will be explained, and recommendations of scientifically reasonable procedures will be made.
Knowledge gained from the exposure assessment was combined with the studies of waste management options to develop a radiation protection program for production operations. The contents of this program will be briefly outlined.
Finally, the paper will discuss the training of the operations staff. Short training outlines for senior environmental safety and health managers and radioactive materials technicians will be presented.
* CURRENT ADDRESS: Martin Marietta Energy Systems P.O. Box 1410 Padacuh, KY 42001