Draft Report for Consultation: Radiological Protection from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in Industrial Processes

The draft Radiological Protection from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in Industrial Processes is now available for public consultation. We welcome comments from individuals and organisations. The draft document can be downloaded from the ICRP website. Comments must be submitted through the ICRP website no later than February 22, 2019.


The purpose of this Publication is to provide guidance on radiological protection in industries involving NORM. Industries involving NORM give rise to multiple hazards and the radiological hazard is not necessarily dominant. Such industries are diverse and may involve exposure to people and the environment where protective actions need to be considered. NORM presents no real prospect of a radiological emergency leading to tissue reactions or immediate danger for life. However, the accidental release of large volumes of NORM may result in detrimental effects on the environment, including of radiological nature. NORM associated with industrial processes is an existing exposure situation, except when NORM is used for its radioactive properties which should be addressed on the basis of the principles of justification (of the actions taken) and optimisation of the protection above or below appropriate reference levels. Radon and thoron exposures should be managed as recommended in Publication 126.

An integrated approach to NORM processes is recommended, starting with characterisation of the situation and protection strategies already implemented to manage other workplace hazards, and then assessing the need for additional actions. The selection and implementation of protection strategies for workers should be a graded response to the magnitude of the hazards. According to the characteristics of the exposure situation, notably the actual and potential exposure pathways, the individual dose distribution and the prospect for optimisation, an appropriate reference level can be selected, either below a few mSv per year or above a few mSv if necessary, but very rarely exceeding 10 mSv per year. In the same line, control of the workplace and the conditions of work are used to reduce the risk, while the control of workers enters when adequate protection has not already been achieved with workplace controls.

A graded approach should be used in implementing requirements. Public exposure should be dealt with through the control of discharge, waste and residue, after characterisation of the situation. The reference level for the protection of the public should be selected below a few mSv per year. The protection of non-human species should be dealt with as part of an environmental assessment, taking into account all hazards and impacts. This should include identification of exposed organisms in the environment and using relevant derived consideration reference levels (DCRL), to ascertain the magnitude of the impacts and inform decisions on options for control of exposure.

ICRP routinely solicits comments on most draft documents prior to publication, with the exception of those that are basically compilations of computed values such as specific absorbed fraction values or dose conversion factors.

View comments

Draft Document