Naturally occurring radioactive material

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) and Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) consist of materials, usually industrial wastes or by-products enriched with radioactive elements found in the environment, such as uranium, thorium and potassium and any of their decay products, such as radium and radon.[1]

Natural radioactive elements are present in very low concentrations in earth’s crust, and are brought to the surface through human activities such as oil and gas exploration or mining, and through natural processes like leakage of radon gas to the atmosphere or through dissolution in ground water. Another example of TENORM is coal ash produced from coal burning in power plants. If radioactivity is much higher than background level, handling TENORM may cause problems in many industries and transportation.[2

More information regards coal power stations and building materials