Radioactivity is naturally present in the environment. Some resource extraction activities inadvertently concentrate radioactivity as an indirect result of processes to obtain other commodities – examples include oil and gas extraction, phosphate production and the production of rare-earth elements. The industrial processes result in wastes and/or contamination that need to be managed carefully due to the levels of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and technologically-enhanced NORM (TENORM). Quintessa staff have experience in quantitative assessment studies support to decisions needed to ensure that these materials are appropriately managed.
Quintessa's capabilities and experience includes:
- evaluating the extent of NORM and TENORM wastes and the degree of associated contamination, e.g. through synthesising historical records and characterisation information;
- understanding near-surface, terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems along with potential for transport of naturally occurring radionuclides;
- assessing potential exposures via external irradiation, ingestion and inhalation in workplace and domestic environments;
- explicitly recognising and managing the different types of uncertainty that are inherent in modelling environmental radioactivity; and
- using the resulting understanding to support decisions regarding the management of NORM and TENORM wastes.