RAD Analysis: NORM

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) have always been in the earth’s crust. Thorium, uranium and their decay products are the major sources of radioactivity along with potassium-40. Processing may increase the concentration of these substances. Gamma spectrometry can provide an assessment of a suite of uranium and thorium daughters.

Gamma Spectrometry For Solids

Radionuclide Detection Limit
Thorium-234 200 Bq/kg
Thorium-230 1000 Bq/kg
Thorium-228 200 Bq/kg
Radium-228 200 Bq/kg
Radium-226 200 Bq/kg
Lead-210 200 Bq/kg
Potassium-40 1000 Bq/kg

Gamma Spectrometry for Water

Radionuclide Detection Limit
Thorium-234 1 Bq/L
Thorium-230 5 Bq/L
Thorium-228 0.1 Bq/L
Radium-228 0.5 Bq/L
Radium-226 1 Bq/L
Lead-210 1 Bq/L
Potassium-40 50 Bq/L
* does not meet release limits - more sensitive determinations are required. See Radionuclide-Specific Tests.

Neutron Activation Analysis for NORM

Radionuclide Water Solids
Uranium-238 0.01 Bq/L 10 Bq/kg
Thorium-232 0.01 Bq/L 10 Bq/kg


Cf  Canadian Guidelines for Management of NORM

Release limits for NORM

See Table 5.1 in section 5.31 of Canadian Guidelines for the Management of NORM


Testing for NORM

"Becquerel Laboratories provides analysis by gamma spectrometry to see if there are special requirements for handling, transport and disposal of the material."

Steve Simpson





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