NORM Byproducts of Energy Resources

Science Center Objects

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in waste produced during the extraction of uranium, phosphate, rare earth elements (REE), coal, oil and gas resources. The focus of this effort is to understand the potential for byproduct recovery of U-235 and Th-232, the fissionable isotopes used to generate nuclear energy from wastes produced during energy resource development. The NORM lab is being prepared to measure uranium-235 (and radium-226), thorium-232 isotopes in solids using a gamma spectrometer. Specific emphasis on developing a method to deconvolute the U-235 and Ra-226 peaks in solids, which occur at similar energies. Standard Operating Procedures are being written to meet QMS requirements.

Gallegos, T.J., and Seal, R., 2016, USGS research related to mining:  Federal Mining Dialogue, Subcommittee on Best Practices, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC, December 2016.

Gallegos, T.J., and Jolly, G., 2019, Standard operating procedure for measuring radium-226 and uranium-235 activities in solids, USGS Quality Management System Internal Technical Report, QMS Standard Operating Procedure.

Gallegos, T.J., Scott, A., and Vigil, J., 2019, A review of the NORM compositions of waste associated with historic uranium mining of the Goliad Formation in South Texas:  U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report.