Volume 44, Number 5, 2009ECORAD 2008 - Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity
|Page(s)||957 - 962|
|Published online||06 June 2009|
NORM from the monazite cycle and from the oil and gas industry: Problems and tentative solutions
Laboratório de Radioecologia e Mudanças Globais (LARAMG), Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Pavilhão Haroldo Lisboa da Cunha, Subsolo, Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524. Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20550-013, Brazila and Instituto de Radioproteção e Dosimetria (IRD), Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear (CNEN), Av. Salvador Allende s/n°, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22780-160, Brazil
Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) associated with monazite had its origin before the 20th century. The volume and complexity of monazite NORM wastes increased as the industrial applications of monazite also increased. During and after the WWII the diversified uses of thorium turned monazite into an important commodity. At the end of the 20th century the production of oil and gas from offshore platforms in continental shelves increased remarkably. Hundreds of millions of m3 of produced water from the oil and gas industry, containing NORM wastes and other byproducts, are discharged into the oceans every year. E&P processes mobilize the natural occurring radio-nuclides extant in the oil and gas reservoirs. A wide range of concentrations of 238U and 232Th and their respective progenies, mainly 226Ra, 222Rn and 210Pb (from the 238U series), and 228Ra and 228Th (from the 232Th series) appear in tube scales and sludge. The radium isotopes in NORM wastes generated in the monazite cycle become more bio-available than those isotopes found in wastes from the oil and gas industry. This work discusses some of the problems arising from the existence of monazite cycle and oil and gas industry NORM wastes, and proposes a tentative solution.
© EDP Sciences, 2009
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