TENORM is an acronym for Technologically Enhanced
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material.
Rocks and soil contain natural radioactivity. When
resources are extracted from the earth, the natural radioactive material
comes with those resources. In processing the desired resource, the
radioactive material is removed and becomes a waste. The radioactive
wastes from extraction and processing are called 'Technologically
Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material' (TENORM) because
human activity has concentrated the radioactivity or increased the
likelihood of exposure by making the radioactive material more
accessible to human contact.
The most common naturally occurring radioactive elements are
uranium, thorium, radium, and radon. Common sources of TENORM waste are mining, mineral processing, oil and gas production,
and drinking water and
wastewater treatment. TENORM wastes are not specifically regulated by
EPA nor NRC. As a result, the responsibility for regulating TENORM
disposal falls to states.
To see lists of companies approved provide services
for transportation, testing, processing, or decontamination, view the
For questions on NORM or TENORM, please
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maintained by James Lawson, RT