Disposal of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material


Disposal of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

Environmental Health & Safety charges for the pick-up and disposal of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) waste products. These are uranium (U-238 or U-nat) and thorium (Th-232 or Th-nat) products purchased without regard for their radioactive nature, but must be disposed of as radioactive waste.

When a chemical waste pickup is scheduled that includes NORM, the following information is required:

  • Physical Form
  • Activity
  • Compound
  • Other Chemicals Present

Physical Form – solid (powder) or liquid.

Activity - The usual specific activities for NORM are 0.71 microcuries per gram for U-nat, and 0.22 microcuries per gram for Th-nat. In some cases the bottle the material was received in will list a different specific activity based on the purity of the material present. If the waste is the end product of an experimental procedure, the lab must determine the activity from the initial amount of material used and other materials it was combined with.

Compound - The most common compound of NORM used on campus is uranyl acetate (UA). The second most common compound used is uranyl nitrate. Uranyl nitrate is considered a hazardous material and therefore costs more to dispose of than UA. The hazard of other compounds used will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Other Chemicals Present – Similar to the uranyl nitrate being hazardous, other hazards present in the waste will affect the cost of disposal. Segregating NORM waste from other lab waste can reduce some of these potential extraneous hazards, but any procedure that mixes NORM with another agent that is considered hazardous will generate hazardous NORM waste.

The costs for disposing of NORM waste are as follows:

  • Solid Waste - $40.00/lb
  • Liquid, non-hazardous waste - $40.00/gallon
  • Liquid, hazardous waste - $550.00/gallon

The link to complete billing can be found in the lower right had corner of the EHS Radioactive Waste Disposal web page http://www.ehs.osu.edu/RadSafety/RadWD.aspx

Billing information must be completed before EHS will pick up any NORM waste.

If you have any questions, please contact extension 2-1284, or radiation.safety@osu.edu

Revised July 2015