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Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in

mining and mineral processing  guideline


NORM1

Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM1. Applying the System of Radiation Protection
to Mining Operations: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 34pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Contents
List of Figures v
List of Tables vi
1. General information 1
1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Denitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.4. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

2. Guidance 5
2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.1.1. History of radiation protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.1.2. ICRP recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3. Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.1. Best practicable technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.1.1. Radiation protection in design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4. Administrative processes for optimisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.1. Classifying work conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.1.1. Classication of controlled areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.1.2. Classication of restricted areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.4.1.3. Classication of supervised areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4.2. Classication of employees and dose constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.2.1. Classication of designated employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.2.2. Dose constraint for oce and support services sta . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.4.3. Establishing triggers for action and control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2.4.3.1. Classifying an exposure result as a special exposure . . . . . . . . . 16
2.4.3.2. Investigation levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.4.3.3. Auditing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.4.4. Developing procedures and awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.4.4.1. Safe work procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.4.4.2. Radiation safety training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

A. Appendix listing referenced organisations and documents 20


A.1. Australian radiation protection bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.1.1. Western Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.1.2. National . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.2. Western Australia specic Acts and Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.3. Australian national documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.3.1. ARPANSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.3.2. National Health and Medical Research Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.3.3. Standards Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.3.4. International Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

A.3.4.1. ICRP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.3.4.2. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
A.3.4.3. European Commission (EC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
A.3.4.4. UNSCEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
A.3.4.5. Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
A.3.4.6. United Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
A.3.4.7. United States of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

B. Appendix on Radiation Safety Ocer requirements 29


B.1. Mining and mineral processing  qualications and experience . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
B.1.1. Qualications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
B.1.2. Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

C. Appendix on uranium mining approval process 31


Bibliography 33
Index 34

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

2.1. 1903 Nobel PrizeMarie Curie, Pierre Currie and Henri Becquerel . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2. Application of the System of Radiation Protection in Mines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3. An example of a controlled area warning sign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.4. An example of a restricted area warning sign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.5. An example of a supervised area warning sign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

A.1. Radiation protection knowledge and control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

C.1. Simple owchart showing mining approvals process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

List of Tables
2.1. Principles of radiation protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To:

1. Summarise the system of radiation protection as recommended by the International Commis-


sion on Radiological Protection (ICRP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA); and

2. Illustrate how the system of radiation protection may be practically applied in the mining and
mineral processing industry and in particular:

ˆ implementing best practicable technology to reduce exposure and contamination levels.


For example, ensuring suitable engineering controls are used to the extent feasible;

ˆ classifying employees, work conditions and workplaces on the basis of measured or pre-
dicted radiation levels. For example the classication of designated employees, restricted
areas, controlled areas and supervised areas; and

ˆ the establishment of contamination levels that trigger radiation protection responses. For
example, dening special exposures and setting investigation and reporting levels.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [1].

The following branches of mining and mineral processing industry have been identied [3][4]as either
requiring attention from the radiation protection point of view or where an additional radiological
assessments may be necessary. They include:

1. Mining and processing of uranium.

2. Mining and processing of heavy mineral sands.

3. Mining and processing of rare earth elements.

4. Mining ores other than uranium and heavy mineral sands, particularly underground.

5. Production of oil and gas.

6. Manufacture of titanium dioxide pigment.

7. The phosphate industry.

8. The zircon and zirconia industry.

9. Production of tin, tantalum, copper, aluminium, iron and steel.

10. Geothermal energy generation.

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

1.3. Denitions
Best practicable technology [7] as per Regulation 16.33 [1] means the technology, from time to
time relevant to a specic project, which enables radioactive waste or exposure to radiation to be
managed so as to minimise radiological risks and detriment to people and the environment, having
regard to:

1. The achievable levels of euent control and the extent to which pollution and degradation
of the environment is minimised or prevented in comparable exploration, mining and mineral
processing operations elsewhere.

2. The cost of the application or adoption of that technology relative to the degree of radiological
and environmental protection expected to be achieved by its application or adoption.

3. Evidence of detriment or lack of detriment to the environment after the commencement of


exploration, mining and mineral processing operations.

4. The physical location of the mine and/or the processing plant.

5. The age of the equipment and facilities in use for mining and mineral processing purposes and
their relative eectiveness in achieving radiological and environmental protection.

6. The potential long term hazards from the wastes.

Contamination level as per Regulation 16.1 [1] means an amount of radioactivity in either air,
water or on a surface, the presence of which is undesirable to the extent that it could be harmful if
uncontrolled or not guarded against.

Controlled area as per Regulation 16.12 [1] means an area where:

1. Access is limited to those persons who are required to work, or perform any duty in the area.

2. The boundaries of the area are clearly delineated and are made known to employees.

3. Any person entering the area has received appropriate instructions about the nature of the
radiation hazards in the area.

Designated employee as per Regulation 16.14 [1] means an employee who works, or may work,
under conditions such that the employee's annual eective dose equivalent might exceed 5 millisieverts
(0.005 Sv).

Dose constraint means a level of dose, in relation to an employee, as determined by Regulation


16.5 [1], used to prompt investigation and (if appropriate) action if achieved or exceeded.

NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material) means material containing no signicant


amounts of radionuclides other than naturally occurring radionuclides, disturbed or altered from
natural settings, or present in technologically enhanced concentrations above background radiation
levels due to human activities that may result in a relative increase in radiation exposures and risks
to the public and the environment.

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Practicable means reasonably practicable having regard, where the context permits, to:

1. The severity of any potential injury or harm to health or the environment that may be involved
and the degree of risk of such injury or harm occurring.

2. The state of knowledge about:

a) the injury or harm to health or the environment referred to in paragraph (1).

b) the risk of that injury or harm to health or the environment occurring.

c) the means of removing or mitigating the potential injury or harm to health or the envi-
ronment.

3. The availability, suitability, and cost of the means referred to in paragraph 2.(c).

Special exposure means an exposure complying with one of the following conditions:

1. An exposure to an individual or a known sub-group of individuals which arises from an un-


planned non-routine or an unusual task which is unlikely to have occurred previously in the
reporting period or is unlikely to occur again in the remainder of the reporting year; or

2. An exposure or exposures which arises from a planned program (e.g. maintenance operation
during a shut down, non-routine housekeeping) where the exposure is abnormally high in com-
parison to routine operations.

Restricted area means a part of a controlled area where access is stringently controlled by virtue of
the potential for signicant radiation doses to be received following protracted exposure in the area.

Supervised area as per Regulation 16.12 [1] means an area where access by members of the public
is supervised; and the boundaries of the area are clearly delineated and are made known to employees
at the mine.

Surface contamination as per Regulation 16.1 [1] means the presence of a radioactive substance
on a surface in quantities in excess of prescribed quantities.

Fixed (surface) contamination means (surface) contamination other than non-xed (surface)
contamination.

Non-xed (surface) contamination means (surface) contamination that can be removed from a
surface during normal handling.

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

1.4. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction
The protection of the public and workers from the harmful eects of ionising radiation has been a
concern of radiation protection professionals since the early part of the 20th century when harmful
eects were rst observed.

Since that time, the detrimental eects of ionising radiation have been extensively studied: from the
fundamental nature of radiation's eects on cells, organs and organisms, to the epidemiological study
of large populations who have been exposed to various levels of ionising radiation. Based on these
studies, over time an international system of radiation protection has been built largely through the
work of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).

Radiation is currently viewed as one of the most studied of all known carcinogens. The system of
radiation protection that has been built to protect the public and workers from its harmful eects is
seen as extensive and robust, but is less well developed for the protection of the environment and
non-human species. The system is also viewed by some as being overly demanding of resources.

Of relevance to the system of radiation protection is the increasing social desire/need to understand
decisions made by governments, regulatory bodies and industry, and to participate more actively in
decision-making processes involving environmental and health issues.

Nuclear Energy Agency[6]

2.1.1. History of radiation protection

Figure 2.1.: 1903 Nobel PrizeMarie Curie, Pierre Currie and Henri Becquerel

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

1895 Wilhelm Roentgen discovers ionizing radiation. X-rays quickly came into widespread
medical use following their discovery. Although it was not immediately clear that large
or repeated exposures might be harmful, mounting evidence during the rst few years
showed unequivocally that they could be.

1896 Frenchman Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium salts emitted rays similar to X-rays.
He was able to demonstrate that this radiation was not phosphorescence, that it came
spontaneously from uranium itself and it was what we know as `radioactive'.

1896 Polish Physicist Marie Curie takes an interest in Bequerel's discovery and decides to look
into uranium rays as a possible eld of research for her physics thesis. She nds that
the activity of the uranium compounds depended only on the amount of uranium present
and the radiation came from the atom itself. This was her most important single piece
of work. She studied two uranium minerals, pitchblende and torbernite and showed that
these two minerals must contain small amounts of some other substance far more active
than uranium itself.

1898 Marie Curie and Pierre Curie announce the existence of an element they name `polonium',
in honour of Poland.

1900 American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) founded.

1902 Marie Curie and Pierre Curie manage to separate one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride
from a tonne of pitchblende.

1903 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences award Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, and Henri
Becquerel the Nobel Prize in Physics, in recognition of their services rendered by their
joint research into the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel.

1904 The damaging eects of ionizing radiation are unknown, and Marie Curie works in a shed
without any safety measures. She carries test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in
her pocket and stores them in her desk drawer, remarking on the pretty blue-green light
that the substances gave o in the dark.

1906 Pierre Curies dies in trac accident.

1910 Marie Curie, working on without her husband, isolates pure radium metal. Radium is
over one million times more radioactive than the same mass of uranium.

1911 Marie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, `in recognition of her services to
the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by
the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable
element.'

1919 One gram of radium is valued at $100,000 and one gram of gold is valued at $586.00
(United States dollars).

1925 First International Congress of Radiology, London, establishes ICRU.

1928 ICRP established under auspices of the Second International Congress of Radiology,
Stockholm.

1928 ICRU adopts the roentgen as unit of exposure.

1934 ICRP recommends daily tolerance dose.

1934 Marie Curie dies from aplastic anaemia, most certainly contracted from exposure to
radiation.

1941 ACXRP recommends rst permissible body burden, for radium.

1947 U.S. National Academy of Sciences establishes Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission
(ABCC) to initiate long-term studies of A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

1949 NCRP publishes recommendations and introduces risk/benet concept.

1952 British nuclear weapon tests commence at Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia.

1955 Western Australia is the rst Australian State to regulate the use of radiation through
the Radioactive Substances Act.

1955 United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
established.

1956 International Atomic Energy Agency organized under United Nations.

1958 United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation publishes study
of exposure sources and biological hazards.

1964 International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) formed.

1977 ICRP Publication 26,  Recommendations of the ICRP.

1978 ICRP Publication 30,  Limits for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers.

1991 International Atomic Energy Agency report on health eects from the April 1986 Cher-
nobyl accident.

1991 ICRP Publication 60,  1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Ra-
diological Protection.

1994 ICRP Publication 66, Human Respiratory Tract Model for Radiological Protection.

2000 UNSCEAR 2000 Report on sources of radiation exposure, radiation associated cancer,
and the Chernobyl accident.

2005 ICRP proposes system of radiological protection consisting of dose constraints and dose
limits, complimented by optimization.

2009 Marie Curie's papers including her cookbook from the 1890s are considered too dangerous
to handle due to their levels of radioactivity. They are kept in lead-lined boxes and those
who wish to consult them must wear protective clothing.

2.1.2. ICRP recommendations


The ICRP clearly states that the system of radiological protection applies in principle to all sources
of radiation regardless of size and origin. However, it is recognised that it is inappropriate to treat all
sources and exposures in the same way and with the same level of resources. The ICRP has dened
two concepts to delineate the extent of radiological protection control for regulatory purposes:

1. Exclusion of certain exposure situations from legislation because they cannot be controlled by
any reasonable means (for example, potassium40 in the body or exposure to cosmic radiation
at sea level).

2. Exemption from some or all radiological protection legislation for situations where such controls
are felt to be unwarranted (for example, very low levels of radioactivity in building materials).

There are three categories of radiation exposure in the ICRP system:

1. Occupational

2. Public

3. Medical

An important ICRP recommendation is that `no attempt be made to add the exposures to the same
individual from the dierent categories of exposure for regulatory purposes'. The NORM guidelines
primarily deal with the control of occupational exposures.

The basic principles of radiological protection are:

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Justication `Any decision that alters the radiation exposure situation should do more good than
harm'. This principle applies to all exposure situations.

Optimisation of protection `The likelihood of incurring exposures, the number of people exposed,
and the magnitude of their individual doses should all be kept as low as reasonably achievable, taking
into account economic and societal factors'. This principle applies to all exposure situations.

Dose limitation `The total dose to any individual from regulated sources in planned exposure situa-
tions other than medical exposure of patients should not exceed the appropriate limits recommended
by the Commission'. This principle is individual related and applies in planned exposure situations
only.

The appropriate upper bound for optimising protection with regard to a particular activity or plan
will vary according to a number of factors, including the overall benet to society conferred by that
activity, the cost and practicability of protection options, and the benet received by those incurring
the exposure. The ICRP recommends that the national authorities set appropriate reference levels
for specic activities.

2.2. Summary
The diagram in Figure 2.2 illustrates the overall approach that is recommended to ensure that
radiation doses at mines are as low as practicable.

Figure 2.2.: Application of the System of Radiation Protection in Mines

Engineering Administrative Processes

Classifying Radiation Developing


Best Practicable Classifying Work
Employees & Protection in Procedures &
Technology Conditions
Dose Constraints Design Awareness

Radiation Classification Classification Special Safe Work


Protection in of Controlled of Designated Exposures Procedures
Design Areas Employees

Engineering Classification Radiation


Dose Investigation
Control of of Restricted Safety
Constraints Levels
Sources Areas Training

Classification
Auditing
of Supervised
Areas

The principle of optimisation of radiation protection is a cornerstone of the international system for
radiation protection and is the key driver for ensuring that radiation doses are not just maintained

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

below standards, but are kept to the lowest feasible level throughout the life cycle of a practice
involving radioactive materials. This principle is also referred to as the ALARA principle: As Low
As Reasonably Achievable economic and social factors being taken into account.

Note: in the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 ([2]), the term "as low as practicable"
(ALARP)(refer Regulation 16.15 [1]) is used and for all practical intents and purposes this is the
same as ALARA.

The use of risk management to develop a suitably detailed plan for the identication, control and
monitoring of radiation exposure and the management of radioactive wastes is necessary to coordinate
the system of radiation protection. This is documented in the Radiation Management Plan for an
exploration, mining and/or processing operation. Details on the requirements for these are contained
in the guidelines on the preparation of a Radiation Management Plan (NORM2.1 Exploration,
NORM2.2 Mining and processing).

One of the most eective ways to control radiation risks is to engineer out radiation hazards to the
extent feasible. This guideline provides a brief overview of radiation protection in design, but does
not discuss engineering controls in any detail as these are covered in the other Guidelines (NORM4.1
Dust control strategies and NORM4.2 Management of radioactive waste).

The main focus of this guideline is on the administrative processes that are used to ensure optimisa-
tion.

2.3. Engineering
2.3.1. Best practicable technology
The responsible person at a mining operation needs to be able to demonstrate to the State Mining
Engineer that the operation is employing the best practicable technology (Regulation 16.7(5) [1])
and that radiation doses to employees received as a result of that operation, are as low as practicable
(Regulation 16.15 [1]).

The preparation of a formal radiation management plan (as per Regulation 16.7 [1]) is intended to
document how best practicable technology has been incorporated into the design and operation of
the mine and/or processing plant, and also the procedures that have been adopted to ensure the
radiation exposure of persons employed at, or aected by, the mine are not just below the relevant
dose limit, but are as low as practicable (refer to Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation
management plan  Mining and processing for further information).

It is considered that if a company is able to demonstrate that they are complying with their approved
radiation management plan then that should suce as an indication that the doses received are at
an acceptable level. Note that all radiation management plans are required to be reviewed within
two years of commencement of each operation and subsequently at intervals designated by the State
Mining Engineer (Regulation 16.7(4) [1]), typically  every two years. This review interval will be
more frequent if circumstances change.

2.3.1.1. Radiation protection in design


Optimisation commences in the design stage of an exploration, mining or processing operation. At
the design stage, cost-benet analysis is required to achieve a balanced design, which is not only
optimised for radiation protection, but all other health, safety and environmental requirements.
Once the detailed engineering design of a process has been nalised it is often quite expensive to
retrot radiation control equipment, such as ventilation ducting for dust control and the associated

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Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

infrastructure. For this reason, specication of radiation protection standards to be achieved in


operations is important at the initial design stages.

In design, optimisation can be facilitated by:

1. specifying radiation protection design criteria, usually in terms of contamination levels or dose
rates at some fraction of derived limits;

2. specifying engineering control features, such as dust extraction or suppression equipment, shiel-
ding, layout of plant, automation of processes;

3. undertaking formal hazard assessments, such as hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies at
various stages of design;

4. ensuring design engineers are aware of relevant radiation protection measures through appro-
priate training and instruction; and

5. applying the hierarchy of risk control principles (i.e. preference to elimination and control of
hazards rather than use of operational procedures and PPE to achieve exposure control).

Although it may be possible to carry out minor modications to plant and equipment following
completion of the detailed design phase, post-design stage optimisation may be restricted to the
implementation of operational procedures, including the adherence to any dose constraints that may
be imposed on an operation.

The underlying principles of radiation protection have been summarised in the Table 2.1 on the facing
page and should be considered in the design of new facilities.

2.4. Administrative processes for optimisation


The administrative processes used for optimisation involve:

1. Classication of working conditions and workplaces.

2. Application of dose constraints to certain work categories.

3. Implementation of investigation and reporting levels.

4. Formulation, distribution and implementation of safe work procedures for identied critical
tasks and provision of awareness training to all employees.

The classication of working conditions and workplaces and the implementation of investigation and
reporting levels where contamination of the workplace cannot be `engineered out' of the operations
are discussed in detail in the following sections.

2.4.1. Classifying work conditions


2.4.1.1. Classication of controlled areas
One administrative method of achieving optimisation involves identifying and delineating areas of
higher contamination levels or dose rates in the workplace. There are two such areas that the ICRP
and ARPANSA recommend should be invoked in premises that use or handle radioactive materials
 namely, controlled and supervised areas (see denitions in Section 1.3 on page 2). Such designated
areas are accompanied by suitable radiation safety rules or procedures specied by management.

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Table 2.1.: Principles of radiation protection

Principle Intent

Source barrier (shielding) Maximise containment, minimise release

Distance Maximise distance

Time Minimise exposure and intake time

Source reduction Minimise production and use of radioactive materials

Optimal technology Choose best practicable technology

Housekeeping Minimise spillages and surface contamination

Dilution and blending


† Minimise concentration, maximise dilution

Personal barrier Minimise entry into the body by providing appropriate


PPE and washing facilities

Education Maximise knowledge through training

Limit other exposures Minimise exposures to other agents


Applicable only for mineral sands mining and separation.

The Regulations [1] require that, if there is an area in a mine in which exposure conditions are such
that an employee could receive in excess of 5 mSv in a year, then that area is to be declared a
controlled area and the provisions of Regulation 16.12 [1] should be applied to those areas.

This dose of 5 mSv may be received from one or a combination of radioactive sources; for example,
either internal exposure or external exposure or both. Note that even if no employees are anticipated
to work in the particular controlled area for a full twelve month period, control is still required to be
established for that area if the potential for exposure exists.

Controlled area work procedures Regulation 16.12 [1] requires that each responsible person at
the mine must ensure that each employee working in a controlled area has received appropriate
instructions about the nature of the radiation hazard in the area. These instructions should be in
the form of clearly dened written procedures which explain what is necessary for any employee
working in the area to reduce, as much as practicable, any identied hazard associated with a set
task.

The dened tasks would be for routine operations, as well as for tasks that are only performed
at infrequent times during a year (e.g. major maintenance overhauls). It is important to describe
procedures for infrequently performed tasks, as personnel may change during the period (e.g. use of
contractors) and people, over time, may forget the manner in which tasks were performed to result
in the lowest exposure.

Detailed work practices and procedures need to be developed to ensure that the eective control
over radioactive material is established and lowest practicable exposure levels are being maintained.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Figure 2.3.: An example of a controlled area warning sign

These procedures should be reviewed periodically for their eectiveness as well as audited for their
actual application in practice.

Requirements should be established for activities such as the movement, storage, processing and
packaging of radioactive materials, and waste management. Work practices and, particularly, good
housekeeping measures are required to prevent unnecessary exposure to, and dispersion, of radioactive
materials. Procedures should be provided in relation to spillage clean up, including the control
measures to be used (e.g. water, vacuuming), and the preventative maintenance of control equipment
such as lters and dust collector. The procedures should also specify any personal protective clothing
or apparatus that may be necessary to perform the task in a safe manner.

All written procedures for controlled areas should also be part of the radiation management plan and
must be readily available to, and understood by, all personnel involved.

Controlled area work practices The practices that are adopted in controlled areas would be specic
to each operation but should involve good hygiene practices as follows:

1. Areas where it is possible for designated employees to eat, drink and smoke should be clearly
delineated and these areas should not ordinarily be part of a controlled area.

2. Facilities to wash personnel's hands and faces before leaving a controlled area should be provi-
ded. In certain circumstances, showering facilities may be necessary.

3. Similarly, contaminated clothing should not be allowed to leave controlled areas. It may be
necessary to provide laundering facilities associated with these areas if contaminated clothing is
routinely encountered. Disposable clothing, or easily cleaned clothing like waterproof garments,
would be required for those tasks where clothing may become contaminated if the potential for
personal contamination cannot be engineered out of a task.

2.4.1.2. Classication of restricted areas


There may be work areas in some mining and/or processing operations where the potential for
exposure of employees may be a signicant fraction of the annual dose limit, say, in excess of 15 mSv
in a year. In these cases it may be benecial to further categorise these areas as restricted areas. A
restricted area would then be a part of a controlled area where access is stringently controlled; time
spent in the area is minimised; and all work practices and procedures are carried out by experienced
personnel possibly under supervision, either remotely or directly.

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Figure 2.4.: An example of a restricted area warning sign

In the mining and processing of naturally occurring radioactive materials, restricted areas would only
be anticipated where there is substantial concentration of thorium and uranium bearing materials;
typically when thorium exceeds 0.3% (3,000 ppm) and uranium concentrations exceed 0.13% (1,300
ppm.).

2.4.1.3. Classication of supervised areas


In accordance with the ARPANSA denition: a Supervised Area is

an area in which working conditions are kept under review but in which special procedures
to control exposure to radiation are not normally necessary.

In accordance with this recommendation, Regulation 16.12(2) [1] requires members of the public in
such areas to be supervised and the dose constraint, as discussed in Subsection 2.4.1.2 on the facing
page, restricts certain occupations to the same limit as members of the public.

Thus, in practice, supervised areas are all of those areas on an exploration, mining or mineral
processing site where it is possible for exposure conditions, either by internal or external exposure or
both, to exceed member of the public limits based on an occupancy factor of 25%, or for approximately
40 hours per week exposure.

Supervised areas should be clearly delineated so that any member of the public (e.g. a visitor) or an
employee in a restricted occupation (e.g. oce and administration sta ), is aware that the supervised
area exists and that they are required to obey a supervisors instructions whilst in these areas. The
minimum constraint on these areas would require the responsible person to ensure that members of
the public and relevant employees are restricted in the amount of time spent in supervised areas,
assuming that access is indeed necessary.

The use of supervised areas on an exploration/mining/processing site can be used to highlight areas
of marginally elevated exposure levels (e.g. stockpiles of radioactive minerals in a store producing
elevated radiation levels on the other side of the store wall). As exposures to all personnel are to be
kept as low as practicable then knowledge of any elevated exposure levels can eliminate unnecessary
exposure.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Figure 2.5.: An example of a supervised area warning sign

Areas outside supervised areas The boundaries of supervised areas should not be confused with
the site boundary, where it is required that exposure levels are such that, as a result of exploration,
mining and/or processing operations, the member of the public limit should not be exceeded when
based on 100% occupancy or exposure for 168 hours per week. In other words, a hypothetical person
residing adjacent to the site lease will not receive in excess of 1 mSv per annum.

As all areas of potential radiation exposure should be known and classied according to the exposure
conditions, there should not be any surprise exposure conditions such that persons may receive doses
in excess of the member of the public limit outside of supervised or controlled areas.

Monitoring of areas outside of supervised or controlled areas could, therefore, be limited to area
monitoring to determine levels of airborne radioactivity and to area gamma measurement utilising
either thermoluminescent dosimeter or survey meter; it should not be necessary to conduct personal
monitoring in these areas.

Note: In the assessment of the internal exposure from airborne radioactivity outside of supervised or
controlled areas, unless there is evidence to the contrary, the relevant dose conversion factor for the
member of the public default aerial median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD) of 1 µm should be used.

2.4.2. Classication of employees and dose constraints


2.4.2.1. Classication of designated employees
One useful operational technique used to cost-eectively target radiation protection resources is the
classication of employees. This is in recognition of the fact that radiation monitoring and protective
eorts need to be directed to those groups of workers who have the potential to receive a relatively
higher radiation exposure in comparison to other groups of workers.

In accordance with the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations [1], an individual is to be classied
as a designated employee if there is potential for the individual to receive an occupational dose
in excess of 5 mSv per year. It is required that the number of designated employees be kept to
the minimum necessary for the proper conduct of the mining and/or processing operation (refer
Regulation 16.14 (3) [1] ).

The Regulations [1] also require that employees to be classied `a priori' (i.e. before operations
commences) as either designated or  non-designated employees. Depending on the concentra-
tions of radionuclides and processing conditions some workers directly involved in the operation and

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

maintenance of metallurgical plants processing radioactive materials may be classied as designated


employees. Employees involved in work categories like: surface mining, concentration, transport, ad-
ministration, general workshop duties and technical services are typically classied as non-designated
employees, some of which have a dose constraint placed on them (see Section 2.4.2.2).

Criteria for prediction of designated employees Practical experience has indicated that the `a
priori' assignment of an employee as a designated employee based on the previous year's work
category assessments has become increasingly dicult. Complicating factors include the:

ˆ consistent reduction, through optimisation measures, of the annual eective dose received by
employees; and

ˆ increased used of `multi-skilling' in the mining and mineral processing industry, which means
that employees spend times in several work categories throughout the reporting year.

The following criteria can be utilised for classifying designated employees for subsequent reporting
years:

1. If an employee received an eective dose approaching 5 mSv in the previous year, and is likely
to undertake the same work patterns in the coming year.

2. If an existing employee or a new employee is to work, in the coming year, in conditions where
other employees received a dose approaching 5 mSv in the previous year.

3. Where an employee is required to work for a considerable proportion of their annual working
hours in an area where the absorbed dose rate arising from gamma radiation is 2.5 microsievert
per hour (µSv/h) or more.

4. Where an employee is required to work for a considerable proportion of their annual working
hours in a work category that was assessed from the previous year's monitoring program, as
being exposed to a mean airborne alpha activity concentration equivalent to or in excess of one
quarter of the derived airborne concentration (DAC) (for more information please refer to the
Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment).

5. Any combination of the above criteria which may result in the annual eective dose approaching
5 mSv.

Note: The `a priori' assignment of an employee as a designated employee is necessary as this group
of employees requires personal monitoring which will necessitate the planning of adequate resources
and possibly work activities.

2.4.2.2. Dose constraint for oce and support services sta


The MSIA [2] denition of a mine includes areas where radioactive materials would not normally be
encountered or handled, such as oces, warehouses and service buildings.

Under the MSIR [1], the occupational dose limit (20 mSv per year averaged over 5 years) is theoreti-
cally applicable to all employees, including contractors. However, such workers should be constrained
to receive radiation doses much less than the occupational dose limit.

A dose constraint of 1 milliSievert (mSv) per year averaged over 5 years, could be applied to indivi-
duals employed in work categories where work practices do not involve the direct handling, or use,
of radioactive materials. This includes employees and contractors in work categories involved in the:

ˆ operation of any support facilities on an exploration, mining and/or processing site, including
administration oces, workshops and services buildings;

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

ˆ operation of residential and recreational facilities such as exploration/mining camp and the
ground used for that purpose, where such facilities are located on the mine tenement and are
used in connection with exploration and/or mining operations;

ˆ operations undertaken for the environmental rehabilitation of an exploration, mining and/or


processing site during production operations and after their completion; and

ˆ operations for the care, security and maintenance of a mine and plant at the site undertaken
during any period when production or development operations at the site are suspended.

2.4.3. Establishing triggers for action and control


The approved radiation management plan for the mine should contain a radiation monitoring program
that requires, amongst other matters, the monitoring of personal contamination levels and external
gamma doses. Due to the use of work category averages in dose assessment, any unusually high or
low monitoring result may impact on the exposure estimates for all workers in the particular work
category. Thus, some guidance is necessary on the treatment of non-routine measurement results.

The site radiation safety ocer (RSO) is expected to have a detailed knowledge of the mean conta-
mination levels and gamma exposures that each work category is normally exposed to. Thus, the
RSO should be able to provide professional judgement to make an assessment as to whether any mo-
nitoring result appears unusual. Typically, an investigation should commence if the result is outside
some pre-determined statistical bounds of the work category mean. The following sections contain
guidance on this matter.

2.4.3.1. Classifying an exposure result as a special exposure


If an investigation into an unusually or unexpectedly high monitoring result reveals that an exposure
to an individual resulted from a task which is non-routine, an assessment will need to be made on
whether that task will be repeated frequently in the remainder of the monitoring year. This requires
careful consideration as it is possible that similar circumstances or work activities may occur during
the year, but, due to the nature of the sampling regime, the task may not have been monitored
previously.

If it is considered that it is highly unlikely that the circumstances will occur again, then the elevated
exposure should not be included in the work category average, and should be declared as a separate
`special exposure' and assigned solely to those individual(s) who incurred the exposure.

Similarly, if a known or planned task involving an unusual exposure within a work category, or across
several work categories, may occur once or even several times in a monitoring period, the exposure
received by those persons involved in the task could also be assigned as a personal special exposure.
In this case each individual involved will be monitored each time that task is performed.

Where an exploration, mining and/or processing operation is implementing a specic campaign,


where the exposure conditions are anticipated to be signicantly dierent than usual (e.g. obtaining
exploration samples with relatively high concentrations of radionuclides, re-processing radioactive
tailings, cleaning of large processing vessels or pipe-work from radioactive scale and sludge), alter-
native arrangements for handling the monitoring data may be made. For example, a special work
category sub-group may be established for the period of the campaign, rather than declaring a series
of special exposures.

Consideration will also need to be given to variations in dose assessment parameters, such as particle
size or dierent ratio of radionuclide decay series, as a result of the campaign.

Note: this method of dose assessment by declaration of special work category sub-groups is more
suitable if exposures are going to occur for a large group of persons over an extended period, rather

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

than a small group. The technique of assessment by special exposures is more useful for small groups
of individuals involved in short term exposures.

Handling of special exposures If a routine monitoring program result appears unusual or, following
statistical analysis, the result is signicantly dierent from what is normally expected, then the
circumstances of the particular exposure should be investigated. If the investigation conrms that
the exposure circumstances comply with the conditions for a special exposure (as outlined above)
then:

1. The result can be recorded in the site's radiation exposure register as a special exposure for the
individual(s) concerned, along with the details of its occurrence. Note: The dose arising from
this exposure is calculated separately from the individual's routine work category assessment,
and is added to the dose assessment at the end of the reporting period.

2. The State Mining Engineer must be notied in writing of any special exposures including the
resultant dose or exposure and the conditions under which it was received (Regulation 16.11(c)
[1]). The State Mining Engineer may or may not agree that the conditions warranted a special
exposure. Potential disagreement over classication may be avoided through prior discussion
and agreement with a Special Inspector of Mines who deals in radiation protection matters.

3. All special exposures should be specically highlighted in the Company's Annual Occupational
Radiation Monitoring Report.

2.4.3.2. Investigation levels


The numerical value of a monitoring result determines whether an investigation into the exposure is
necessary. Investigation and reporting levels have been identied for such radiation parameters as:

1. Area Gamma Dose Rate

2. Personal External Dose

3. Personal Internal Dose

4. Airborne Radioactivity

5. Airborne Dust

6. Radon/Thoron in Air

7. Radionuclides in Water

8. Stack Emissions

9. Surface Contamination

These are outlined in further detail in NORM6 Reporting requirements.

2.4.3.3. Auditing
Regulation 16.38 [1] requires that an audit of all sealed radiation sources and of their location within
the operation should be carried out on an annual basis. Further information can be obtained from
the guidelines issued by the Radiological Council of Western Australia.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

2.4.4. Developing procedures and awareness


2.4.4.1. Safe work procedures
Safe work procedures should be written work procedures and reviewed periodically for their eec-
tiveness as well as audited for their actual application in practice. These written work procedures
should be referenced in the radiation management plan (see NORM2.1 and NORM2.2), and must
be readily available to, and understood by, all personnel involved.

Requirements should be established for activities such as the movement, storage, processing and
packaging of radioactive materials, and waste management. Work practices and particularly good
housekeeping measures are necessary to prevent unnecessary exposure to, and dispersion, of radioac-
tive materials. Procedures should be provided in relation to spillage clean up, including the control
measures to be used (e.g. water, vacuuming), and the preventative maintenance of control equipment
such as lters and dust collectors.

2.4.4.2. Radiation safety training


All employees who may be exposed to radiation should be provided with information on the risks as-
sociated with radiation exposure, detailed description of sources and pathways of radiation exposure,
and safe working methods. The detailed information for a particular mining/processing site should
be included in the education and training program.

One of the outcomes of the Uranium Industry Framework (UIF)[5] was the need for the development
of a course on mining-related radiation safety and protection to meet the needs of mining operators
and regulators, including accreditation of course work and related industrial experience. These units
are part of a national certication process for radiation safety ocers.

Recently, the Federal Government funded Government Skills Australia to develop units of competency
for those working in elds which involve Radiation Protection and Safety. Several units of competency
are available from the Government Skills Australia web site www.governmentskills.com.au that can
be used to create training programs for radiation workers. The units available at time of writing
were:

1. Work safely in a radiation environment

2. Work safely with radioactive ores and minerals

3. Consign radioactive material

4. Handle and transport radioactive material

5. Work safely with radiation sealed source equipment

6. Monitor radiation

7. Coordinate radiation safety

8. Select, commission and maintain radiation measuring instruments

9. Lead a quality audit

10. Participate as a member of a workplace emergency initial response team

11. Lead a workplace emergency initial response team

12. Apply a specialised knowledge of radiation protection and safety to develop and implement an
ionising

13. radiation management plan

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

14. Work safely with radioactive ores and minerals

15. Consign radioactive material

16. Handle and transport radioactive material

17. Work safely with radiation sealed source equipment

18. Monitor radiation

19. Coordinate radiation safety

20. Select, commission and maintain radiation measuring instruments

21. Lead a quality audit

22. Participate as a member of a workplace emergency initial response team

23. Lead a workplace emergency initial response team

24. Apply a specialised knowledge of radiation protection and safety to develop and implement an
ionising radiation management plan.

Further guidance on the nature and extent of employee training is provided in NORM2.2.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

A. Appendix listing referenced organisations


and documents
A.1. Australian radiation protection bodies
Figure A.1 shows the interaction of world radiation protection practice with the WA Mining Industry.

Figure A.1.: Radiation protection knowledge and control

Radiation protection in Western Australia is based on International and National standards.

A.1.1. Western Australia


Radiological Council  Radiation Safety Act, Radioactive Transport Regulations  Re-
gistration and Licencing.
www.radiologicalcouncil.wa.gov.au

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Department of Mines and Petroleum, Resources Safety Division  Mines Safety and Ins-
pection Regulations  Approvals.
www.dmp.wa.gov.au

Department of Mines and Petroleum, Environment Division  Mining Act, Program of


Work (POW)  Exploration, abandonment of sites.
www.dmp.wa.gov.au

Department of Environment and Conservation, Contaminated Sites Section  Contami-


nated Sites Act 2003 (Act)  Control of radioactive wastes.
www.environment.wa.gov.au

A.1.2. National
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts - under the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) control matters of
national environmental signicance including nuclear actions. Regulation of uranium
exploration, mining, milling, and uranium mine rehabilitation. www.environment.gov.au

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources Uranium Industry Section - Customs


(Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958  Export of Uranium and Thorium.
www.industry.gov.au

Australian Nuclear Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Oce - Nuclear Non-Proliferation


(Safeguards) Act  Application to Transfer Uranium Ore Concentrates (UOC) Interna-
tionally. www.asno.dfat.gov.au

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Science Agency (ARPANSA).


www.arpansa.gov.au

Australian Customswww.customs.gov.au  Export / Import of radioactive material. Ex-


port/Import

A.2. Western Australia specic Acts and Regulations


Copies of the WA Acts and Regulations are available for download free from the State
Law Publisher. www.slp.wa.gov.au

Radiation Safety Ac t, 1975. link

Radiation Safety (General) Regulations, 1983. link

Radiation Safety (Qualications) Regulations, 1980. link

Radiation Safety (Transport Radioactive Substances) Regulations, 2002. link

Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994. link

Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995. link

Contaminated Sites Act, 2003. link

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Contaminated Sites Regulations, 2006. link

Guideline  Classication of Radiologically Contaminated Sites, Radiological Council of


Western Australia, 2009.

Copies of the Federal Acts and Regulations are available for download free from ComLaw
(Commonwealth Law).

www.comlaw.gov.au/

Australian National Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958  Statutory Rules

1958 No. 5 as amended made under the Customs Act, 1901. link

Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987  Revised 14 March 2003  Version 2 

Application to Transfer Uranium Ore Concentrates (UOC) Internationally, 2003. link

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999. link

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations, 2000. link

A.3. Australian national documents


A.3.1. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
www.arpansa.gov.au

Recommendations for limiting exposure to ionising radiation (1995) (Guidance note


[NOHSC:3022 (1995)]) and National standard for limiting occupational exposure to io-
nising radiation [NOHSC:1013 (1995)], Radiation Protection Series Publication No. 1,
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2002.

Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, Radiation Protection
Series Publication No.2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
(ARPANSA), 2008.

Safety Guide for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, Radiation Protection Series
Publication No.2.1, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (AR-
PANSA), 2008.

National Directory for Radiation Protection  Edition 1.0, Radiation Protection Series
Publication No. 6, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (AR-
PANSA), 2004.

Code of Practice and Safety Guide: Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Ma-
nagement in Mining and Minerals Processing, Radiation Protection Series Publication
No.9, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2005.

Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources, Radiation Protection Series
Publication No.11, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (AR-
PANSA), 2007.

Code of Practice and Safety Guide for the Safe Use of Fixed Radiation Gauges, Radiation
Protection Series Publication No.13, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency (ARPANSA), 2007.

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Safety Guide: Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), Ra-


diation Protection Series Publication No.15, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear
Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2008.

Safety Guide: Pre-disposal Management of Radioactive Waste, Radiation Protection se-


ries Publication No.16, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (AR-
PANSA), 2008.

A.3.2. National Health and Medical Research Council


www.nhmrc.gov.au

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) EH19 National Health and Medical Re-
search Council (NHMRC), 2004.

A.3.3. Standards Australia


www.saiglobal.com/shop/  these documents may be purchased from Australian Stan-
dards.

AS 36402004 Workplace Atmospheres  Method for sampling and gravimetric determi-


nation of inhalable dust, 2004.

AS 3580.9.3:2003. Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air Method 9.3:
Determination of suspended particulate matterTotal suspended particulate matter
(TSP)High volume sampler gravimetric method, 2003.

AS 1715: 1994. Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices, 1994.

AS 1716: 2003. Respiratory protective devices, 2003.

AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems  Specications


with guidance for use, 2001.

AS/NZS 4804:2001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems  General gui-
delines on principles, systems and supporting techniques, 2001.

AS 4360: 2004 Risk Management, 2004.

HB 1582006 Delivering assurance based on AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management, 2006.

HB 2052004 OHS Risk Management Handbook, 2004.

HB 436:2004 Risk Management Guidelines, 2004.

AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Systems  Requirements with gui-


dance for use, 2004.

AS/NZS ISO 14031:2000 Environmental Management  Environmental performance eva-


luation  Guidelines, 2000.

AS/NZS 3931: 1998 Risk analysis of technological systems  Application guide, 1998.

A.3.4. International Documents


A.3.4.1. International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
www.icrp.org

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Protection Against Radon222 at Home and at Work. Oxford: Pergamon Press: ICRP
Publication 65; Ann. Vol. 23 No. 2, 1993.

General Principles for the Radiation Protection of Workers, ICRP Publication 75, Annals
of the ICRP, Vol.27, No.1, 1997.

Radiological Protection Policy for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, ICRP Publication
77, Annals of the ICRP, Vol.27, Supplement 1997.

Radiation Protection Recommendations as Applied to the Disposal of Long-lived Solid


Radioactive Waste, ICRP Publication 81, Annals of the ICRP, Vol.28, No.4, 1998.

Protection of the Public in Situations of Prolonged Radiation Exposure, ICRP Publica-


tion 82, Annals of the ICRP, Vol.29, No.12, 1999.

A Framework for Assessing the Impact of Ionising Radiation on Non-human Species,


International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 91, Annals of
the ICRP, Vol.33, Issue, pp.201270, 2003.

2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection,


ICRP Publication 103, Annals of the ICRP, Vol.37, No.24, 2007.

Scope of Radiological Protection Control Measures, ICRP Publication 104, Annals of the
ICRP, Vol.37, No.5, 2007.

A.3.4.2. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


www.iaea.org

Safety requirements:
International Basic safety Standards for Protection against Ionising Radiation and for the
Safety of Radiation Sources, Safety Series No.115, International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), Vienna, 1996.

Fundamental Safety Principles, Safety Standards Series No.SF-1, International Atomic


Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2006.

Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material: 2009 Edition, Safety Requi-
rements No.TS-R-1, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2009.

Near Surface Disposal of Radioactive Waste, Safety Requirements No.WS-R-1, Interna-


tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 1999.

Pre-disposal Management of Radioactive Waste, Including Decommissioning, Safety Re-


quirements No.WS-R-2, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2000.

Remediation of Areas Contaminated by Past Activities and Accidents, Safety Require-


ments No. WS-R-3, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2003.

Safety guides:
Regulatory Control of Radiation Sources, Safety Guide No.GS-G-1.5, International Ato-
mic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2004

Occupational Radiation Protection, Safety Guide No.RS-G-1.1, International Atomic


Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 1999.

Assessment of Occupational Exposure due to Intakes of Radionuclides, Safety Guide


No.RS-G-1.2, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 1999.

24 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Assessment of Occupational Exposure due to External Sources of Radiation, Safety Guide


No.RS-G-1.3, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 1999.

Building Competence in Radiation Protections and the Safe Use of Radiation Sources,
Safety Guide No.RS-G-1.4, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2001.

Occupational Radiation Protection in the Mining and Processing of Raw Materials, Safety
Guide No.RS-G-1.6, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2004.

Application of the Concepts of Exclusion, Exemption and Clearance, Safety Guide No.RS-
G-1.7, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2004.

Environmental and Source Monitoring for Purposes of Radiation Protection, Safety Guide
No.RS-G-1.8, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2005

Advisory Material for the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Ma-
terial, Safety Guide No.TS-G-1.1 (Rev.1), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 2008.

Planning and Preparing for Emergency Response to Transport Accidents Involving Radio-
active Material, Safety Guide No.TS-G-1.2, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 2002.

Radiation Protection Programs for the Transport of Radioactive Material, Safety Guide
No.TS-G-1.3, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2007.

The Management System for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, Safety Guide
No.TS-G-1.4, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2008.

Management of Radioactive Waste from the Mining and Milling of Ores, Safety Guide
No.WS-G-1.2, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2002.

Regulatory Control of the Radioactive Discharges to the Environment, Safety Guide


No.WS-G-2.3, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2000.

Remediation Process for Areas Aected by Past Activities and Accidents, Safety Guide
No.WS-G-3.1, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2007.

Release of Sites from Regulatory Control on Termination of Practices, Safety Guide


No.WS-G-5.1, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2006.

Safety reports:
Generic Models for Use in Assessing the Impact of Discharges of Radioactive Substances
to the Environment, Safety Report No.19, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 2001.

Optimisation of Radiation protection in the Control of Occupational Exposure, Safety


Report No.21, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2002.

Monitoring and Surveillance of Residues from the Mining and Milling of Uranium and
Thorium, Safety Report No.27, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna,
2002.

Radiation Protection and the management of Radioactive Waste in the Oil and Gas
Industry, Safety Report No.34, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna,
2003.

Methods for Assessing Occupational Radiation Doses Due to Intakes of Radionuclides,


Safety Report No.37, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2004.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 25


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Derivation of Activity Concentration Values for Exclusion, Exemption and Clearance,


Safety Report No.44, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2005.

Standard Format and Content for Safety Related Decommissioning Documents, Safety
Report No.45, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2005.

Assessing the Need for Radiation Protection Measures in Work Involving Minerals and
Raw Materials, Safety Report No.49, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 2005.

Decommissioning Strategies for Facilities Using Radioactive Materials, Safety Report


No.50, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2007.

Radiation Protection and NORM Residue Management in the Zircon and Zirconia In-
dustries, Safety Report No.51, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna,
2007.

Technical reports:
Current Practices for the Management and Connement of Uranium Mill Tailings, Tech-
nical Report No.335, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1992.

Decommissioning of Facilities for Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores ans Closeout of
Residues, Technical Report No.362, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1994.

Scientic and Technical Basis for the Near Surface Disposal of Low and Intermediate
Level Waste, Technical Report No.412, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
2002.

Considerations in the Development of Near Surface Repositories for Radioactive Waste,


Technical Report No.417, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 2003.

Extent of Environmental Contamination by Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material


(NORM) and Technological Options for Mitigation, Technical Report No.419, Interna-
tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2003.

Remediation of Sites with Dispersed Radioactive Contamination, Technical Report


No.424, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2004.

Remediation of Sites with Mixed Contamination of Radioactive and Other Hazardous


Substances, Technical Report No.442, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 2006.

Applicability of Monitored Natural Attenuation at Radioactively Contaminated Sites,


Technical Report No.445, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2006.

Nuclear Energy Series:


Establishment of Uranium Mining and Processing Operations in the Context of Sus-
tainable Development, Nuclear Energy Series NF-T-1.1, International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2009.

A.3.4.3. European Commission (EC)


www.ec.europa.eu

26 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Radiation Protection No.88, Recommendations for the Implementation of Title VII of


the European Basic Safety Standards Directive Concerning Signicant Increase in Ex-
posure due to Natural Radiation Sources, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral
Environment, 1997.

Radiation Protection No.112, Radiological Protection Principles concerning the Natural


Radioactivity of Building Materials, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral Envi-
ronment, 1999.

Radiation Protection 122, Practical Use of the Concepts of Clearance and Exemption
 Part I: Guidance on General Clearance Levels for Practices, European Commission,
DirectorateGeneral Environment, 2000.

Radiation Protection 122, Practical Use of the Concepts of Clearance and Exemption 
Part II: Application of the Concepts of Exemption and Clearance to Natural Radiation
Sources, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral Environment, 2001.

Radiation Protection 124, Radiological Considerations with regards to the Remediation


of Areas Aected by Lasting Radiation Exposure as a result of a past or Old Practice or
Work Activity, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral Environment, 2001.

Radiation Protection 135, Euent and Dose Control from European Union NORM In-
dustries: Assessment of Current Situation and Proposal for a Harmonised Community
Approach, European Commission, DirectorateGeneral for Energy and Transport, Unit
H.4  Radiation protection, 2003.

A.3.4.4. United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
www.unscear.org

Sources and Eects of Ionising Radiation; 2000 Report to the General Assembly, with
Scientic Annexes, United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radia-
tion (UNSCEAR), 2000.

Sources, Eects and Risks of Ionising Radiation; 2002 Report to the General Assembly,
with Annexes. United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation
(UNSCEAR), 2002.

Eects of Ionising Radiation; 2006 Report to the General Assembly, with Annexes. United
Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), 2006.

A.3.4.5. Canada
Canadian Guidelines for the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials
(NORM), Health Canada, 2000.

www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Measuring Airborne Radon Progeny at Uranium Mines and Mills G-4, Regulatory Guide,
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, 2003.

www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca

A.3.4.6. United Kingdom


NRPB Radiation at Work Broadsheets - Minerals Containing Natural Radioactivity,
Health Protection Agency, UK, 2003.
 www.hpa.org.uk

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 27


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

A.3.4.7. United States of America


Radiation Protection in the Mineral Extraction Industry, National Council on Radiation
Protection and Measurements (NCRP), USA, Report No.118, 1993.
 www.ncrponline.org

Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and By-product Materials,


NUREG-1717, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1999.
 www.nrc.gov

Evaluation of Guidelines for Exposures to technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring


Radioactive materials, National Research Council, National Academy press, Washington,
USA, 1999.

28 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

B. Appendix on Radiation Safety Ocer


requirements
B.1. Mining and mineral processing  qualications and experience
B.1.1. Qualications
A pre-requisite to formal approval as a Radiation Safety Ocer for an exploration, mining and/or
minerals processing operation in Western Australia that use or handle NORM (naturally occurring
radioactive material  (Regulation 16.9 [1]), must be that the individual as a minimum has success-
fully completed a Bachelor of Science degree  preferably in a technical discipline (physics, chemistry
or engineering). The main reason is that it is essential for the Radiation Safety Ocer (RSO) to
have a rm grasp of advanced mathematical principles.

Where the monitoring of radioactivity concentrations in air is expected to be required, it is necessary


that the individual successfully completes the course of `Surface Ventilation Ocer'  to be eligible
for the appointment as a Ventilation Ocer for an exploration, mining and/or minerals processing
operation (Regulation 9.4.(2) [1]).

It is advisable that the individual attends and successfully completes the `Radiation Ocer for Static
Gauges' course and become `RSO for Static Gauges' initially. Subsequently, a more advanced course
should be completed, as advised by the appropriate authority.

Ideally, qualications and experience of the individual should be sucient for the full membership in
the Australasian Radiation Protection Society, which are as follows:

Every applicant shall:

ˆ Have graduated from a minimum three year, full time equivalent, degree or diploma course
(preferably in radiation protection eld), which is recognised by the Australian Council on Ter-
tiary Awards, or in exceptional circumstances present such evidence of equivalent study and/or
experience as shall satisfy the Committee, and

ˆ Have been regularly and substantially engaged in one or more appropriate aspects of radiation
protection for at least one year at a level of competence and responsibility which will satisfy the
Committee, and

ˆ Be so engaged at the time of such application.

B.1.2. Experience
There are two principal aspects of experience, which an RSO must possess. These are technical
experience and relevant background:

1. Technical experience: An RSO must be thoroughly conversant with the various radiation mo-
nitoring and recording techniques approved by the appropriate authority, as well as the appro-
priate reporting protocols. It is unlikely that the required level of prociency will be acquired
by an individual with less than 12 months practical experience in these activities under the

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 29


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

general direction of an approved RSO as a Radiation Safety `Technician' or `Specialist'. In


accordance with the `gradual approach' principle, the period of 12 months may be modied (to
618 months) for the specic situation  depending on the qualications and the experience
of the individual and on the levels of radiation exposure that are likely to be encountered at
the particular operation.

2. Relevant background: Protection of workers, public and the environment from potentially
harmful eects of ionising radiation requires an understanding of many disciplines, such as:
physics, mathematics, biology, biophysics, engineering (mechanical, chemical, and electrical),
chemistry, genetics, ecology and other environmental sciences, metallurgy, medicine, and toxi-
cology. Also, as the RSO operates in a mining and/or processing environment, the individual
should have an employment history in this industry and a clear understanding of mining and
processing principles, particularly those that are applied at the particular operation.

30 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

C. Appendix on uranium mining approval


process
The State Government will ensure the highest standards for environmental, occupational health and
safety and transportation to mine and export uranium in this state. It will be a requirement for any
proposal.

Protection of the environment is of paramount importance. Any proposed uranium mining project
will be subject to detailed mining proposals and environmental scrutiny, including referral under
the State Environmental Protection Act 1986 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The State Government does not support the export of uranium through any ports surrounded by
residential development. Legislation is already in place to prevent nuclear waste being brought into
WA and the State Government will not support the construction or operation of a nuclear power
facility in the State.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 31


Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Figure C.1.: Simple owchart showing mining approvals process

URANIUM EXPLORATION AND MINING APPROVALS PROCESS


WESTERN AUSTRALIA
(Proposal on Crown Land and not within the boundary of a local planning scheme)

Mining Act 1978


Warden’s Court
Tenure Approval

Native Title Exploration Licence


E
X
P
L Radiological Protection Legislation
O Mine Safety & Inspection Act 1994
R Other Legislation / Regulation Radiation Safety Act 1975
A EP Act 1986 (Part IV) Exploration Radiation
T Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 Management Plan
Mining Act 1978
I Rights in Water & Irrigation Act 1914 Licence for Radiological
O Application for Native Vegetation Substance Transport Carrier
Programme of Work
N Clearing Radiation Safety (Transport of
Banded Ironstone Formation Radioactive Substances) Regulations
clearance 2002
Transport Carrier Radiological
Protection Programme

Warden’s Court Mining Act 1978


Tenure Approval
Native Title Mining Lease
D Other Leases Environmental Protection & Biodiversity
E Mineralisation Conservation Act 1999 (Cwth)
V Report
E Mining or milling uranium ores classified as
L nuclear action requiring referral to Aust
O Govt Minister for Environment
P Other Legislation / Regulation Radiological Protection Legislation
M EP Act 1986 (Part IV) – (s.38 referral) Mine Safety & Inspection Act 1994
E Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 Radiation Safety Act 1975
N Rights in Water & Irrigation Act 1914 Mining Radiation Management
T Application for Native Vegetation Plan
Clearing Radiation Waste Management
Banded Ironstone Formation Plan
P clearance Premises owner Radiological
R Mining Act 1978
Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 Registration
O Local Government building licences Mining Proposal Radiation Safety (Transport of
P
Radioactive Substances) Regulations
O
2002
S
Transport Carrier Radiological
A
Protection Programme
L

Mines Safety & Inspection EP Act 1986 (Part V)


Act 1994
Works Approvals
O Project Management Plan Operating Licences
P
E
R
A
T Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards)
I Act 1987 (Cwth)
O Permit to possess nuclear material
N Regulation 9 of Customes (Prohibited
Exports) Regulations under Customs
Act 1901 (Cwth)
Permit to export nuclear material

Mining Act 1978


EP Act 1986 (Part IV & V)
C EPBC Act 1999 Radiation Safety Act 1975
L Mine Safety & Inspection Act 1994 Final Radioactive Waste Management
O Contaminated Sites Act 2003 Plan for Mine Closure
S Final Closure Plans
U Final Mine Abandonment Plan
R
E
Radiation Safety Act 1975
Release of Registered Owner from
Radiological Responsibility

32 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM1 Applying the system of radiation protection to mining operations

Bibliography
[1] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.

[3] Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management in Mining and Minerals Processing,
ARPANSA, 2005

[4] Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), ARPANSA, 2008.

[5] Uranium Industry Framework - Report of the uranium industry framework steering group, Re-
sources Division of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, 2006.

[6] A Critical Review of the System of Radiation Protection  First Reections of the OECD Nu-
clear Energy Agency's Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) Nuclear
Energy Agency Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2000.

[7] Appendix 1  Ranger environmental requirements explanatory material relating to section 19.2
best practicable technology, Supervising Scientist Annual Report 2000-01, Environment Australia,
2001.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 33


Index
absorbed dose, 15 Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 21
acts, 21 Mining Act, 21
administrative processes, 10 MSIA, 9
ALARA principle, 9 multi-skilling, 15
ALARP, 9
NCRP, 28
AMAD, 14
non-designated, 14
ARPANSA, 1, 21, 22
non-xed (surface) contamination, 3
ASNO, 21
NORM, 2
auditing, 17
NRPB, 27

best practicable technology, 2, 9


occupational dose limit, 15

Canadian Guidelines, 27
personal contamination, 16
classication of designated employees, 14
PPE, 10
classication of restricted areas, 12
practicable, 3
classication of supervised areas, 13
prediction of designated employees, 15
classifying work conditions, 10
Program of Work, 21
Contaminated Sites Act, 21
Prohibited Exports Regulations, 22
Contaminated Sites Regulations, 22
public limits, 13
contamination level, 2, 10
controlled area, 2, 11 radiation management plan, 16
cost-benet analysis, 9 radiation protection in design, 9
Radiation Regulators, 20
DAC, 15
Radiation Safety (General) Regulations, 21
DEC, 21
Radiation Safety Act, 21
designated employee, 2, 14
radiation safety training, 18
dose constraint, 2, 15
radioactive tailings, 16
Radiological Council, 17, 20
eective dose, 15
radionuclide decay, 16
Environment Division, 21
regulations, 21
EPBC Act, 21, 22
Resources Safety Division, 21
establishing triggers, 16
restricted area, 3
European Commission, 26
risk management, 9

xed (surface) contamination, 3


safe work procedures, 18

gamma radiation, 15 Safeguards Act, 22


special exposure, 3, 16
HAZOP, 10 Standards Australia, 23
Health Protection Agency, 27 State Mining Engineer, 9, 17
supervised area, 3
IAEA, 1, 24
support services sta, 15
ICRP, 1, 23
surface contamination, 3
investigation levels, 17
UNSCEAR, 27
Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 21 uranium mining approval process, 31

34
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM2.1

Preparation of a Radiation Management Plan  exploration


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM2.1. Preparation of a radiation management
plan  exploration: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 42pp.
<www.dmp.wa.gov.au>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Contents
List of Figures v

List of Tables vi

1. General information 1
1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2
2.1. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Government regulation and codes of practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.3. Exploration for radioactive minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3.1. Radiation safety  basic principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.2. Radiation exposure limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.3. Radiation exposures in perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.4. Risk assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.5. Reducing the risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.6. Dust Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.7. CONTAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.8. Registered sampler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.9. MINEHEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.10. Radiation exposure control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.11. Dose assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.3.12. Long term core storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.3.13. Natural and induced disequilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.3.14. Radioactive mineral samples and rock chips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.3.15. Contaminated equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.3.16. Radioactive waste management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2.3.17. Denition of a radioactive material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

3. Elements to be included in a Radiation Management Plan 18


3.1. Document format and cover sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.2. Scope of the Radiation Management Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.3. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.4. Workforce information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.5. Critical group information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.6. Sources and pathways of radiation exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.7. Equipment and facilities for controlling radiation sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.8. Institutional controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.9. Employee training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.10. Radiation monitoring program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.11. Records management and reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.12. Dose assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3.13. Waste management system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


3.14. Transport of radioactive material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.14.1. Transport arrangements for Excepted Packages[16] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
3.14.2. Transport arrangements for LSA material[16] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
3.15. Radiation safety resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3.16. List of commitments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3.17. Examples of gures and tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3.17.1. Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3.17.2. Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

A. Appendix showing a Radiation Management Plan checklist 31

B. Appendix showing the Radionuclide decay series 39


B.1. Thorium232 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
B.2. Uranium238 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Bibliography 41

Index 42

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1. Radiation types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3


2.2. RC drilling without dust controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3. RC drilling with dust controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.4. Cleaning equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5. A typical TLD badge storage board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.6. A typical radiation monitoring kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.7. Radiation Alert Inspector αβγ monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

3.1. Radiation worker's handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


3.2. Category II - Yellow package label . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
3.3. Vehicle placard for radioactive material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

List of Tables
2.1. Radiation limits and acceptable dose rates to reach each limit working 2000 hours/year 6
2.2. A guide to potential external and internal exposures from uranium exploration sites 7

3.1. General monitoring guidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


3.2. Multiplication factors for tanks, freight containers, and unpackaged LSA1 and SCO1 26

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To provide guidance on the development of a suitably detailed radiation management plan (RMP)
for the control and monitoring of radiation exposure and the management of radioactive wastes when
exploring for radioactive minerals.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all exploration operations in Western Australia exploring for naturally
occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety
and Inspection Regulations 1995 ([1]).

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
Radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle Size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

2. Guidance
2.1. Summary
Where exploration companies in Western Australia are exploring for naturally occurring radioactive
materials (NORM), this activity may come within the scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Ins-
pection Regulations 1995[1]. The drilling and handling of samples that contain uranium or thorium
mineralization has the potential to expose workers to a radiation hazard. Therefore, each responsible
person at an exploration site (i.e. principal employer, any other employer and the exploration mana-
ger) must ensure that adequate measures are taken to control the exposure of employees/contractors
and members of the public to radiation from the exploration activities involving NORM. Each res-
ponsible person must, therefore, consider the protection of the health and safety of workers and the
protection of the environment at all stages of exploration activity. Before commencing exploration,
a plan for the safe management of radiation should be submitted to the appropriate authority for
approval.

The regulations [1] also require the control of spilt material and releases that could cause contami-
nation in the environment and the decontamination of equipment removed from exploration sites.

It is important to understand that the level of detail to be included in a RMP largely depends on
the degree of potential radiation exposure which has been estimated or identied, and the expected
diculty of controlling it. A RMP for an initial greeneld exploration project would not be expected
to contain as much detail as one for an advanced project where advanced exploration activities are
occurring such as inll drilling campaigns, core storage, JORC Code compliance, trial mining, heap
leach trials or costeans.

To ensure ongoing relevance, the Radiation Management Plan should be reviewed as the exploration
activities change.

2.2. Government regulation and codes of practice


There are several Acts, Regulations and Codes which may be applicable when radioactive minerals
from exploration are handled and transported:-

1. Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations [1] (DMP).

2. Radiation Safety Act [3] (Radiological Council of WA).

3. Radiation Safety (Qualications) Regulations [5] (Radiological Council of WA).

4. Radiation Safety (Transport Radioactive Substances) Regulations [6] (Radiological Council of


WA) which adopt the:

a) Code of Practice Safe Transport of Radioactive Material [9] (Australian National Code)
which in turn adopts the;

b) IAEA Safety Standards Series Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material
[10] (International Code).

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

5. Code of Practice And Safety Guide  Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Manage-
ment in Mining and Mineral Processing (Australian National Code) [11].

6. Mining Act [12] and Regulations [13](DMP)

Under the Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, all exploratory excavations including drilling
activities fall under the denition of Mining.

2.3. Exploration for radioactive minerals


Radiation monitoring is required during drilling and sample preparation as this is where the workers
could have the greatest radiation exposure. The results of the monitoring must be reported to the
workers.

There are four main radiation exposure pathways that require some form of control:

1. Direct gamma irradiation from radiation-emitting materials (core samples, sludges and drill
cuttings). This is signicant where long periods of time are spent close to large deposits of high
grade ore.

2. Inhalation of airborne radionuclides (airborne dust containing uranium and/or thorium)

3. Radon decay products (inhalation of radon/thoron decay progeny or daughters)

4. Ingestion of radionuclides in the dust on hands. This can be transferred to mouth while eating
or smoking.

Thorium232 and uranium238 are the `parents' of a series of radioactive elements called `daughters'
which emit alpha (α), beta (β ), and gamma (γ ) radiation.

Figure 2.1.: Radiation types

The decay series are shown in Appendix B on page 39.

To actively control exposure to these radioactive elements requires:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

ˆ dust minimisation, dust suppression through the application of water and, if necessary, use of
respiratory protection;

ˆ good housekeeping and personal hygiene practices; and

ˆ ensuring that there are no major quantities of gamma-emitting materials stored in work areas.

Figure 2.2 and Figure 2.3 on the next page demostrate the dierence between drilling dry with no
dust suppression and drilling with water injection dust suppression. Both of these photos were taken
in 2009. Relying purely on masks for dust protection and having no dust suppression as shown in
Figure 2.2 is in breach of the Regulations and a Prohibition Notice would be issued.

Figure 2.2.: RC drilling without dust controls

RC drilling with no dust controls in place

Dust is typically the greatest source of exposure, so dust control is the main area that must be
addressed. Potential dust sources on a drilling rig when drilling dry or above the water-table include
the: T-piece, Splitter, Cyclone (top vent), drill rods, drilling equipment, clothing and collar cutting.
Water should be applied accordingly to prevent any form of contamination which may result from
the dust being produced.

MSIR Reg 9.17. Suppression of dust  drilling operations

(2) If it is necessary for dry drilling to be carried out in a mine (whether underground or
on the surface), each responsible person at the mine must ensure that the drilling machine
used is tted with an eective device that 

(a) collects and contains the dust produced by drilling; or

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 2.3.: RC drilling with dust controls

RC drilling with water injection and dust controls in place

(b) discharges that dust through ducting to a position where it will not be breathed by any
person or where it will be eectively suppressed or contained.

2.3.1. Radiation safety  basic principles


The basic principles of radiation protection are as follows:

1. ALARA  As Low As Reasonably Achievable. All radiation exposure should be minimised


wherever possible.

2. Maintain a safe distance from the source.

3. Limit the time spent within this distance.

4. Provide shielding when neither point (1) nor (2) can be applied.

5. Allow for waste produced from exploration activities (i.e. drilling) to be suitably encapsulated
on site or removed to an appropriate repository.

2.3.2. Radiation exposure limits


Table 2.1 on the following page shows the kind of dose rates required to reach the dose limits for the
three types of exposure groups.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Table 2.1.: Radiation limits and acceptable dose rates to reach each limit working 2000 hours/year

Member of the general Non-designated worker Designated worker


public

Radiation 1 mSv per year above 5 mSv per year above 20 mSv per year above
exposure limit background background background

Gamma dose rate 0.11 µSv/hr above 2.5 µSv/hr above 10 µSv/hr above
background background background

DAC for uranium N/A 0.60 Bq/m


3 2.38 Bq/m
3

ore

DAC for thorium N/A 0.26 Bq/m


3 1.04 Bq/m
3

ore

50 mSv in any 1 year and 100 mSv summed over 5 years.



DAC  Derived Air Concentration for 5 and 20 mSv over 2000 hours of exposure. Workers are typically exposed to
both external gamma radiation and the dust from the ore. For for the DAC values relevant for ores containing
uranium and thorium in dierent ratios, please refer to the guideline NORM5 Dose assessment. Note: in this table
Bq/m3 means the same as αdps/m3 and does not imply anything about the actual activity of any one radionuclide.

2.3.3. Radiation exposures in perspective


As a guide, the dose rate above an innite at slab of outcrop of 1% Uranium ore is roughly 35
µSv/h. Table 2.2 on the next page shows the potential radiation exposures from various activity
uranium ores.

The following points are designed to provide guidance as to the type of radiation monitoring and
exposure control methods which an operator would be expected to implement as a minimum:

1. At least one person on site should be a trained radiation safety ocer. All employees and
contractors should receive general training in radiation safety and be aware of the risks of
working with radioactive materials and steps which can be taken to minimise their exposure.

2. A portable radiation monitoring device should be available on site at all times to monitor not
only radiation levels in drill core/cuttings, but also in the workplace and in the environment.

3. Dust monitoring should be conducted as inhalation is a major exposure pathway. A personal


dust pump should be worn by a worker on the rig to allow the collection of dust for analysis.
Both the monitoring and the analysis of collected samples should be carried out in accordance
with NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

4. Regular area monitoring should be conducted and data recorded in a log.

5. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided to ensure radioactive


dust is not able to be ingested.

6. Other than short greenelds campaigns, employees potentially exposed to radiation should
wear a personal radiation monitoring badge or electronic dosemeter. Approved suppliers of
monitoring badges are listed in Section 2.3.11 on page 12. For short duration greenelds
campaigns the doses are assessed based on survey meter readings.

7. Any material identied as a radiation hazard must be clearly labelled and stored separately in
a secure area.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Table 2.2.: A guide to potential external and internal exposures from uranium exploration sites

Potential external gamma dose (mSv) Potential internal dose from 5µm dust (mSv)
based on a 2,000 hour year based on a 2,000 hour year
Uranium Avg. ppm Bq µSv/h @ @ @ @ @ 1 @ 5 @ 10 @ 15 @ 20
deposit Grade
238 U/g @ 1 m 0.5 m 1.0 m 1.5 m 2.0 m mg/m
3 mg/m
3 mg/m
3 mg/m
3 mg/m
3

U3 O8
Cigar Lake, 20.00% 200,000 2439.0 12.0 97.60 24.40 10.84 6.10 + 40.4 202.0 403.9 605.9 807.8
Canada

 10.00% 100,000 1219.5 6.0 48.80 12.20 5.42 3.05 + 20.2 101.0 202.0 302.9 403.9
 5.00% 50,000 609.8 3.0 24.40 6.10 2.71 1.53 + 10.1 50.5 101.0 151.5 202.0
 1.00% 10,000 122.0 0.6 4.88 1.22 0.54 0.31 + 2.0 10.1 20.2 30.3 40.4
Jabiluka, NT
† 0.52% 5,200 63.4 0.3 2.54 0.63 0.28 0.16 + 1.1 5.3 10.5 15.8 21.0
Kintyre, WA
† 0.40% 4,000 48.8 0.3 1.95 0.49 0.22 0.12 + 0.8 4.0 8.1 12.1 16.2
 0.20% 2,000 24.4 0.1 0.98 0.24 0.11 0.06 + 0.4 2.0 4.0 6.1 8.1
Yeelirrie, WA
† 0.15% 1,500 18.3 0.1 0.73 0.18 0.08 0.05 + 0.3 1.5 3.0 4.5 6.1
Mulga Rock, 0.14% 1,400 17.1 0.1 0.68 0.17 0.08 0.04 + 0.3 1.4 2.8 4.2 5.7

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum


WA

Lake Way, 0.10% 1,000 12.2 0.1 0.49 0.12 0.05 0.03 + 0.2 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
WA

Manyingee, 0.09% 900 11.0 0.1 0.44 0.11 0.05 0.03 + 0.2 0.9 1.8 2.7 3.6
WA

 0.08% 820 10.0 0.1 0.40 0.10 0.04 0.03 + 0.2 0.8 1.7 2.5 3.3
Centipede, 0.06% 630 7.7 0.1 0.31 0.08 0.03 0.02 + 0.1 0.6 1.3 1.9 2.5
WA

Lake 0.05% 520 6.3 0.1 0.25 0.06 0.03 0.02 + 0.1 0.5 1.1 1.6 2.1
Maitland,
WA

Thatcher's 0.03% 300 3.7 0.1 0.15 0.04 0.02 0.01 + 0.1 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.2
Soak, WA

Considered 0.01% 82 1.0 0.1 0.04 0.01 0.00 0.00 + 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3
radioactive[15]
† U O average grade information obtained from the now defunct Uranium Information Centre web site.
3 8
Note that this is only a guide of potential dose and `real' measurements must be undertaken.

7
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

8. Equipment should be cleaned and assessed for surface contamination prior to leaving site to
ensure radioactive material is not being transported o site as shown in Figure 2.4. The
resultant washings should report to a sump and be buried by at least 1 metre of clean ll at
end of campaign.

9. Dose calculation should be undertaken at the completion of the program with the results
supplied to aected personnel and the State Mining Engineer.

Figure 2.4.: Cleaning equipment

High pressure cleaning of equipment after use. Note large sump to right of picture.

Possible radiation exposures in mineral exploration are not expected to be signicant. For example,
in 2005 at a major WA exploration site where hundreds of thousands of tonnes of uranium ore were
moved involving 44 workers, the doses ranged from 0 to 0.33 mSv. The highest dose of 0.33 mSv
was received over 786 hours, which is a very low level when compared with both the public exposure
limit (1 mSv/y) and the occupational exposure limit (20 mSv/y). With a well designed RMP and
acceptable work practices doses on exploration sites should be well below the public limits.

2.3.4. Risk assessment


MSIR 7.27. Risk assessment

Each responsible person at a mine must ensure that 

(a) a suitable assessment is made of the consequences to the health of any person if exposed
to hazardous substances at the mine; and

(b) if the assessment indicates a signicant risk of exposure to a hazardous substance, a


written report is prepared outlining means by which that risk may be reduced.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Resources Safety promotes the application of vigorous risk management and encourages all mining
companies to perform regular risk assessment of all mining hazards, including exposure to airborne
contaminants (MSIR 7.27 Risk assessment). More information on managing occupational health and
safety using a risk management approach can be found in Australian Standards AS/NZS 4360:2004
and AS/NZS 4804:2001. Regular risk assessments of exposure to airborne contaminants are re-
commended during each phase of all mining operations, including exploration, construction, mining
(surface and underground), processing, shutdowns, care and maintenance and rehabilitation activi-
ties. This is a requirement of Part 9 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, and is not
specic to the CONTAM system. However, Resources Safety inspectors may request representative
sampling results that will be entered into the CONTAM database.

2.3.5. Reducing the risks


7.28. Means of reducing risk of exposure to hazardous substances

(1) Each responsible person at a mine must, as far as practicable, reduce the risk of a
person being exposed to a hazardous

substance at the mine by means of preventing exposure to the substance.

(2) To the extent that it is not practicable to employ the means referred to in subregulation
(1), a responsible person must reduce, so far as is practicable, the risk to a person of
exposure to hazards by any, or a combination of, the following 

(a) limiting the opportunity for potential exposure of the person to a hazardous substance;

(b) using appropriate engineering and ventilation controls;

2.3.6. Dust Sampling


MSIR 7.29. Workplace atmospheric contaminant monitoring to be provided

If a report under regulation 7.27 indicates the need for atmospheric contaminant monito-
ring at a workplace at a mine,

each responsible person at the mine must ensure that 

(a) samples of atmospheric contaminants at the workplace are taken in accordance with
Part 9; and

(b) the results of the samples are recorded and reported in accordance with Part 9.

2.3.7. CONTAM
The CONTAM[17] system uses a database to retrieve and record representative, personal exposure
monitoring results randomly collected from mining and exploration activities in Western Australia.
It is used to assess the eciency of management programs aimed to control dust and other airborne
contaminants, with the main objectives to:

ˆ collect comparative exposure data for dierent occupation groups, locations, and industry sec-
tors for analysis of emerging trends within the industry;

ˆ identify exposure groups that contribute to long-term health eects in mining employees; and

ˆ monitor statutory compliance in the maintenance of acceptable working environments.

Sampling quotas are not issued for exploration companies as it is recognised that the nature of their
activities make this impracticable. Problems include:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

ˆ exploration companies tend to operate with small workgroups;

ˆ work is done at remote and isolated locations without any established occupational health and
safety infrastructure or technical support;

ˆ work is seasonal;

ˆ target areas may be campaigned for only short periods; and

ˆ changes to work programs are frequent.

Instead, exploration companies are requested to take a reasonable number of representative personal
monitoring samples of exposures to airborne contaminants of all exploration personnel. Important
considerations when determining who and how often to sample should include:

ˆ size and nature of the workforce;

ˆ amount of work performed; and

ˆ level of risk associated with the hazardous substances that are encountered during exploration
activities.

As a minimum, it is recommended that every employee is sampled at least annually. Where a


signicant risk is attributed to atmospheric contaminants, additional sampling will be necessary. For
example, the sampling frequency must be increased when asbestos is present or suspected. It is
expected that representative personal exposure monitoring will be undertaken when exploring on or
near existing mining operations, and the results sent to the CONTAM Manager.

2.3.8. Registered sampler


Only CONTAM[17] registered samplers may submit results to the CONTAM system.

The minimum qualication to become a CONTAM registered sampler is the Certicate III (Techni-
cian) or IV (Ocer) in Surface Ventilation, or completion of a similar course that has been approved
by the State Mining Engineer. Subject to proof of qualications and experience, qualied occupa-
tional hygienists, or people with similar qualications and experience, may be exempted from this
certication. Written applications for exemption from the certication requirement must be forwar-
ded to the CONTAM Manager, with the registered sampler form, a curriculum vitae and an example
of an occupational hygiene report.

Sampler registration lasts for ve years. Samplers whose registration has expired must complete
a one-day CONTAM refresher course and send in a new registered sampler form with proof of
competency. The CONTAM refresher course updates skills and knowledge about common problems in
contaminant monitoring, and introduces new policies and technologies that aect how the CONTAM
system functions. Note that similar courses undertaken for professional development to maintain
competency and currency of air monitoring skills may satisfy the re-registration requirements 
submit a course outline and certicate of competency with the registered sampler form.

2.3.9. MINEHEALTH
MSIR 7.30. Health surveillance

If a report under regulation MSIR 7.27 indicates the need for surveillance of the health
of employees at a mine, each responsible person at the mine must ensure that health
surveillance (including biological monitoring) is provided in accordance with Division 4 of
Part 3.

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

The health surveillance system for mining employees in Western Australia[18] is administered by
Resources Safety. Condential information is recorded on an approved health assessment form and
transferred to Resources Safety's MINEHEALTH database.

The objectives of the health surveillance system for mining employees are to:

ˆ assess the health status of all mining industry employees on a regular basis;

ˆ analyse collected data to detect adverse health eects at the earliest opportunity;

ˆ enable appropriate and timely corrective action to be taken in order to safeguard the health
and well-being of mining industry employees; and

ˆ provide data for future epidemiological studies.

2.3.10. Radiation exposure control


Gamma radiation does not generally require any active control measures as it can be monitored with
a survey meter and individual radiation exposures are measured using personal dosimeters/badges.
Important points to remember:

1. An appropriately calibrated portable gamma survey meter should be used to identify any active
samples.

2. A personal dosemeter (e.g. TLD badge) should be supplied for those workers with routine
exposure to potentially radioactive ores. Dose results should be regularly provided to the
wearer and a record should be kept of all worker doses. Figure 2.5 on the following page shows
TLD badges being stored between use. A hook is allocated to each employee and each control
badge. Alternatively, an electronic personal dosemeter may be used instead of issuing TLD
badges for a short term.

3. Figure 2.6 on page 13 shows a range of equipment to undertake monitoring.

Radon decay products (daughters) in air does not require active control other than in enclosed
spaces where active ventilation maybe required. Radon gas will emanate from the uranium in core
samples and drill cuttings. Radon gas and radon progeny are not considered to be a signicant source
of worker radiation exposure because it is assumed that the drill core/cuttings is being handled in a
well-ventilated area. Wooden or steel core stores containing signicant amounts of mineralised core
should be ventilated when workers are inside. Tents are likely to be suciently leaky so as not to
require ventilation. If large quantities of radioactive material are being stored in an enclosed area,
periodic measurements of the radon progeny levels would be required. If in doubt, check.

Airborne alpha emitters in dust (internal dose) can be controlled with:

1. Dust minimisation equipment such as dust extraction systems and using wet rather than dry
methods for cleaning work areas and whilst drilling. Figures ?? on page ?? and 2.2 on page 4
show the dierence between good dust control and no dust control.

2. Respiratory protection when determined by dust monitoring results, or when evident from the
observation of exploration activities.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 2.5.: A typical TLD badge storage board

3. Monitoring results also give the information necessary to decide on the application of the
appropriate control measures.

4. Ingestion of radioactive material can be prevented by maintaining proper levels of workplace


and personal hygiene and by requiring washing of hands before meal breaks or smoking.

5. Contamination monitoring must be carried out to check work surfaces, desks, tables, and
skin contamination levels. Figure 2.7 on page 14 shows the `Inspector' which has an open
window used to detect αradiation on contaminated surfaces. While G-M instruments such as
the `Inspector' are not as capable as specic alpha surface contamination area probes, they
are acceptable for use in small greenelds operations when specically calibrated to measure
surface contamination.

6. Radiation monitoring must be carried out to provide data for radiation control and for personal
dose estimation which is reported to workers, management, and the regulatory agencies.

2.3.11. Dose assessment


Personal monitoring badges may be sourced from four organisations in Australia:

1. ARPANSA  www.arpansa.gov.au

2. Landauer Australasia  www.landaueraustralasia.com

3. Australian Radiation Services  www.australian-radiation-services.com.au

4. Global Medical Solutions  www.gms-aus.com

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 2.6.: A typical radiation monitoring kit

Information on how to undertake dose assessments can be found in Guideline NORM5 Dose assess-
ment.

There are a number of consulting occupational health companies in WA who could undertake dust
monitoring, radiation surveys and radon monitoring, if required, on your behalf. The Regulations [1]
require the submission of an annual occupational radiation report to the State Mining Engineer.

2.3.12. Long term core storage


1. Core should ideally be placed on a concrete oor which has been sealed and where practicable
painted in a dierent colour to the core.

2. The core should be covered with a roof leaving the sides open.

3. The area should be secured.

4. There should be a supply of water to hose down the oor and keep dust to a minimum.

5. Run o water should pour into a sump, which can be caught, and the sediment stored for future
disposal.

6. Signs should be placed around the area advising no entry without authorisation. For the
appropriate use of the `radiation trefoil', refer to guideline NORM6 Reporting requirements.

7. The area should be located away from other work places.

8. The general external dose rate should be measured in the area and used to calculate doses in
order to keep personal doses as low as practicable.

9. Contributions from dust and radon progeny can be assumed to be negligible if the storage area
is well ventilated.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 2.7.: Radiation Alert Inspector αβγ monitor

Multipurpose instruments with αβγ detectors, such as the Radiation Alert `Inspector' are suitable for mea-
suring dose rates and contamination on small greenelds exploration sites . However, they may not be robust
enough for large, busy sites. Note the large detector window for detection of α particles.

10. Core cutting should be undertaken using wet methods.

A useful reference on the storage of radioactive cores is available from the South Australian Depart-
ment of Primary Industries and Resources [14].

It should be noted that a Core Store containing a signicant amount of radioactive material must be
registered with the Radiological Council under the Radiation Safety Act.

2.3.13. Natural and induced disequilibrium


The radiation safety ocer and the geologist should be aware of three main possible sources of
disequilibrium that may lead to serious errors in the estimation of the grade of the ore:

Natural disequilibrium: Uranium and thorium in ores may be mobile as a result of periodic
uctuations in the elevation of the groundwater table caused by changes in the climatic conditions.

Radium may be leached or mobilized and hence removed from uranium mineralization, reducing the
amount of gamma emitting
214 Bi and aecting gamma-radiation surveys.

Induced disequilibrium: This may occur during percussion drilling and is caused by the `degassing'
of radon.

The natural disequilibrium in an ore deposit can take place in a number of ways:

1. Uranium and/or thorium may be freshly deposited from the groundwater so that insucient
time has lapsed for the in-growth of radium226 and/or radium228 and their daughter gamma-
emitting isotopes (bismuth214 and/or thallium208).

2. Uranium and/or thorium may have been leached from the original ore material, leaving behind
unsupported radium226 and/or radium228.

In the rst case, if a eld `scintillometer' is used for core logging and/or grade control the measu-
red uranium/thorium concentration will be low, whereas in the second case the uranium/thorium

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

concentration will be high. These factors may have serious implications for the estimation of the ore
resource and, subsequently, for grade control during mining (for example, in bulk grade determination
of ore on trucks and the use of radiometric sorting methods).

The induced disequilibrium in the process of exploration for uranium minerals is brought about by
the loss of radon222 during percussion drilling. This causes an apparent lowering of the uranium
concentration due to a decrease in gamma-ray activity. By the nature of the drilling operation,
compressed air is forced into the hole and blows out the pulp with the simultaneous loss of radon222.
This causes severe disequilibrium between the gamma-emitting isotopes lead214 and bismuth214
and their longer-lived parent radium226.

The degree of radon loss will depend on many factors, for example, the pressure of air from the
compressor, the friability and porosity of the ore, the mineralogy and radon exhalation rate from
a particular mineral. Therefore, each geological environment will have its own radon escape cha-
racteristics. The measurements are required in each case but it could be assumed that during the
percussion drilling operation 70% of radon gas is blown away and that the remaining 30% is retained
in the sample.

2.3.14. Radioactive mineral samples and rock chips


Radioactive minerals emit various forms of radiation. If proper safeguards and precautions are
followed, any hazards due to the radiation are minimised.

Some guidelines for radioactive mineral samples:

1. Wash hands with soap and water after handling samples.

2. Never store specimens, even the smallest of size, in an inhabited room.

3. Where samples are stored in bags, these should be sealed and in good condition.

4. Store specimens in a well ventilated area.

5. Never eat, drink, smoke, or sleep near radioactive material.

6. Clearly label all radioactive samples as such.

7. Don't carry radioactive minerals in your pocket.

8. Try to keep radioactive mineral samples in a container with a lid. This helps to control small
pieces that may break o during handling. A boxed radioactive mineral keeps you from directly
touching the specimen, which helps to minimise radiation exposure to your skin.

9. Clean up small particles that may break o of radioactive specimens with soap and water.

2.3.15. Contaminated equipment


It is possible that some equipment items may become contaminated with radioactive material and
operators should ensure all equipment has been thoroughly cleaned to remove loose material before
leaving the site.

1. Surface contamination means the presence of a radioactive substance on a surface in quantities


in excess of 0.4 Bq/cm
2 for beta and gamma emitters and low toxicity alpha emitters, or 0.04

Bq/cm
2 for all other alpha emitters. Low toxicity alpha emitters are natural uranium, natural

thorium,
235 U, 238 U, 232 Th, 228 Th and 230 Th when contained in ores, physical or chemical

concentrates; or alpha emitters with a half-life of less than 10 days.

2. The levels should be as close to the background as possible.

3. It is necessary to ensure that material is dry before surface contamination readings are taken.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

2.3.16. Radioactive waste management


A separate radioactive waste management plan (RWMP), as required by ARPANSA [11] is not
typically required for an exploration operation, and the management of radioactive waste forms a
part of an overall radiation management plan for the site.

Two types of waste are generated in the process of exploration: liquid and solid.

Liquid waste typically includes drilling mud, slurry from core cutting, and in some cases accidental
release of groundwater containing elevated natural levels of radionuclides (such as uranium and
radium). A good practice is to collect all of the above in mud pits, which then should be allowed to
dry prior to being covered by at least one metre of compacted soil.

Please note that if the material in the mud pit is not classied as radioactive, the surface soil will
not need to be compacted and there will be no impediment for vegetation growth.

Solid waste typically includes surplus radioactive samples, contaminated PPE, equipment and contai-
ners, and, in some cases, samples returned from analytical laboratories.

Among other requirements, good radiation protection practices for the disposal of the solid waste
are:

1. Drill cuttings and other collected materials that are classied as `radioactive' should be disposed
down drill holes. The holes should then be capped in accordance with the DMP standard 
either temporarily or permanently.

2. Where this is a not possible, bulk cuttings or samples (i.e. from multiple drill holes) should
be mixed with soil to reduce any articial concentration of the material, and buried in mud
pit/sumps with one metre of compacted soil cover. Please note that all samples should be
removed from the sample bags prior to the mixing with soil and subsequent disposal.

3. In situations when all samples (including those received from analytical laboratories) cannot
be lled down drill holes and mud pits are not available disposal of waste should be carried out
in a purposefully constructed waste disposal pit.

4. Drilling uids should be controlled to prevent radiological contamination of surface soils. Where
this contamination has taken place due to an accidental release the soil may also need to be
removed and buried together with other solid waste.

5. In situations where thorough radiation monitoring shows that empty sample bags, PPE and
other materials have negligible contaminated  they can be disposed of in landll, after the
consultation with the appropriate authority. Where such materials are found to be contamina-
ted, they typically cannot be disposed of without an approval from the appropriate authority
and in these cases the preparation and approval of a specic Radioactive Waste Management
Plan (RWMP) may be necessary.

6. On nal closure each site should be assessed to determine that radiation levels are not si-
gnicantly elevated above background. Note: to do this background monitoring needs to be
undertaken prior to any drilling being undertaken. Ideally, drill sites must be returned to the
original pre-exploration radiation levels.

2.3.17. Denition of a radioactive material


The classication of what is a `radioactive material' varies depending on the the legislation used. The
IAEA Standards [15], the Transport Regulations [10], the Contaminated Sites legislation [8], and the
Radiation Safety Act 1975 [3], all have dierent denitions. The Mining Code [11]accepts the same
1Bq/g as the IAEA for head-of-chain uranium or thorium ores or mineral concentrates.

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

For example, in the IAEA Basic Safety Standards 115 it is a material containing greater than 1
Bq/g
238 U and 232 Th while under the Radiation Safety Act 1975 [3] it is material containing greater

than 30 Bq/g whole


238 U and 232 Th Decay Series. Under the contaminated sites legislation, it is

considered any material above the natural background for the site. Please seek professional advice
from the the relevant regulator when determining which denition applies.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3. Elements to be included in a Radiation


Management Plan
3.1. Document format and cover sheet
The RMP should be a `controlled' document, with each page dated and clearly identied. The cover
sheet should include:

1. The title of the document.

2. Document identier (unique reference number relevant to the operation).

3. Date of submission to the appropriate authority.

4. The name of the company and a particular operation.

5. Signed endorsement by the site Registered Manager.

3.2. Scope of the Radiation Management Plan


The RMP should detail the specic operations/facilities described in the document, including the
name and location of sites, the number of the lease, tenement or other interest and the name and
address of the principal employer at the exploration company.

3.3. Introduction
The introduction should detail the history of the site and ownership (where necessary) and the reason
a RMP is required.

List the exploration activities to be undertaken on the site, including a description of the type of
drilling, the type of sampling to take place at the site, the expected duration of exploration operations
and the critical project dates of the project, should be summarised. The site operations summary
could be enhanced by the inclusion of a block diagram of broad functional activities, showing inter-
relationships.

3.4. Workforce information


The number of persons who will be employed at the site should be detailed. This requires workforce
stratication as a function of the work category and type of employer (company or contractor).

It is also necessary to include the proposed shift roster system used on the site and the likely average
annual working hours for employees.

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3.5. Critical group information


Critical group is a group of members of the public comprising individuals who are relatively ho-
mogeneous with regard to age, diet and those behavioural characteristics that may aect the doses
received and who are likely to receive the highest radiation doses from a particular operation. The
likely critical groups of the public should be identied and the location of these groups shown on a
suitable location plan.

The size and demographics of the critical groups should also be briey described. In some cases
identication of the critical group may not be possible due to the distance from the proposed site
being too far for a group to receive any measurable radiation dose. However, even in such situations,
there still exits a need for the operator to demonstrate that the impact of the operation on the local
environment is minimal or negligible; and, in these cases a reference plant/animal may be selected
for the study  after the consultation with an appropriate authority. The ora/fauna selected should,
in these cases, described in the RMP.

3.6. Sources and pathways of radiation exposure


The RMP should contain sucient information to allow all signicant exposure sources and pathways
to be identied. This should include a map of the lease, descriptions of the equipment to be used
and processes involved, and estimates of the radionuclides' concentrations.

Estimates of the radiation levels to which various categories of employees and critical group(s) could
be exposed should be provided, using appropriate exposure pathway models and/or contemporary
experience. Suitable and sucient scientic justication, including references where appropriate,
should be provided for any models, assumptions or data used in the estimation process.

3.7. Equipment and facilities for controlling radiation sources


The RMP should identify the measures that will be implemented to control radiation exposures
including:

1. The generation of dust should be minimised by the use of appropriate techniques such as the
use of water and other means of suppressing dust and the use of appropriate equipment.

2. Where dust is generated, it should be suppressed at the source.

3. Care should be taken to avoid the re-suspension of dust as a result of equipment vibration and
high air velocities.

4. During maintenance operations, special care should be taken to control the occupational expo-
sures that may arise from the buildup of dust on internal and external surfaces of the equipment.

5. Only when engineering methods of dust control do not achieve acceptable air quality in working
areas, personal respiratory protection should be provided to employees.

It is also important to ensure that dust control is an integral part of an overall system of occupational
hygiene. For example, some elements of the dust extraction/collection system may be a signicant
source of exposure of employees to unacceptable levels of noise.

3.8. Institutional controls


The RMP should clearly show the assignment of responsibilities in regards to radiation protection and
accountability for radioactive sources, the commitment of the organisation to maintain high levels

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

of occupational health and safety should also be described. Where necessary, a specic radiation
protection policy should also be developed.

The primary responsibility for the implementation of an RMP is usually delegated to the appropria-
tely trained and qualied radiation safety ocer (RSO). The requirements may change depending on
the scale of operations and the levels of potential radiation exposure but, typically, an exploration
RSO is expected to have attended a radiation protection course relevant to the mineral industry, and
to have had some experience in sampling of air contaminants and gamma-radiation measurements in
the mining environment.

Please note that in order to take dust samples on an exploration site, the person is expected to have
the minimum qualication of a surface ventilation technician/ocer and be a `CONTAM registered
sampler'.

Information on the CONTAM system is available on the DMP web site in the Resources Safety area
 http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/6749.aspx.

The main duties of the RSO are advising the management on the implementation of the RMP and
on all matters in relation to radiation protection of employees, public and the environment; and the
RMP should clearly describe these duties.

A description of the operational procedures and practices should be provided in the plan, including,
among other issues:

1. Designation and control of supervised or controlled areas (e.g. physical barriers, signs, special
work permits).

2. Designation of employees according to the levels of radiation exposure.

3. General housekeeping measures.

4. Correct operation of control equipment, including preventative maintenance measures and sche-
dules.

5. Standard operating procedures for critical operations from a radiation protection perspective.

6. Use of personal protective equipment.

7. Inspection and auditing programs to ensure that correct work practices and procedures are
being followed.

Although it may be appropriate in many cases for the boundaries of supervised areas to be marked
with signs, this may not always be necessary or productive. It may be necessary to designate a
supervised area within an exploration site to which members of the public may have access, but signs
at the entrance to the site may cause unwarranted concern.

The primary reliance for radiation safety and control should be placed on properly designed facilities
and engineered controls rather than on personal protective equipment. Dust (and radon/thoron)
should usually be controlled in a such a way that protective equipment is not necessary for routine
tasks. However, there may be situations where engineered controls cannot reasonably be provided
and the use of such equipment is necessary. Respiratory protection equipment may also be needed
in emergencies, for repair and maintenance, and in special short term circumstances.

The situations when personal protective equipment is required should be summarised, with details
being provided of the location, task, reason for the need of protective equipment, its type, and
expected frequency and duration of task. The procedures for proper tting, training, cleaning,
maintenance and inspection of personal protective equipment should also be summarised.

For additional guidance please refer to Appendix B of the guideline NORM4.1 Dust control strate-
gies.

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Personal hygiene rules should also be established and compliance with them should be continuously
monitored. In the rst aid procedures special precautions in cleaning of wounds potentially conta-
minated with radioactive material must be clearly described.

3.9. Employee training


All employees who may be exposed to radiation and all persons responsible for the implementation
of the RMP should receive appropriate training.

Senior management and employees in other departments (such as public relations, human resources,
administration, etc.) should also be provided with information on radiation-related risks and detailed
description of sources and pathways of radiation exposure at relevant exploration sites.

Employees whose work may impact on the levels of radiation exposure (designers, planners, etc.)
should also be provided with basic information.

Training programs should include relevant information and the following information should be pro-
vided in the RMP:

1. Details of the induction program (i.e. training for new employees), including summary of topics
covered, duration and context in relation to overall induction.

2. Details of periodic re-training, including format, duration and frequency.

3. Details of any additional training given to the management personnel.

The qualication and experience of the person conducting the training (if not done by the RSO)
should also be provided.

The nature and extent of employee training is expected to vary with job requirements and responsi-
bilities.

Figure 3.1.: Radiation worker's handbook

An informative radiation safety guide for mining and minerals processing workers in the uranium,
mineral sands and rare earths sectors is now available from Australian Uranium Association web
site.
www.aua.org.au

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3.10. Radiation monitoring program


The main aims of monitoring radiation levels in the workplace and in the environment are:

ˆ to determine compliance with regulatory limits;

ˆ to determine radiation exposure of employees and members of general public;

ˆ to assess the impact of operations on the local environment;

ˆ to provide information on the eectiveness of control measures; and

ˆ to assess whether doses are as low as practicable (e.g. checking the eectiveness of control
measures, studying specic tasks, identifying poor work practices, investigating incidents).

A detailed description of the radiation monitoring program should be provided in the RMP. In
general, more frequent monitoring is required where levels are higher and variable; less frequent
monitoring is required where levels are low and relatively constant.

Surface contamination measurements are the main method of assessing housekeeping standards, and
are useful in the inspection of equipment prior to maintenance. Surface contamination monitoring
is important in the control over the release of potentially contaminated equipment from site and,
therefore, will usually be an integral component of the monitoring program.

The need for monitoring of radon/thoron concentrations is dependent on a particular site conditions.

The general monitoring guidance is suggested in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1.: General monitoring guidance

Radiation radionuclide level Monitoring

Average levels < 25% of occupational limits. Initial assessment and periodic conrmatory
surveys; repeat as conditions change.

Signicant number of individual measurements Commence routine monitoring of the


> 25% of derived occupational exposure limits.
‡ workplace.

Dose, average concentration, ≥ 25% of Individual exposure assessment:


occupational limits. External  personal dosimeters/badges.
Internal  personal samplers (dust), area
sampling and exposure time (radon).

Individual measurements approach or exceed Repeat the measurement.


derived occupational exposure limits.

Conrmed level approaches or exceeds Intensive monitoring in conjunction with


occupational exposure limits. re-evaluation of dose-reduction planning (with
an advice from the appropriate authority).

‡ Derived limit = radiation level that would result in the annual exposure equal to the statutory limit.

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

The RMP should include details of the quality assurance program for the radiation monitoring pro-
gram, including the various actions, which are taken to assess the adequacy of equipment, instruments
and procedures against established requirements such as:

1. Quality and specications of equipment and instruments.

2. Training and experience of personnel using equipment and instruments.

3. Verication of measurement procedures by the analysis of control samples and the use of stan-
dard methods for analysis (where applicable).

4. Frequency of calibration and maintenance of equipment and instruments.

5. Details and frequency of independent audits (where applicable).

6. The need for traceability of the results of monitoring programs to a National Standard.

7. The degree of documentation needed to demonstrate that the required standard of quality has
been achieved and is maintained.

The samples such as lters from dust monitoring need to be kept for two years for the purpose of
comparative analyses, if necessary.

3.11. Records management and reporting


The RMP should list the type of records to be kept, their format and method of storage. Records of
monitoring results, dose assessments (including calculation methods), and related information should
be retained in an easily retrievable form and kept for a period of at least 30 years.

The amount of records to be kept and their type will depend on the magnitude of potential radiation
exposure on a particular site.

Typically the RMP should require the records that are kept include the following:

1. Information on radiological conditions at the particular site (external gamma-radiation surveys;


airborne and waterborne radioactivity surveys, surface contamination surveys, inventory of
radioactive materials, methods and locations for the disposal of radioactive wastes).

2. All documentation relevant to the implementation of the system of radiation protection on the
site (safety assessments of whole operations and designs of relevant equipment; descriptions
of unusual operational events, standard operating procedures and relevant company policies,
descriptions of training programs, quality assurance data and reports of all external audits
conducted on the site).

It is recommended that RMP contains a requirement that the individual annual occupational expo-
sure record includes the following:

1. Unique identication of the individual (e.g. MineHealth surveillance number).

2. The exposure for the current year and, where available, for the relevant ve-year period.

3. Results of the measurements for the estimation of the external dose, and methods of assessment.

4. Results of the measurements for the estimation of internal dose (result of personal dust and
radon/thoron monitoring), and methods of assessment.

5. The allocated dose for lost or damaged monitors or samples.

6. Any special radiation exposure assigned to the employee.

7. Record of the formal declaration of pregnancy, any revocations of such declaration, and mea-
sures taken to ensure that dose to this employee is kept under 1 mSv over the remainder of the
pregnancy.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

The RMP needs to include a commitment for reporting the results of monitoring programs (both
occupational and environmental), and all related information. Reports will be required to the re-
gulatory authority, management, and for the employees, at least on an annual basis. Operational
requirements may require more frequent reporting and analysis to management and to an appropriate
authority.

For additional guidance in regards to the format of statutory reports and for the levels that, when
detected, would typically require investigation please refer to NORM6 Reporting requirements.

3.12. Dose assessment


The RMP should specify how the results of the monitoring program, detailed in Section 3.10 on
page 22, would be used in the assessment of doses of employees.

It should include an estimate of the likely doses to be received by the various categories of employees,
together with documentation of all assumptions used.

For any single component of occupational exposure (external and internal) these assessments could be
considered if monitoring indicates that annual exposure may exceed 1 mSv, and must be conducted
if the estimated dose is likely to exceed 5 mSv per year.

For additional guidance please refer to the NORM5 Dose assessment.

3.13. Waste management system


It is unlikely that a separate Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP) will be required for
an exploration site. The prevention of contamination to the environment and the management of
waste from the drilling and moving of radioactive material is an integral part of the RMP. It is the
responsibility of the exploration company to be able to demonstrate that environmental radionuclide
levels have not been altered due to exploration activities.

The RMP should include a detailed description of procedures for environment contamination controls,
including:

1. Pre and post exploration monitoring programs.

2. Water monitoring, where necessary.

3. Record keeping.

4. Reporting.

5. Disposal techniques.

6. Rehabilitation techniques.

For additional guidance please refer to the NORM3.1 Pre-operational monitoring.

3.14. Transport of radioactive material


The RMP should include a detailed description of procedures for transport of radioactive materials
that includes:

1. Types of packaging (where applicable) and signposting.

2. Details of mode of transport and containers.

24 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3. Number of employees involved in transport and their estimated exposure times and doses.

4. Amounts and radioactivity content of transported materials, frequency of transport movements.

5. Transport routes, where relevant, estimates of potential exposure of members of the general
public and the environment in the course of normal operations and in case of transport accidents
(specic emergency response procedures should also be developed).

6. Summary of operational procedures, particularly illustrating measures taken to ensure strict


compliance with transport safety regulations.

3.14.1. Transport arrangements for Excepted Packages[16]


Package (container) The package must be such that it will retain its contents under routine trans-
port conditions.

The design should provide for strength of lifting attachments, ease of handling and securing, and
ease of decontamination.

2
The package should not have external surface alpha contamination above 0.4 Bq/cm . In practice
this condition is met if there is no visible contamination or dust on the surface.

Documentation The shipment must be accompanied by documentation, which includes (in the
following order):

1. `Radioactive Material, Excepted Package  Limited Quantity of Material'.

2. `UN Class Number 7, UN2910'.

3. `Uranium ore samples  solid'.

4. The maximum activity of the shipment. For material of 1000ppm U, this is 12 KBq/kg. As the
activity (grade) will generally not be known, make a generous estimate based on this gure.

5. A declaration in the form  `I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully
and accurately described above by the proper shipping name and are classied, packed, marked
and labelled, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport by road according to the
applicable international and national governmental regulations.'  signed and dated.

6. Sender and receiver details.

Labels
1. Each Excepted Package should be labelled `Radioactive' on an internal surface such that upon
opening, the warning is clearly visible.

2. The package is marked `UN2910' on the outside surface.

3. Sender and receiver details should be marked on the outside surface.

4. Packages exceeding 50kg the mass to be marked on the outside.

3.14.2. Transport arrangements for LSA material[16]


LSA  1 package Higher activity samples where the dose-rate > 5 µSv/h, must be transported
as Low Specic Activity Material (LSA). The transport arrangements are described below assuming
samples are packaged within a single vehicle.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 25


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Package (container) Package requirements for transporting solid LSA material are similar to those
for Excepted Packages, with the additional requirement that the smallest external dimension of the
package must not be less than 10 cm. Contact the Radiological Council for advice if there is a need
to transport liquid LSA1 material.

Transport Index  package


1. A Transport Index (TI) must be determined for the package. The TI reects the external
radiation hazard associated with the handling of the package.

2. The TI is determined by rst measuring the dose rate (in mSv/hr) at 1 metre from the package
surface. For core samples, the dose rate is typically less than 1 mSv/hr.

3. The TI is the measured dose rate multiplied by 100 (if dose rate has been measured in µSv/hr,
divide by 10 to determine the TI).

4. The determined TI is to be rounded up to the rst decimal place. However, a TI of 0.05 or less
can be rounded to zero (0).

Transport Index  vehicle


1. A TI needs to be determined if shipping multiple packages together in a container or on a single
vehicle. In this case the TI is either the sum of the TIs of all the contained packages or it can
be determined by direct measurement of radiation level for the vehicle of container (as above).

2. For tanks, freight containers and unpackaged LSA1 material the TI is modied by a multipli-
cation factor based on the size of the load as shown in 3.2.

Table 3.2.: Multiplication factors for tanks, freight containers, and unpackaged LSA1 and SCO1

Size of load
a Multiplication factor

size of load ≤1 m
2 1

1 m
2 < size of load ≤5 m
2 2

2
5 m < size of load ≤ 20 m
2 3

20 m
2 < size of load 10
a
Largest cross-sectional area of the load being measured.

Documentation and labels


1. If the TI is less than 1 and the surface dose rate is less than 0.5 mSv/h the package is a II
Yellow category. The label shown in Figure 3.2 on the facing page must be attached to the
package on two opposite sides.

2. The contents of LSA1 and the maximum activity of the package contents must be marked
on the label. The TI of the package is to be included on the label.

26 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 3.2.: Category II - Yellow package label

3. Sender and receiver details should be marked on the outside surface.

4. The package is marked UN2912 and Radioactive material, low specic activity (LSA1) on
the outside surface.

5. Packages exceeding 50kg the mass to be marked on the outside.

6. If the surface dose rate of any package exceeds 0.5 mSv/hr contact the Radiological Council
for further advice.

Placards The vehicle transporting the LSA packages must have placards attached as shown in the
Figures 3.2 and 3.3 on the following page.

For additional guidance please refer to the NORM4.3 Transport of NORM.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 27


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Figure 3.3.: Vehicle placard for radioactive material

28 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

3.15. Radiation safety resources


The RMP should describe the management and reporting structure for the particular site, and
the duties and qualications of relevant personal and, in particular, the radiation safety ocer.
Where applicable, qualications and experience of personnel undertaking the monitoring will also
be necessary. The RMP should also include a clear commitment to provide adequate sta with
appropriate qualications and experience, to advise the management on all aspects of radiation
protection on the site.

The RMP should also list the monitoring equipment and support facilities, including:

1. The make and model of the equipment.

2. The purpose of the particular instrument and its suitability for the particular purpose.

3. Calibration methods and frequency, and traceability to a National Standard.

4. Maintenance and replacement schedule.

3.16. List of commitments


The nal section of the RMP should summarise all the commitments made throughout the document,
with references to their location within the RMP.

3.17. Examples of gures and tables to be included in the Radiation


Management Plan
The following examples are provided to illustrate the type of gures and tables that could be included
in the RMP to enhance the presentation of specic information.

3.17.1. Figures
1. General location diagram of operations/facilities.

2. Map/plan of the site, showing layout of infrastructure in relation to the tenement boundaries
and the national grid.

3. Location of critical groups of the public.

4. Diagrams of waste disposal facilities, showing relevant engineering details.

3.17.2. Tables
1. Summary of site history.

2. Workforce stratication information, including shift patterns.

3. Summary of sources/pathways of radiation exposure.

4. Radiation monitoring program.

5. List of radiation monitoring equipment.

6. Summary of dose estimation calculations, by work category and exposure pathway.

7. Outline of employee induction programs.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 29


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

It is recommended that typical results obtained during routine monitoring be included in the form of
tables and charts. Where special forms associated with the RMP have been developed (such as, for
example, a `clearance form' for the removal of potentially contaminated equipment from the site), it
is recommended to provide an example of a completed document instead of the blank form.

30 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

A. Appendix showing a Radiation


Management Plan checklist

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]

1 Front cover
Controlled document To verify that proper control Reg. 16.7(3) Sec. 3.8.3
of documentation is in place.
Each page dated and To verify changes to the Reg. 16.7(6) Sec. 2.9.6
identied RMP are controlled.
Title of document To verify the purpose of the Reg. 16.7(1) Sec. 2.7.1.
document.
Reference number of To verify the RMP is stored Reg. 16.25 Sec.
document in a records management 2.7.2(e)
system.
Date of issue To verify the RMP is current Reg 16.7(4) Sec. 2.9.6
and reviewed every 2 years.
Date of submission To verify the RMP has been Reg. 16.7(3) Sec. 2.9.6
provided to the State Mining
Engineer.
Name of Company To verify owner of the RMP. Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
Name of Operation To verify site where RMP Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
applies.
Endorsed by To verify that the responsible Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
Exploration Manager person has complied.

2 Scope
Details of operations To verify the the size and Reg. 16.8(2) Sec. 2.7.2
and facilities scope of the operations.
Details of location To verify the exact location Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.7.2
of the site.
Details of Lease or To verify the site location Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.7.2
Tenement under the Mining Act.

3 Introduction
History of site or To verify current RMP Reg. 16.25 Sec.
ownership includes previous records or 3.8.1(f )
plans.
Reason for Radiation To verify a RMP is required. Reg. 16.2 Sec. 2.7.1
Management Plan
Exploration activities To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.3.2
on site equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 31


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Expected duration of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.1
exploration equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Critical project dates To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

4 Workforce
Number of persons To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
employed equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(b)
operational procedures.
Stratication  To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
company/contractor equipment, facilities and 2.10.1(m)
operational procedures. (p)
Work categories To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.6.7
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Roster system To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(b)
operational procedures.
Average working hours To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(b)
operational procedures.
Radiation exposures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(b)
operational procedures.

5 Critical groups
Identication To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(c)
radiation from the operation.
Location To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Size To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Demographics To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Land-use maps To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Location plan or map To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Radiation exposures To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.

32 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]

6 Sources & pathways of


radiation exposure
Identied Sources & To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
Pathways monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.1(a)
place.
Plans of exploration To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
activities monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.1(a)
place.
Descriptions of To verify that adequate Reg. Sec. 2.8.2
equipment monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii)
place.
Processes involved To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.2(a)
place.
Risk assessments To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.2(d)
place.

7 Control of radiation
exposure
Measures implemented To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.15 Sec.
employee doses as low as 3.8.1(b)
practicable.
Engineering controls, To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec.
methods and practicable technology is 3.8.1(b)
specications incorporated on site. Sec. 3.9.1
Dust controls To verify dust suppression is Reg. 9.17(2) Sec. 2.6.2
being used. Sec.
3.8.1(b)
Shielding To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
equipment, facilities and Sec.
operational procedures. 3.8.1(b)
Exposure minimisation To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
techniques equipment, facilities and Sec.
operational procedures. 3.8.1(b)
Housekeeping measures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Contamination control To verify use restricted Reg. 16.7(2)(c)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
release zones.

8 Institutional controls
Responsibilities of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.10.1
personnel equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 33


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Accountability To verify that the manger is Reg. 16.9(3) Sec. 3.10.1
advised on matters to do
with implementing RMP.
Commitment To verify manager is Reg. 16.8(1) Sec.
committed to implementing 2.8.2(a)
the RMP.
Radiation Safety To verify that a appropriate Reg. 16.8 Sec.
Ocer RSO has been appointed. 2.10.1(d)
Designation of To verify doses are being Reg.16.16 Sec.
supervised areas controlled. 2.10.1(m)
Housekeeping measures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Operating procedures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.10.1(a)
operational procedures.
Personal protective To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment equipment, facilities and 2.6.2(c)
operational procedures.
Inspection and auditing To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.8(2) Sec.
programs resources. 2.8.3(b)
Signage To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.10.2
appropriate equipment,
facilities and operational
procedures.
Personal hygiene rules To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.10.2
appropriate equipment,
facilities and operational
procedures.
Job rotation To verify doses are kept as Reg. 16.15 Sec.
low as practicable. 3.8.1(b)

9 Employee training
Induction program To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Periodic re-training To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Radiation safety To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training of personnel training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Details of person giving To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(a)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)

34 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Syllabus To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)

10 Radiation monitoring
program
Compliance with limits To verify radiation dose is Reg 16.15 Sec.
kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Exposure to employees To verify radiation dose is Reg. 16.15 Sec.
and public kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Impact of operations on To verify environmental Reg. 16.6 Sec. 2.8.2
environment radiation monitoring
program.
Eectiveness of controls To verify radiation dose is Reg 16.15 Sec.
kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Employees monitored To verify radiation dose is as Reg. 16.15 Sec.3.8.1(c)
kept low as practicable.
Type of monitoring and To verify adequacy of Reg 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
sampling monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Duration To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Frequency To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Sampling equipment To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.8(2) Sec.
equipment. 2.7.2(c)
Calibration records for To verify monitoring Reg 16.8(3) Sec.
all equipment equipment is being 3.8.3(a)
maintained.
Radiation types To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitored monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Radionuclides To verify adequacy of Reg 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Surface contamination To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Radon/Thoron dose To verify procedures for the Reg. 16.7(2)(iii) Sec.
estima- assessment of dose. 3.8.1(c)
tions/measurements
Equipment To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec.
specications practicable technology is 2.7.2(c)
available.
Training and To verify adequacy of sta . Reg 16.8(2) Sec.
experience of personnel 3.10.1(l)
Calibration and To verify monitoring Reg. 16.8(3) Sec.
traceability of equipment is being 3.8.3(a)
results/schedules maintained.
Audits To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 2.7.2(g)
Sec.
3.8.3(b)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 35


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Quality Assurance To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
Program monitoring program. 2.7.2(g)
Sec.
3.8.3(b)

11 Records management &


reporting
Information on To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
radiological conditions records are being kept under 2.7.2(e)
the RMP.
Assessments of To verify that records are Reg. 16.25(1)(a) Sec.
exposures being kept of dose 2.10.1(n)
assessments. Sec.
2.10.1(o)
Impact on local To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
environment records are being kept under 2.10.1(n)
the RMP.
Relevant To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
documentation records are being kept under 2.7.2(e)
the RMP.
Identication of To verify that monitoring Reg. 16.25(1)(b) Sec.
individuals records are being kept. 3.8.1(f )
Easy, secure long term To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(5) Sec.
access to data records are being kept under 3.8.1(f )
the RMP.
Reporting to the State To verify that results from Reg. 16.26 Sec.
Mining Engineer the monitoring program and 2.10.1(g)(i)
waste management plan are (j)(h)
reported to SME.

12 Dose assessment
Methodology for To verify the use of Reg. Sec.
exposure calculations appropriate procedures for 16.7(2)(a)(iii) 2.7.2(b)
the assessment of dose. Sec.
2.8.1(d)

13 Waste management
controls
Pre/post exploration To verify environmental Reg. 16.6 Sec.
monitoring program radiation monitoring 2.8.2(b)
program.
Water monitoring To verify environmental Reg. 16.6 Sec.
radiation monitoring 2.8.2(d)
program.
Record keeping To verify records are being Reg. 16.25 Sec. 3.9.4
kept and maintained.
Reporting To verify reporting on waste Reg 16.26(b) Sec.
management system. 2.8.2(g)

36 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Disposal techniques To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec.
system. 2.8.2(c)
Sec.
2.10.2(b)
Rehabilitation To verify rehabilitation of Reg. Sec.
site. 16.7(2)(c)(iii) 2.8.2(h)

14 Transport
Types of packaging To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Signposting To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Details of transport To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
mode and containers appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Numbers of employees To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
involved appropriate equipment, 3.8.2(a)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Estimates of exposures To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
and doses monitoring program. 3.8.1(b)
Amounts of To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
radioactivity (per appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
package & annual) facilities and operational
procedures.
Frequency and To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
transport movements appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Transport routes To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Operational procedures To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Emergency procedures To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2
appropriate equipment, (f )
facilities and operational
procedures.

15 Radiation safety
resources

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 37


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [11]
Lists of equipment and To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
facilities equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(c)
operational procedures.
The name and To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
qualications of the equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(a)
RSO and list of people operational procedures.
involved in monitoring

16 List of commitments
Commitments clearly To verify that the responsible Reg. 16.8(1) Sec. 2.7.1
laid out person will ensure the RMP
is complied with.

17 Glossary
Lists of word meanings To verify the meanings of the Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.3.4
terms used in RMP

38 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

B. Appendix showing the Radionuclide decay


series
B.1. Thorium232
Figure B.1: Thorium232 decay series

Thorium-232 Thorium-228

β γ 6.1 hours α 1.9 years


α 14 billion years

Actinium-228
Thorium-232
β 5.8 years
Decay Series
Radium-228 Radium-224

α 3.7 days α - Alpha Radiation


β - Beta Radiation
γ - Gamma Radiation

Radon-220

α 56 seconds

Polonium-216 Polonium-212

α 0.15 seconds 64% β 61 minutes α 300 nanoseconds

Bismuth-212

β 11 hours
36% α 61 minutes

Lead-212 Lead-208 (stable)

β γ 3.1 minutes

Extracted from
GE Nuclear Energy Thallium-208
Nuclides and Isotopes 1989

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 39


Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

B.2. Uranium238
Figure B.2: Uranium238 decay series

Uranium-238 Uranium-234

α 4.5 billion years α 240,000 years


β 1.2 minutes

Protactinium-234m
Uranium-238
β γ 24 days Decay Series
Thorium-234 Thorium-230
α - Alpha Radiation
α 77,000 years β - Beta Radiation
γ - Gamma Radiation

Radium-226

αγ 1,600 years

Radon-222

α 3.8 days

Polonium-218 Polonium-214 Polonium-210

α 3.1 minutes α 0.000164 seconds α 140 days


βγ 20 minutes β 5 days

Bismuth-214 Bismuth-210

βγ 22 years
βγ 27 minutes

Extracted from Lead-214 Lead-210 Lead-206 (stable)


GE Nuclear Energy
Nuclides and Isotopes 1989

40 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration

Bibliography

[1] Part 16 Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995. link

[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994. link

[3] Radiation Safety Act, 1975. link

[4] Radiation Safety (General) Regulations, 1983. link

[5] Radiation Safety (Qualications) Regulations, 1980. link

[6] Radiation Safety (Transport Radioactive Substances) Regulations, 2002. link

[7] Contaminated Sites Act, 2003. link

[8] Contaminated Sites Regulations, 2006. link

[9] Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, Radiation Protection Series
Publication No.2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA),
2008. www.arpansa.gov.au

[10] Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material: 2009 Edition, Safety Requirements
No.TS-R-1, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, 2009. www.iaea.org

[11] Code of Practice and Safety Guide: Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management
in Mining and Minerals Processing, Radiation Protection Series Publication No.9, Australian
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2005. www.arpansa.gov.au

[12] Mining Act, 1978. link

[13] Mining Regulations, 1981. link

[14] Radioactive Core Storage and Handling  Standard Operating Procedure, Department
of Primary Industries and Resources, South Australian Government, Version 2.0, 2007.
www.minerals.pir.sa.gov.au

[15] International Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Ionising Radiation and for the Sa-
fety of Radiation Sources, Safety Series No.115, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, 1996. www.iaea.org

[16] Guideline for Radiation Protection in Mineral Exploration, Radiation Protection Division, En-
vironment Protection Authority, South Australia, 2009.

[17] CONTAM system procedures, Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, 5
th Edi-

tion, 2008. PDF

[18] Guide to health surveillance system for mining employees, Resources Safety, Department of

Mines and Petroleum, 2008. PDF

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 41


Index
ALARA, 5 MineHealth, 23
alpha emitters, 11 mineral samples, 15
annual working hours, 18 minimisation methods, 6
ARPANSA, 12 monitoring equipment, 29
auditing programme, 20 Monitoring program, 29
Australian Radiation Services, 12 monitoring program, 22, 23
Australian Uranium Association, 21
new employees, 21
calibration, 23, 29
commitments, 29 pathways, 21

CONTAM registered sampler, 20 personal dosemeter, 11

contamination, 5, 12 personal dust pump, 6

control measures, 22 personal hygiene, 12

core store, 11 personal protective equipment, 20

cover sheet, 18 PPE, 6

critical group, 19 precautions, 15


principal employer, 2
disequilibrium, 14
document format, 18 radiation exposure, 21

dose assessment, 24 radiation management plan, 18

drill cuttings, 16 radiation monitoring, 6

drilling uids, 16 radon, 11

drilling rig, 4 re-training, 21

dust, 19 records management, 23


regulatory limits, 22
electronic dosemeter, 6 reporting, 23
engineering methods, 19 repository, 5
environment, 22 responsible person, 2
excepted packages, 25 rock chips, 15
exploration manager, 2 RSO, 20, 21
exposure group, 5
exposure sources, 19 shielding, 5
shift roster system, 18
gamma-radiation surveys, 23 State Mining Engineer, 13
Global Medical Solutions, 12 supervised areas, 20
surface contamination, 15, 22
housekeeping, 20, 22 surface ventilation ocer, 20

IAEA Basic Safety Standards 115, 17 TLD, 11


induction program, 21 training, 21, 23
Institutional Controls, 19 transport of radioactive material, 24

Landauer Australasia, 12 ventilation, 11


LSA material, 25
workforce, 18
maintenance, 19, 20, 29

42
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM2.2

Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan 
mining and processing: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 29pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Contents
List of Figures iv

List of Tables v

1. General information 1

1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2

2.1. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

3. Elements to be included in a Radiation Management Plan 4

3.1. Document format and cover sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


3.2. Scope of the Radiation Management Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.3. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.4. Workforce information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.5. Critical group information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.6. Sources and pathways of radiation exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.7. Equipment and facilities for controlling radiation sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.8. Institutional controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3.9. Employee training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.10. Radiation monitoring program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.11. Records management and reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.12. Dose assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.13. Waste management system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.14. Transport of radioactive materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.15. Radiation safety resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.16. List of commitments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.17. Examples of gures and tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.17.1. Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.17.2. Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

A. Appendix showing a Radiation Management Plan checklist 17

Bibliography 27

Index 28

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

List of Tables
3.1. General monitoring guidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To provide guidance on the development of a suitably detailed radiation management plan (RMP)
for the control and monitoring of radiation exposure and the management of radioactive wastes.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all mining and mineral processing operations in Western Australia that use
or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the scope of Part 16 of
the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [1].

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of Radiation Protection in Mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
Radiation Management Plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining & Processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting &


NORM NORM Doses Notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-Operational Dust Control Dose Reporting


Monitoring Strategies Assessment Requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational Monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) Radioactive Waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air Monitoring BOSWELL
Strategies Transport of NORM Assessment & Reporting Database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne Radioactivity
Sampling Electronic Data Management System
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
Particle Size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

2. Guidance
2.1. Summary
The mines and processing plants in Western Australia that use or handle naturally occurring ra-
dioactive materials (NORM) come within the scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection
Regulations 1995 [1]. Some processing plants are not classied as mining sites and are regulated by
dierent legislation (Radiation Safety Act and Regulations). However, the Mines Safety and Inspec-
tion Regulations cover the disposal of waste material from these plants if this disposal occurs at a
mining site.
Each responsible person at a mining and/or processing operation (i.e. principal employer, any other
employer and the registered manager) must ensure that adequate measures are taken to control the
exposure of employees and members of the public to radiation at or from the mining/processing
operation that handles and/or uses NORM. Each responsible person must, therefore, consider the
protection of the health and safety of workers and the protection of the environment at all stages
in the design, planning, construction and operation of the facility. Before commencing operations
a plan for the safe management of radiation should be submitted to the appropriate authority for
approval. Where a mine currently exists, the radiation management plan must be prepared as soon
as is practicable after the commencement date.
It is important that best practicable technology is incorporated into the design of facilities at a
mining/processing site. For example, the location of radioactive mineral stockpiles, tailing's storage
facilities and exhaust stacks in relation to regularly occupied workplaces and critical groups of the
members of the public have a signicant eect on the radiation exposure of the dierent groups of
people and on the most eective manner in which operational procedures are carried out.
Regulation 16.7(2) [1] species general measures that must be considered in the development of a
Radiation Management Plan (RMP) and the purpose of this guideline is to outline in more detail
various elements that need to be included in the RMP.
The level of detail included in the RMP depends on the degree of potential radiation exposure, which
has been estimated or identied, and the expected diculty of controlling it. RMPs for uranium
milling and monazite treatment would be more comprehensive than those prepared for a mineral
sands processing, which in turn would be more comprehensive than those prepared for other mineral
processing operations, such as zircon milling or titanium dioxide production, or management of radon
in non-uranium underground mines. Please note that for the purposes of Mines Safety and Inspection
Regulations 16.7 and 16.8 [1] the `NORM Management Plan' suggested by ARPANSA Safety Guide
[4] is considered to be a Radiation Management Plan and all regulatory requirements are applicable.
In order to ensure that the RMPs developed by the operator are consistent with the requirements of
the legislation, and to allow prompt and ecient evaluation of these RMPs, the continuing consul-
tation between the operator and regulator is required. Separate approvals from the State Mining
Engineer for the various stages of operations are usually necessary, such as:
ˆ authorisation to explore;
ˆ authorisation to construct;
ˆ authorisation to operate;

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

ˆ authorisation to cease operations (temporarily or permanently);


ˆ authorisation to rehabilitate; and
ˆ authorisation to make signicant changes in operations and/or in the system of radiation pro-
tection.
It may also practicable in some cases to describe radiation management at the operation in two
documents:
1. Radiation Management Plan (RMP)
2. Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP)
as suggested by the Australian code of practice for radiation protection and radioactive waste ma-
nagement in mining and mineral processing [3].
To ensure ongoing relevance, the Radiation Management Plan must be reviewed within 2 years of
the start of mining operations, and at subsequent specied intervals.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

3. Elements to be included in a Radiation


Management Plan
3.1. Document format and cover sheet
The RMP should be a `controlled' document, with each page dated and clearly identied. The cover
sheet should include:
1. The title of the document
2. Document identier (unique reference number relevant to the operation)
3. Date of submission to the appropriate authority
4. The name of the company and a particular operation
5. Signed endorsement by Registered Manager

3.2. Scope of the Radiation Management Plan


The RMP should detail the specic operations/facilities described in the document, including the
name and location of the mine/plant, the number of the lease, tenement or other interest and the
name and address of the principal employer at the mine.
The specic operations may include surface mining, underground mining, mineral processing, smel-
ting, rening or waste disposal. Usually a separate RMP (and, where applicable, RWMP) are required
for each separate site to which Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations apply.

3.3. Introduction
The introduction should detail the history of the site and ownership (where necessary) and the reason
a RMP is required. Whilst this reason is clear in cases of uranium and mineral sands operations, for
other facilities such as tin and tantalum processing, or for some underground mines the source of the
radioactivity needs to be described.
The mining and/or mineral processing activities to be undertaken on the site, including a description
of the type of mine, the treatment of minerals that is to take place at the site, the expected duration of
mining and/or processing operations and the critical project dates for construction and commissioning
of facilities, should be summarised. The site operations summary could be enhanced by the inclusion
of a block diagram of broad functional activities, showing inter-relationships.

3.4. Workforce information


The number of persons who will be employed at the facility should be detailed. This requires
workforce stratication as a function of the work category, gender and type of employer (company
or contractor).

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

The proposed shift roster system to be used, the likely average annual working hours and those
employees or categories of employees who will be designated should also be described.

3.5. Critical group information


Critical group is a group of members of the public comprising individuals who are relatively ho-
mogeneous with regard to age, diet and those behavioural characteristics that may aect the doses
received and who are likely to receive the highest radiation doses from a particular operation. The
likely critical groups of the public should be identied and the location of these groups shown on a
suitable location plan.
The size and demographics of the critical groups should also be briey described. In some cases
identication of the critical group may not be possible due to the distance from the proposed site
being too far for a group to receive any measurable radiation dose. However, even in such situations,
there still exits a need for the operator to demonstrate that the impact of the operation on the local
environment is minimal or negligible; and, in these cases a reference plant/animal may be selected
for the study, after the consultation with an appropriate authority. The ora/fauna selected should,
in these cases, described in the RMP.

3.6. Sources and pathways of radiation exposure


The RMP should contain sucient information to allow all signicant exposure sources and pathways
to be identied. This should include plans of the mine and/or processing plant, descriptions of the
equipment to be used and processes involved, and estimates of the radionuclides' concentrations in
process and tailing streams.
A radionuclide mass balance is typically required, with all inputs, outputs and wastes clearly identi-
ed and characterised from a radiological perspective. Consideration should be given to the potential
for the accumulation of radioactive scales and/or sludges inside the processing vessels and in asso-
ciated pipe work. All process inputs, outputs and wastes that require specic consideration from a
radiological perspective should be clearly identied.
Estimates of the radiation levels to which various categories of employees and critical group(s) could
be exposed should be provided, using appropriate exposure pathway models and/or contemporary
experience. Suitable and sucient scientic justication, including references where appropriate,
should be provided for any models, assumptions or data used in the estimation process.

3.7. Equipment and facilities for controlling radiation sources


The RMP should identify the measures that will be implemented to control radiation exposures. This
should include provision of such engineering controls as ventilation, dust and fume control measures,
and shielding.
The specic mining and/or mineral processing equipment to which engineering control methods will
apply should be listed and the measures that will assure adequate control of radiation exposure
should be outlined.
Elements of plant and equipment design which assist in minimising radiation exposure must also
be detailed, such as layout of plant and equipment, housekeeping measures, and contamination and
spillage control. Diagrams that show the location of regularly occupied workplaces, such as oces,
control and crib rooms, in relation to radioactive process streams, stockpiles and tailings piles should

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

also be included. Measures limiting access to controlled and restricted areas should also be described,
including physical barriers and administrative controls.
Summary details of engineering control technology, such as the specications of the equipment, should
be provided together with location details of process exhaust stacks, where applicable.
The features that should be considered during design of a plant processing radioactive minerals
include:
1. Ecient movement of radioactive materials and process streams and the safe movement of
workers.
2. Location of dust-generating activities, such as crushing in relation to other activities.
3. Physical separation of processes containing elevated concentrations of NORM from frequently
occupied areas.
4. Ventilation of, and provision of services such as washing facilities to, control and crib rooms.
5. Method of movement of dry materials by conveyors or through pipes and chutes.
6. Eciency of various ventilation control techniques (the fact that high ventilation rates used to
reduce radon accumulation may result in excessive dust re-suspension from surfaces should be
taken into account, where applicable).
7. Accessibility of equipment for the purposes of maintenance, removal and replacement.
8. Materials used in the construction of plant and equipment (e.g. the use of hard materials would
prevent particles of mineral embedding rmly onto surfaces and will therefore, reduce the
potential for non-removable contamination of surfaces).
9. Need for containment bunds and the manner in which spilt process material will be returned
to the process.
10. The degree of automation for identied critical processes, such as handling and packaging of
radioactive material.
11. Use of high reliability equipment with minimal maintenance requirements in circuits where
materials with signicantly elevated concentrations of radionuclides are treated.
12. The most important consideration in the design of facilities for the processing of NORM is
the containment of radioactive materials. The materials that cannot be eectively contained
within the process should be controlled by means of ventilation and dust suppression to prevent
the release of the material into the environment and to minimise the potential occupational
exposure.
13. Adequately designed and balanced ventilation and dust control systems are typically the most
eective methods of minimising radiation exposure in both underground and surface mines,
and in the plants processing dry minerals.
14. The generation of dust should be minimised by the use of appropriate techniques such as the
use of water and other means of suppressing dust and the use of appropriate equipment.
15. Where dust is generated, it should be suppressed at the source. If practicable, the source should
be enclosed under negative air pressure.
16. Care should be taken to avoid the re-suspension of dust as a result of equipment vibration and
high air velocities.
17. During maintenance operations, special care should be taken to control the occupational expo-
sures that may arise from the buildup of dust on internal and external surfaces of the equipment,
accumulation of radioactive material in pipes and vessels due to the formation of sediments and
the buildup of scale, and build-up of radon/thoron in enclosed areas such as mineral storage
tanks.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

18. Only when engineering methods of dust control do not achieve acceptable air quality in working
areas, personal respiratory protection should be provided to employees.
19. It is also important to ensure that dust control is an integral part of an overall system of
occupational hygiene. For example, some elements of dust extraction/collection system may
be a signicant source of exposure of employees to unacceptable levels of noise.

3.8. Institutional controls


The RMP should clearly show the assignment of responsibilities in regards to radiation protection
and accountability for radioactive sources, and the commitment of the organisation to maintain high
levels of occupational health and safety. Where necessary, a specic radiation protection policy
should also be developed.
The primary responsibility for the implementation of the RMP is usually delegated to the appropria-
tely qualied radiation safety ocer (RSO). The requirements may change depending on the scale of
operations and the levels of potential radiation exposure but, typically, an RSO is expected to have a
degree in physical science or equivalent and several years of experience in radiation protection, prefe-
rably in the mining and mineral processing industry. Where RSO is also undertaking air monitoring
it is important to note that the person is expected to have the minimum qualication of a surface
ventilation technician/ocer and be a `CONTAM registered sampler'. The main duties of the RSO
are advising the management on the implementation of the RMP and on all matters in relation to
radiation protection of employees, public and the environment; and the RMP should clearly describe
these duties.
A description of the operational procedures and practices should be provided in the RMP, including,
among other issues:
1. Designation of supervised, controlled and restricted areas and procedures for access control
(e.g. physical barriers, signs, special work permits).
2. Designation of employees according to the levels of radiation exposure.
3. General housekeeping measures.
4. Correct operation of control equipment, including preventative maintenance measures and sche-
dules.
5. Standard operating procedures for critical operations from a radiation protection perspective,
including special procedures to be followed during certain identied maintenance tasks (it is
sometimes practical to compile these procedures in a separate document that may be submitted
to the appropriate authority as a supplement to RMP).
6. Emergency planning and response for accidents involving radiation.
7. Use of personal protective equipment.
8. Inspection and auditing program to ensure that correct work practices and procedures are being
followed.
9. Controlled area work rules.
The location of controlled and supervised areas should be marked on an appropriate plan together
with the location of caution signs. Details of the wording of signs, notices and special work permits
used for access control should also be provided.
Although it may be appropriate in many cases for the boundaries of supervised areas to be marked
with signs, this may not always be necessary or productive. It may be necessary to designate a

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

supervised area within a mining/processing site to which members of the public may have access,
but signs at the entrance to the site may cause unwarranted concern.
The areas in which gamma dose rates or airborne concentration limits may be approached or exceeded
should be designated as requiring special precautions for entry and classied as restricted areas. The
additional requirements for personnel performing operations, maintenance and repair work in such
areas should be specied, together with any specic instructions and training to be provided to
workers. Procedures for visitors should also be provided.
The primary reliance for radiation safety and control should be placed on properly designed facilities
and engineered controls rather than on personal protective equipment. Dust (and radon/thoron)
should usually be controlled in a such a way that protective equipment is not necessary for routine
tasks. However, there may be situations where engineered controls cannot reasonably be provided
and the use of such equipment is necessary. Respiratory protection equipment may also be needed
in emergencies, for repair and maintenance, and in special short term circumstances.
The situations when personal protective equipment is required should be summarised, with details
being provided of the location, task, reason for the need of protective equipment, its type, and
expected frequency and duration of task. The procedures for proper tting, training, cleaning,
maintenance and inspection of personal protective equipment should also be summarised.
For additional guidance please refer to the respiratory protection section in Appendix B of NORM4.1
Dust control strategies.
Personal hygiene rules should also be established and compliance with them should be continuously
monitored. In the rst aid procedures special precautions in cleaning of wounds potentially conta-
minated with radioactive material must be clearly described.
When employees are required to work in areas with relatively high levels of radiation exposure and
when no other practicable means of control are available (for example in underground workings with
unusually high uranium concentrations and radon levels), job rotation could be used in order to
restrict the radiation exposure of individual workers. Job rotation, however, should not be used as a
substitute for the development of an appropriate radiation protection system.

3.9. Employee training


All employees who may be exposed to radiation and all persons responsible for the implementation
of the RMP should receive appropriate training.
Senior management and employees in other departments (such as public relations, human resources,
administration, marketing, etc) should also be provided with information on risks associated with
radiation exposure and detailed description of sources and pathways of radiation exposure at relevant
mining and processing sites.
Employees whose work may impact on the levels of radiation exposure (designers, planners, etc)
should also be provided with basic information.
Training programs should include relevant information and the following information should be pro-
vided in the RMP:
1. Details of the induction program (i.e. training for new employees), including summary of topics
covered, duration and context in relation to overall induction.
2. Details of periodic re-training, including format, duration and frequency.
3. Details of any additional training given to the management personnel.
4. Details of any emergency response and preparedness training.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

The qualication and experience of the person conducting the training (if not done by the RSO)
should also be provided.
The nature and extent of employee training is expected to vary with job requirements and respon-
sibilities. For a person whose duties do not include work in a controlled area, a simple description
of the working environment, protective measures and average levels of exposure may be sucient.
However, for a person who is typically required to perform tasks in controlled areas on a regular
basis, much more detailed and extensive training program is necessary, particularly in relation to the
compliance with safe work procedures and the use and maintenance of protection equipment.

3.10. Radiation monitoring program


The main aims of monitoring radiation levels in the workplace and in the environment are to:
ˆ determine compliance with regulatory limits;
ˆ determine radiation exposure of employees and members of general public;
ˆ assess the impact of operations on the local environment;
ˆ provide information on the eectiveness of control measures; and
ˆ access whether doses are as low as practicable (e.g. checking the eectiveness of control mea-
sures, studying specic tasks, identifying poor work practices, investigating incidents).
A detailed description of the radiation monitoring program should be provided in the RMP. The
program should list for each radiationrelated parameter (external radiation, airborne radioactivity,
waterborne radioactivity, radon/thoron, and surface contamination) the following:
1. Location, task or category or employees monitored.
2. Environmental media (air, water) monitored.
3. Type of sampling (personal, positional, ground water, surface water, etc.).
4. Duration of sampling.
5. Frequency of measurement.
6. Sampling equipment and calibration records.
7. Analysis method, the type of radiation or radionuclides measured.
8. Any other information, as applicable.
The parameters to be measured should include all those identied in Section 3.6 on page 5.
For additional guidance please refer to NORM3.1 Pre-operational radiation monitoring requirements
and NORM3.2 Operational radiation monitoring requirements.
In the case of a new operation, an initial monitoring program should be exhaustive in order to tho-
roughly characterise the radiological environment and to identify any locations and/or work practices
requiring special attention. When the radiation levels stabilise and it is established that a facility
operates under normal conditions, monitoring frequencies and locations should be adjusted to reect
the level and variability of dierent radiation parameters. In general, more frequent monitoring is
required where levels are higher and variable; less frequent monitoring is required where levels are
low and relatively constant.
Surface contamination measurements are the main method of assessing housekeeping standards, and
are useful in the inspection of equipment prior to maintenance. Surface contamination monitoring
is very important in the control over release of potentially contaminated equipment from site and,
therefore, will usually be an integral component of the monitoring program.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

The need for monitoring of radon/thoron concentrations is dependent on a particular site conditions.
In mineral sands operations it is not usually necessary to assess radon/thoron concentrations in
open pits; however in situations where large amounts of mineral are present in enclosed buildings,
this monitoring is typically a part of a program. These measurements are also usually necessary in
underground mines and in situation when a material contains elevated concentrations of uranium.
The general monitoring guidance is suggested in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1.: General monitoring guidance


Radiation radionuclide level Monitoring
Average levels <25% of occupational limits. Initial assessment and periodic conrmatory
surveys; repeat as conditions change.
Signicant number of individual measurements Commence routine monitoring of the
>25% of derived occupational exposure limits.‡ workplace.
Dose, average concentration, reaches or exceeds Individual exposure assessment:
25% of occupational limits. External  personal dosimeters/badges.
Internal  personal samplers (dust), area
sampling and exposure time (radon).
Individual measurements approach or exceed Repeat the measurement.
derived occupational exposure limits.‡
Conrmed level approaches or exceeds Intensive monitoring in conjunction with
occupational exposure limits. re-evaluation of dose-reduction planning (with
an advice from the appropriate authority).
‡ Derived limit = radiation level that would result in the annual exposure equal to the statutory limit.

The RMP should include details of the quality assurance program for the radiation monitoring pro-
gram, including the various actions, which are taken to assess the adequacy of equipment, instruments
and procedures against established requirements such as the:
ˆ quality and specications of equipment and instruments;
ˆ training and experience of personnel using equipment and instruments;
ˆ verication of measurement procedures by the analysis of control samples and the use of stan-
dard methods for analysis (where applicable);
ˆ frequency of calibration and maintenance of equipment and instruments;
ˆ details and frequency of independent audits (where applicable);
ˆ need for traceability of the results of monitoring programs to the National Standard; and
ˆ degree of documentation needed to demonstrate that the required quality has been achieved
and is maintained.
The samples such as lters from dust monitoring need to be kept for two years for the purpose of
comparative analyses, if necessary.

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

3.11. Records management and reporting


The RMP should list the type of records to be kept, their format and method of storage. Records of
monitoring results, dose assessments (including calculation methods), and related information should
be retained in an easily retrievable form and kept for a period of at least 30 years.
The amount of records to be kept and their type will depend on the magnitude of potential radiation
exposure on a particular site.
Typically the RMP should require the records that are kept include the following:
1. Information on radiological conditions at the particular site (external gamma-radiation sur-
veys; airborne and waterborne radioactivity surveys, particle size characterisation assessments,
surface contamination surveys, inventory of radioactive materials, methods and locations for
the disposal of radioactive wastes).
2. Assessments of radiation exposure of employees and members of the public (external and inter-
nal radiation doses, and methods for their determination, bio-assay data  where applicable).
3. Assessments of impact on the local environment (measurements of all potential pathways of
radioactive material discharges, environmental exposures  modelling and assumptions used
in assessments).
4. All documentation relevant to the implementation of the system of radiation protection on
the site (safety assessments of whole operations and designs of relevant processing equipment;
descriptions of unusual operational events, standard operating procedures and relevant company
policies, descriptions of training programs, quality assurance data and reports of all external
audits conducted on the site).
It is recommended that RMP contains a requirement that the individual annual occupational expo-
sure record includes the following:
1. Unique identication of the individual (e.g. MineHealth surveillance number).
2. The exposure for the current year and, where available, for the relevant ve-year period.
3. Results of the measurements for the estimation of the external dose, and methods of assessment.
4. Results of the measurements for the estimation of internal dose (result of personal dust and
radon/thoron monitoring), and methods of assessment.
5. The allocated dose for lost or damaged monitors or samples.
6. Any special radiation exposure assigned to the employee.
7. Record of the formal declaration of pregnancy, any revocations of such declaration, and mea-
sures taken to ensure that dose to this employee is kept under 1 mSv over the remainder of the
pregnancy.
The RMP needs to include a commitment for reporting the results of monitoring programs (both oc-
cupational and environmental), and all related information. Reports will be required to the regulatory
authority, management, and for the employees, at least on an annual basis. Operational requirements
may require more frequent reporting and analysis to management and to the appropriate authority.
For additional guidance in regards to the format of statutory reports and for the levels that, when
detected, would typically require investigation please refer to NORM6 Reporting requirements.

3.12. Dose assessment


The RMP should specify how the results of the monitoring program, detailed in Section 3.10 on
page 9, would be used in the assessment of doses of employees.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

For new operations, the RMP should include an estimate of the likely doses to be received by the
various categories of employees, together with documentation of all assumptions used.
An individual dose assessment should be required for any worker who is normally employed in a
controlled area. For any single component of occupational exposure (external and internal) these
assessments could be considered if monitoring indicates that annual exposure may exceed 1 mSv,
and must be conducted if the estimated dose is likely to exceed 5 mSv per year.
For additional guidance please refer to the NORM5 Dose assessment.

3.13. Waste management system


The radioactive waste management is an integral part of the RMP and, in some circumstances, a
separate document titled Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP) should be developed for
the operation.
The nature and extent of information provided in the RMP/RWMP in relation to waste management
will depend upon the nature, volume and radioactivity of the wastes and other site-specic factors.
For example, if the highest concentration of radionuclides in the waste material at a particular site
is in order of several Bq/g and no chemical treatment of mineral takes place, the waste management
strategy will be very simple. However, if numerous waste streams are generated at a site using
chemical and/or thermal treatment of minerals and concentrations of radionuclides are in order of
several tens of Bq/g or above, the separate Radioactive Waste Management Plan will need to be
prepared.
The RMP/RWMP should include a summary of the chemical, physical and radiological characte-
ristics and quantity of each of the solid materials and liquid and airborne euents that may be
classied as radioactive waste and will, therefore, require management from a `radiation perspective'.
Examples of such materials include uranium processing tailings, some tailings from processing of dif-
ferent NORM, certain slimes from settling ponds, material collected by the dust extraction systems,
scrubber euents, stack emissions, liquids in discharge pipes and storm sewers, contaminated parts
of plant and equipment, scales and sludges from process vessels and pipes, etc.
Most waste generated during mining and processing of NORM contains non-radiological hazardous
components similar to those present in waste from other mining and processing activities. In certain
cases, chemical toxicity of some of the contaminants in the waste may cause signicant environmental
impacts when the concentrations of radionuclides are considerably below those that require a special
program for the management of this waste from the radiological perspective. It is, therefore, impor-
tant to ensure that radioactive waste management is an integral part of an overall environmental
management program for the particular site.
Waste management system should utilise the best practicable technology and be designed to mi-
nimise the release of radioactivity into the environment. All possible pathways for dispersion of
radionuclides in the environment should be considered. Initial assessment should include handling,
treatment, storage, and disposal of radioactive waste, and it is recommended that following elements
are described in detail:
1. Outline of the operation and the processes generating waste.
2. Characterisation of wastes including nature of materials (chemical, physical and radiological),
contaminants, and quantities and rates of generation.
3. Detailed characterisation of the environment: climate, terrain, soils, vegetation, hydrology.
4. Heritage (social and cultural), and land use (present, potential and future).

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

5. Waste management facilities and practices, waste conditioning (where applicable) and contain-
ment.
6. Possible discharges: form (gas, liquid or solid), discharge and release criteria.
7. Contingency measures for natural events, incidents, equipment and operational failures, tem-
porary cessation of operations.
8. Monitoring programs, assessments of results and reporting.
9. The need for restricted release zones.
10. Outline of the proposed closure plan for the site, including decommissioning, decontamination
and rehabilitation concepts, proposals for long-term surveillance and reporting, records mana-
gement, institutional controls (where required), and the description of possible future caveats
to land use (please refer to Section 2.3.5. Contaminated Sites of the guideline NORM4.2
Management of radioactive waste for more information).
When all characteristics of each potentially radioactive waste stream are known, the specic mana-
gement strategy should be described for each material, including (in addition to the list above):
1. The facilities and procedures, including control technologies used in handling and treatment of
the waste.
2. Monitoring program, including the specic radiation parameters to be measured and any inde-
pendent audits undertaken.
3. In the case of nal disposal in a specically designed facility (such as for the disposal of tailings
from a uranium or rare earth processing plant) include:

a) information on the design, operation and expected performance capability of the disposal
facility and its exact location;
b) techniques to be used for the disposal, such as method of deposition, tails conditioning,
dam lining, depth of cover, cover material;
c) the possibility for leaching of radionuclides, potential for their o-site migration and pro-
cedures to prevent this process;
d) institutional controls to be implemented, such as long-term monitoring and record-keeping;
and
e) an exact amount of material disposed in the facility, its radiological characteristics and
description of other hazards associated with the particular waste.

The RMP/RWMP should include suitable diagrams and maps/plans to describe the design and
location of storage or disposal facilities and the location of restricted release zones.
In order to ensure that in the long term the use of the disposal site is not restricted, Mines Safety and
Inspection Regulation 16.35 (2) requires that, so far as is practicable, radioactive waste is diluted
with other mined material before it is disposed of.
It is important that the blending of materials is carried out with caution, particularly in cases when
the material to be diluted was a subject to a chemical and/or thermal processing and mobility of
some radionuclides may have increased in comparison with the material's original state. A formal
approval by the appropriate authority is required before any blending of materials commences, and
systems must be in place to ensure that dilution process is carried out in accordance with any special
conditions that may be imposed by the appropriate authority.
The blending of radioactive waste with other mined material is typically practical only in cases
where no chemical and/or thermal treatment of mineral has taken place and radionuclides in both
uranium and thorium decay chains are in the state of secular equilibrium. Limited blending options

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

are available for all other waste material and typical conditions are that if the blended waste is
not disposed of, its re-use is limited to the applications where public exposures will be negligible,
for example  as a construction material for sea walls and articial reefs around industrial ports.
In these cases it will still be necessary that all radionuclides are stabilised within concrete and no
measurable leaching of elements like uranium and radium into the sea water occurs.
Some aspects of waste management would have already been addressed during the formal environ-
mental approval process and in many cases it would be sucient to simply reference the appropriate
sections of the environmental impact assessment and other relevant documents. Similarly, facilities
for tailings storage and/or disposal are, as a rule, licensed in accordance with relevant legislation and
are subject to periodic engineering performance assessments.
In some cases when, several years after the closure of a disposal facility, it is known that radioactivity
levels in waste materials are low and radionuclides are very unlikely to leach into the ground water
(for example, in mineral sands mining), a long-term radiation monitoring program for a particular
disposal site can be signicantly reduced and consist mainly of erosion monitoring.

3.14. Transport of radioactive materials


The RMP should include a detailed description of procedures for transport of radioactive materials,
including the:
ˆ types of packaging (where applicable) and signposting;
ˆ details of mode of transport and containers;
ˆ number of employees involved in transport and their estimated exposure times and doses;
ˆ amounts and radioactivity content of transported materials, frequency of transport movements;
ˆ transport routes, estimates of potential exposure of members of the general public and the
environment in the course of normal operations and in case of transport accidents (specic
emergency response procedures should also be developed); and
ˆ summary of operational procedures, particularly illustrating measures taken to ensure strict
compliance with transport safety regulations.
For additional guidance please refer to the guideline NORM4.3 Transport of NORM.

3.15. Radiation safety resources


The RMP should describe the management and reporting structure for the particular site, and the
duties and qualications of relevant personal and, in particular, the radiation safety ocer. The RMP
should also include a clear commitment to provide adequate sta with appropriate qualications and
experience, to advise the management on all aspects of radiation protection on the site.
The RMP should also list the monitoring equipment and support facilities, including the:
ˆ make and model of the equipment;
ˆ purpose of the particular instrument and its applicability for the particular purpose;
ˆ calibration methods and frequency, and traceability to the National Standard; and
ˆ maintenance and replacement schedule.

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

3.16. List of commitments


The nal section of the RMP should summarise all the commitments made throughout the document,
with references to their location within the RMP.

3.17. Examples of gures and tables to be included in the Radiation


Management Plan
The following examples are provided to illustrate the type of gures and tables that could be included
in the RMP to enhance the presentation of specic information.

3.17.1. Figures

The gures should include:


1. General location diagram of operations/facilities.
2. Map/plan of the site, showing layout of infrastructure in relation to the tenement boundaries
and the national grid.
3. Location of critical groups of the public.
4. Diagrams of waste disposal facilities, showing relevant engineering details.
5. Diagrams showing location and details of engineering control equipment used during various
stages of operations.
6. Maps/plans showing locations of supervised, controlled and restricted areas.
7. Diagram showing process ows with particular attention paid to potentially radioactive streams.
8. Examples of warning signs used on site and their locations.

3.17.2. Tables

The tables should include:


1. A summary of site history.
2. The workforce stratication information, including shift patterns.
3. A summary of sources/pathways of radiation exposure.
4. The radionuclide mass balance.
5. The radiation monitoring program.
6. A list of radiation monitoring equipment.
7. A list of radiation gauges (density, in-stream analysers, etc.) and their locations.
8. A summary of dose estimation calculations, by work category and exposure pathway.
9. The outline of employee induction programs.
It is recommended that typical results obtained during routine monitoring be included in the form of
tables and charts. Where special forms associated with the RMP have been developed (such as, for
example, a `clearance form' for the removal of potentially contaminated equipment from the site, or

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

a `controlled area entry permit'), it is recommended to provide an example of a completed document


instead of the blank form.
It is also useful to compile a special radiation protection standard job procedures manual (so all
relevant work instructions are available in one document) and submit it to the appropriate authority
as an appendix or a supplement to the RMP.

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

A. Appendix showing a Radiation


Management Plan checklist

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
1 Front cover
Controlled document To verify that proper control Reg. 16.7(3) Sec. 3.8.3
of documentation is in place.
Each page dated and To verify unauthorised Reg. 16.7(6) Sec. 2.9.6
identied changes cannot be made to
the RMP.
Title of document To verify that the document Reg. 16.7(1) Sec. 2.7.1.
submitted is the RMP.
Reference number of To verify the RMP is stored Reg. 16.25 Sec.
document in a records management 2.7.2(e)
system.
Date of issue To verify the RMP is current Reg. 16.7(4) Sec. 2.9.6
and reviewed every 2 years.
Date of submission To verify the RMP has been Reg. 16.7(3) Sec. 2.9.6
provided to the State Mining
Engineer.
Name of Company To verify owner of the RMP. Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
Name of Operation To verify site where RMP is Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
implemented.
Endorsed by Registered To verify that the responsible Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.10.1
Manager person has complied.

2 Scope
Details of operations To verify the the size and Reg. 16.8(2) Sec. 2.7.2
and facilities scope of the operations.
Details of location To verify the exact location Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.7.2
of the site.
Details of Lease or To verify the site location Reg. 16.7 Sec. 2.7.2
Tenement under the Mining Act.

3 Introduction
History of site or To verify current RMP Reg. 16.25 Sec.
ownership includes previous records or 3.8.1(f)
plans.
Reason for Radiation To verify a RMP is required. Reg. 16.2 Sec. 2.7.1
Management Plan
Mining/processing To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.3.2
activities on site equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Type of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.1
mine/processing plant equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Expected duration of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.1
operations equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Critical project dates To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Block diagrams of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2
functional activities equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Process ow-sheets To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

4 Workforce
Number of persons To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
employed equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(b)
operational procedures.
Stratication - To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
employees/contractors equipment, facilities and 2.10.1(m)
& gender operational procedures. (p)
Work categories To verify use of appropriate Reg.16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.6.7
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Roster system To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2(b
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Average working hours To verify use of appropriate Reg.16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2(b
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Designated employees To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2(b
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Radiation exposures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2(b
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

5 Critical groups
Identication To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(c)
radiation from the operation.
Location To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Size To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Demographics To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Land-use maps To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Location plan or map To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.
Radiation exposures To verify that members of Reg. 16.9 Sec.
the public are not exposed to 2.8.2(e)
radiation from the operation.

6 Sources & pathways of


radiation exposure
Identied sources & To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
pathways monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 3.8.1(a)
place.
Plans of To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
mines/processing plant monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.1(a)
place.
Descriptions of To verify that adequate Reg. Sec. 2.8.2
equipment monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii)
place.
Processes involved To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.2(a)
place.
Risk assessments To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.2(d)
place.
Process streams To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec.
system. 2.8.2(d)
Radionuclide To verify that adequate Reg. Sec.
concentrations monitoring programs are in 16.7(2)(a)(ii) 2.8.2(d)
place.
Radionuclide balances To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec.
system. 2.8.2(d)
Inputs/outputs To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec.
system. 2.8.2(d)
Accumulation of To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec.
radioactive system. 2.8.2(d)
scales/sludges
Scientic justication, To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec.
models, data practicable technology is 2.8.2(d)
incorporated on site.
List of radiation To verify sealed radiation Reg. 16.38 Sec.
gauges/x-ray sources and irradiating 2.7.2(e)
equipment apparatus.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
7 Control of radiation
exposure
Measures implemented To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.15 Sec.
employee doses as low as 3.8.1(b)
practicable.
Engineering controls, To verify that the best Reg. 16.15 Sec.
methods and practicable technology is 3.8.1(b)
specications incorporated on site. Sec. 3.9.1
Ventilation controls To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec. 2.6.2
practicable technology is Sec.
incorporated on site. 3.8.1(b)
Dust controls To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.15 Sec. 2.6.2
employee doses as low as Sec.
practicable. 3.8.1(b)
Fume controls To verify dust suppression is Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
being used. Sec.
3.8.1(b)
Shielding To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
employee doses as low as Sec.
practicable. 3.8.1(b)
Processing equipment To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
controls practicable technology is Sec.
incorporated on site. 3.8.1(b)
Exposure minimisation To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
techniques employee doses as low as Sec.
practicable. 3.8.1(b)
Plans of plant layout Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
3.7.2(a)
Housekeeping measures To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
employee doses as low as Sec.
practicable. 3.7.2(a)
Contamination control To verify use restricted Reg. 16.7(2)(c)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
release zones.
Spillage control To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec. 2.6.2
practicable technology is
incorporated on site.
Diagrams of occupied To verify measures to keep Reg. 16.15 Sec.
workplaces in relation employee doses as low as 3.7.2(a)
to radiation levels or practicable.
radioactive mineral
streams
Controlled areas To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
system.
Exhaust stacks, bag To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
house dust collectors system.
Storm-water discharge To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
system.

8 Institutional controls

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Responsibilities of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.10.1
personnel equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Accountability To verify that the manger is Reg. 16.9(3) Sec. 3.10.1
advised on matters to do
with implementing RMP.
Commitment To verify manager is Reg. 16.8(1) Sec.
committed to implementing 2.8.2(a)
the RMP.
Radiation Safety To verify that a appropriate Reg. 16.8 Sec.
Ocer/Licence RSO has been appointed. 2.10.1(d)
Designation of To verify doses are being Reg.16.16 Sec.
supervised, controlled controlled. 2.10.1(m)
and restricted areas
Housekeeping measures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Preventative To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.6.2
maintenance, measures, equipment, facilities and
schedules operational procedures.
Operating procedures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.10.1(a)
operational procedures.
Emergency planning To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(f)
operational procedures.
Personal protective To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
equipment equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(c)
operational procedures.
Inspection and auditing To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
programs equipment, facilities and 2.8.3(b)
operational procedures.
Controlled area work To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
rules equipment, facilities and 3.8.1(b)
operational procedures.
Signage To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.10.2
appropriate equipment,
facilities and operational
procedures.
Personal hygiene rules To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.10.2
appropriate equipment,
facilities and operational
procedures.
Job rotation To verify doses are kept as Reg. 16.15 Sec.
low as practicable. 3.8.1(b)

9 Employee training

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Induction program To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Periodic re-training To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Radiation safety To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training of personnel training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(d)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Details of person giving To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(a)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)
Syllabus To verify the instruction and Reg. Sec.
training program. 16.7(2)(a)(v) 2.7.2(a)
Sec.
3.8.1(e)

10 Radiation monitoring
program
Compliance with limits To verify radiation dose is Reg. 16.15 Sec.
kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Exposure to employees To verify radiation dose is Reg. 16.15 Sec.
and public kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Impact of operations on To verify environmental Reg. 16.6 Sec.
environment radiation monitoring 3.8.1(c)
program.
Eectiveness of controls To verify radiation dose is Reg. 16.15 Sec.
kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Employees monitored To verify radiation dose is Reg. 16.15 Sec.
kept as low as practicable. 3.8.1(c)
Type of monitoring and To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
sampling monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Duration To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Frequency To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Sampling equipment To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.8(2) Sec.
equipment. 2.7.2(c)
Calibration records of To verify monitoring Reg. 16.8(3) Sec.
all equipment equipment is being 3.8.3(a)
maintained.
Analysis methods To verify procedures for the Reg. 16.7(2)iii Sec.
assessment of dose. 3.8.1(c)
Radiation types To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitored monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Radionuclides To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Surface contamination To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
monitoring program. 3.8.1(c)
Radon/Thoron dose To verify procedures for the Reg. 16.7(2)iii Sec.
estima- assessment of dose. 3.8.1(c)
tions/measurements
Equipment To verify that the best Reg. 16.7(5) Sec.
specications practicable technology is 2.7.2(c)
available.
Training and To verify adequacy of sta . Reg. 16.8(2) Sec.
experience of personnel 2.7.2(a)
Calibration and To verify monitoring Reg. 16.8(3) Sec.
traceability of equipment is being 3.8.3(a)
results/schedules maintained.
including Australian
Standards
Audits  internal and To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
external monitoring program. 3.8.3(b)
Quality assurance To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec. 3.8.3
program which is monitoring program.
compliant with
Australian Standards.

11 Records management &


reporting
Information on To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
radiological conditions records are being kept under 2.7.2(e)
the RMP.
Assessments of To verify that records are Reg. 16.25(1)(a) Sec.
exposures being kept of dose 2.10.1(n)
assessments. Sec.
2.10.1(o)
Impact on local To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
environment records are being kept under 2.10.1(n)
the RMP.
Relevant To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(1)(d) Sec.
documentation records are being kept under 2.7.2(e)
the RMP .
Identication of To verify that monitoring Reg. 16.25(1)(b) Sec.
individuals records are being kept . 3.8.1(f)
Easy, secure long term To verify that appropriate Reg. 16.25(5) Sec.
access to data records are being kept under 3.8.1(f)
the RMP .
Reporting to the State To verify that results from Reg. 16.26 Sec.
Mining Engineer the monitoring program and 2.10.1(g)(i)
waste management plan are (j)(h)
reported to SME.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
12 Dose assessment
Methodology for To verify the use of Reg. Sec.
exposure calculations appropriate procedures for 16.7(2)(a)(iii) 2.7.2(b)
the assessment of dose. Sec.
2.8.1(d)

13 Waste management
Pre-operational To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.6 Sec.
monitoring program equipment, facilities and 2.8.2(b)
operational procedures. Sec. 3.9.1
Nature of waste To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Volume of waste To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Radioactivity of waste To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Outline of processes To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
generating waste equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Characterisation of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
wastes equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Characterisation of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
environment equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Heritage and land use To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Waste management To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
facilities equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Waste management To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
practices equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Waste conditioning To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Contingency measures To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Monitoring program To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Assessment of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
monitoring results equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

24 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Reporting To verify reporting on waste Reg 16.26(b) Sec. 3.9.1
management system.
Restricted release zones To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c)(i) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Decommissioning plan To verify use of appropriate 16.35(1)(a) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Rehabilitation and To verify use of appropriate 16.35(1)(a) Sec. 3.9.1
closure criteria equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Long-term surveillance To verify use of appropriate 16.35(1)(a) Sec. 3.9.1
and reporting equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Control technologies To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Handling and To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.9.1
treatment of waste equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Independent audits To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Disposal techniques To verify waste management Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
system.
Leachability of To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
radionuclides equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.
Hazards of wastes To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(c) Sec. 3.9.1
equipment, facilities and
operational procedures.

14 Transport
Types of packaging To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Signposting To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Details of transport To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
mode and containers appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Numbers of employees To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
involved appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 25


Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Standard Intent MSIR Regulation Mining X


[1] Code [3]
Estimates of exposures To verify adequacy of Reg. 16.7(2)(ii) Sec.
and doses need to be monitoring program . 3.8.1(b)
provided in order to
judge the adequacy of
control measures.
Amounts of To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
radioactivity (per appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
package & annual) facilities and operational
procedures.
Frequency and To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
transport movements appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Transport routes To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Operational procedures To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
appropriate equipment, 3.8.1(b)
facilities and operational
procedures.
Emergency procedures To verify the use of Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.7.2
appropriate equipment, (f)
facilities and operational
procedures.

15 Radiation safety
resources
Lists of equipment and To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
facilities equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(c)
operational procedures.
The name and To verify use of appropriate Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec.
qualications of the equipment, facilities and 2.7.2(a)
RSO and list of people operational procedures .
involved in monitoring

16 List of commitments
Commitments clearly To verify that the responsible Reg. 16.8(1) Sec. 2.7.1
laid out person will ensure the RMP
is complied with.

17 Glossary
Lists of word meanings To verify the meanings of the Reg. 16.7(2)(a)(i) Sec. 2.3.4
terms used in RMP

26 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

Bibliography
[1] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.
[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.
[3] Code of Practice and Safety Guide: Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management
in Mining and Minerals Processing, Radiation Protection Series Publication No.9, Australian
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2005.
[4] Safety Guide: Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), Radiation
Protection Series Publication No.15, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
(ARPANSA), 2008.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 27


Index
accidents, 7 mineral processing, 2, 4
airborne concentration limits, 8 monazite, 2
annual working hours, 5 monitoring equipment, 14
auditing program, 7 monitoring program, 9, 10, 13, 15

calibration, 10, 14 new employees, 8


commitments, 15
occupied workplaces, 2
contaminated, 12
control measures, 9 pathways, 8
control rooms, 6 personal protective equipment, 7
Controlled area, 7 principal employer, 2
controlled area, 6
controlled document, 4 radiation exposure, 8
crib rooms, 6 radiation gauges, 15
critical group, 2, 5 radiation management plan, 2, 4
critical processes, 6 radioactive mineral stockpile, 2
radioactive process stream, 5
decommissioning, 13 radionuclides, 6, 9
decontamination, 13 re-training, 8
dose assessment, 11 records management, 11, 13
dust, 5, 6 rening, 4
dust extraction, 12 registered manager, 2
regulatory limits, 9
emergency planning, 7
reporting, 11, 13
engineering controls, 5
responsible person, 2
engineering methods, 7
restricted areas, 7
environment, 9
RSO, 7, 9
exhaust stacks, 2
RWMP, 12
exposure sources, 5
sampling, 9
fume control, 5 scales, 5, 12
gamma dose rates, 8 scrubber, 12
gamma-radiation surveys, 11 shielding, 5
ground water, 14 shift roster system, 5
sludges, 5, 12
housekeeping, 7, 9 smelting, 4
stack emissions, 12
induction program, 8 State Mining Engineer, 2
institutional controls, 7 stockpiles, 5
storage facilities, 2
job rotation, 8
supervised areas, 7, 15
maintenance, 6, 7, 14 surface contamination, 9
mass balance, 5, 15 surface mining, 4
MineHealth, 11 tailings, 5

28
Guideline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  mining and processing

tantalum processing, 4
titanium dioxide, 2
training, 8, 10
transport of radioactive materials, 14

underground mines, 4, 10
uranium, 10
uranium milling, 2

ventilation, 5

washing facilities, 6
waste disposal, 4
waste management, 12, 14
waterborne radioactivity, 9
workforce, 4

zircon milling, 2

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 29


Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM3.1

Monitoring NORM  pre-operational monitoring requirements


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM3.1. Monitoring NORM  pre-operational monitoring
requirements  guideline: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 19pp.
<www.dmp.wa.gov.au>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Contents
List of Figures iv

1. General information 1
1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2
2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Elements to be considered in the program design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2.1. Radioactivity content and characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2.2. Pathway analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.3. Identication of a critical group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2.4. Other considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3. Monitoring methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.1. Gamma radiation surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.2. Airborne radioactivity surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.2.1. Atmospheric dusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.2.2. Radon and thoron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.3. Water quality surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.4. Other monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.4.1. Soil sampling and assessment of secular equilibrium . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.4.2. Surface contamination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.4.3. Biota samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4. Data presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

A. Appendix with a suggested pre-operational radiation monitoring program 13

B. Appendix about survey instruments and their data interpretation 14


B.1. General considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
B.2. Data interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Bibliography 18

Index 19

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1. Gamma survey  recommended grid sizes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


2.2. Mini-Instruments 680 environmental radiation survey meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3. Electronic sampling of radon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4. Weather station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.5. Stygofauna trap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

B.1. The Ludlum 12S meter reads in µR/h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


B.2. The Mini-Instruments environmental radiation survey meter reads in µGy/h . . . . . 16
B.3. The Bicron `micro rem' meter reads in µSv/h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

1. General information
1.1. Purpose

To provide guidance on the practical ways of pre-operational monitoring in relevant exploration,


mining and mineral processing operations and on the assessment of obtained data.

1.2. Scope

This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [3].

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines

The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction

Pre-operational monitoring is conducted to obtain (establish) baseline data on background radionu-


clide concentrations and dose rates in the environment, at locations where exploration, mining and
mineral processing operations are proposed to take place. This data then allows for:

ˆ an assessment of the impact of proposed operations to the local environment; and

ˆ an appropriate baseline reference for the subsequent rehabilitation.

It is important to identify and characterise the parameters that the proposed operations are likely to
aect. Any parts of the existing environment with higher than local average levels of radioactivity
must be identied and described.

As with any monitoring program, the extent to which program elements are considered is dependent
on site specic considerations such as the mineral mined/processed, present and proposed future land
use, potential exposure pathways, variability of radiation parameters. The purpose of pre-operational
monitoring is mainly to address baseline meaurements for a new mine or processing plant and not
just for the exploration. Depending on the level of radiation hazard, some of the elements discussed
below may not be required. A suggested pre-operational radiation monitoring program is outlined
in Appendix A on page 13. For a relatively limited uranium exploration campaign, the appropriate
authorities should be consulted on what pre-operational monitoring is required. The aim of recording
this information in exploration is to be able to bring the environment (radiation levels included) back
to the state that existed prior to exploration activities taking place.

2.2. Elements to be considered in the program design

There are three important stages in the design of a pre-operational radiation monitoring program,
involving the identication of:

ˆ radionuclides in the material to be mined/processed, their concentrations and distribution in


the local environment;

ˆ possible pathways of the exposure of members of the public and local environment; and

ˆ critical group of members of the public and, where applicable, critical reference plant/animal.

2.2.1. Radioactivity content and characteristics


The generic data on radionuclides and their concentrations in the material to be mined and/or
processed is typically available from geological or other data. The data on the contents of these
radionuclides at the proposed exploration or mining/mineral processing site should be obtained for
local soil, ground and surface water, and biota. Any potential eects that exploration, mining
and/or processing operations may have on both the concentrations and physical/chemical states of
these radionuclides must be considered.

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

All development proposals (exploration, mining, concentration/separation, chemical/thermal proces-


sing, waste disposal, etc.) must be evaluated and their potential eect assessed. One of the most
important items to determine may be is to establish if naturally occurring uranium and thorium are
in secular equilibrium with their decay products and if the proposed operation is likely to inuence
this secular equilibrium and the mobility of radionuclides in the environment. It should be noted that
some minerals, despite being in their `natural state', may already be depleted of certain radioisotopes
from thorium and/or uranium decay chains prior to exploration/mining/processing, and it is very
important to establish if this is the case prior to the commencement of operations.

At the end of this stage a list of `radionuclides of interest' is compiled.

2.2.2. Pathway analysis


After it has been determined which radionuclides will need to be included into the monitoring pro-
gram, the assessment of potential pathways of exposure should be undertaken. In general, radio-
nuclides from an exploration or mining/processing site could reach humans and the surrounding
environment via atmospheric release, aquatic release, or both.

Two main pathways of exposure for humans are internal exposure (inhalation and ingestion) and
external exposure. External exposure to gamma-radiation will need to be assessed in almost all
cases; the potential pathway of exposure via surface contamination may also be applicable.

A detailed assessment of potential internal exposure must be conducted on a case-by-case basis and
the following pathways of exposure considered:

Inhalation:

1. Re-suspended dust.

2. Radon (
222 Rn) and its progeny.

3. Thoron (
220 Rn) and its progeny.

Ingestion:

1. Drinking water.

2. Incidental  dust and soil.

3. Home-grown produce, milk, meat, and locally caught aquatic organisms (e.g. sh, mussels,
shellsh).

It is very important to remember that when exploration, mining and/or processing is proposed to
be carried out in remote areas of Western Australia, a particular regard will need to be given to the
lifestyle and practices of local population. Indigenous people may be at a higher risk of radiation
exposure at and around exploration and mining sites due to, for example:

ˆ travelling on dusty roads in open vehicles;

ˆ sitting on the ground, living and sleeping in temporary structures with earth oors;

ˆ absence of adequate washing facilities, consuming local biota and cooking in the ground; and

ˆ recreational activities (particularly by children).

In these cases the exposure to radiation may be a result of not only direct pathways of radiation
exposure such as external gamma-radiation, inhalation of dust/radon, and ingestion of drinking
water, but also several indirect ones, which may also need to be assessed including:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

ˆ ingestion of contaminated ora (both surface and aquatic);

ˆ ingestion of contaminated fauna (both surface, air and aquatic); and

ˆ incidental ingestion of dust and soil (particularly for children).

At the end of this stage the list of `radionuclides of interest' is coupled with the pathways of potential
exposure and the identication of monitoring that will be required is carried out.

2.2.3. Identication of a critical group


The last stage in the design of pre-operational monitoring program is to identify the `critical group'.
According to the Australian Code of Practice for Mining and Mineral Processing [4], the critical
group is a group of members of the public comprising individuals who are relatively homogeneous with
regard to age, diet and those behavioural characteristics that aect the doses received and who receive
the highest radiation doses from a particular practice.
In Western Australia, mining and mineral processing operations can be located relatively far from
populated areas and serviced by y-in y-out personnel. After the completion of a particular project
it is not uncommon that people may only stay in the area once every several years and then, only
for very short periods of time. Therefore, their potential exposure to radiation cannot be adequately
quantied..

In some other cases, identication of the critical group may not be possible due to the distance
from the proposed site being too far for a group to receive any measurable radiation dose. However,
even in such situations, there still exits a need for the operator to demonstrate that the impact
of the operation on the local environment is minimal or negligible; and, in these cases a reference
plant/animal may be selected for the study.

It may be dicult for a local community to grasp the dierence between occupational and envi-
ronmental impact  people are part of an ecosystem and this should be addressed; either by the
study of a plant/animal or a critical group. While it may be very dicult to explain your baseline
measurements in terms of milliSieverts and Becquerels to a community, being able to to say that
a particular water hole, the animals and plants around it are no dierent from before will have a
better reception. This is an example when some part of a radiation monitoring program may not
be required from a purely technical point of view, but social considerations have been taken into
account.

On conclusion of the pre-operational radiation monitoring program design, the following information
should be available:

1. Radionuclides to be monitored.

2. Media to be monitored.

3. Critical group whose radiation exposure will be assessed.

This information is sucient for the design of a comprehensive monitoring program. At this point
a consultation with the DMP (and, in some cases, with other government departments) is highly
advisable to ensure that an assessment of the proposed monitoring program can be carried out and
any amendments required are made prior to the commencement of monitoring.

2.2.4. Other considerations


After the initial design of the pre-operational monitoring program some elements may seem unne-
cessary. It is important to maintain a program that is as broad as practicable. This is due to the
fact that if an anomaly in radionuclides concentrations and/or distribution is not identied during

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

the pre-operational stage, it may be attributed to the exploration, mining and/or processing opera-
tions and a costly remediation program may subsequently be required. Examples of such anomalies
include:

ˆ naturally elevated radon concentrations in homes of the members of the critical group of the
members of the public;

ˆ disequilibrium between radionuclides from uranium and thorium decay chains in local soil and
in the minerals to be mined, and elevated concentrations of
226 Ra and/or 228 Ra in local ground

water; and

ˆ elevated radium, polonium or lead concentrations in native vegetation.

2.3. Monitoring methods

2.3.1. Gamma radiation surveys


A gamma radiation survey is required over all proposed mining/processing areas before mining com-
mences and prior to the removal of topsoil. The purpose of this amount of monitoring is for compa-
rison with post-mining levels to classify the site appropriately in accordance with the Contaminated
Sites Act and Regulations [8, 9]. This data would also be incorporated into the Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS).

Grid intervals required are dependent on the variability of radiation levels however, grid intervals
of 100 metres×100 metres are generally acceptable. If gamma radiation levels are substantially
above typical background levels in the area (i.e. above 0.3 µSv/h), increased grid resolution (to 50
metres×50 metres) may be warranted. Additionally, a survey should also be carried out in areas
where processing plants that may be a source of emissions are proposed, and where the increase in
concentration of radionuclides may take place. This survey should utilise a 50 metres×50 metres
grid. In some cases a 25 metres×25 metres grid may also be useful. Figure 2.1 on the following page
demonstrates the dierences in grid sizes.

For exploration operations the gamma monitoring grid will be identical with the drill spacing
grid.Readings will be taken at drill collar locations where there will be any contamination and hence
the best place for checking eectiveness of cleanup. Other areas to consider for surveys include sample
storage, access roads, vehicle cleaning, and even possibly the camp site.

When carrying out environmental gamma surveys it should be done at a height of one metre from
the ground. Keeping the monitor and audio indicator in the `on' position is also recommended as
this will allow for the identication of smaller areas with elevated gamma radiation levels, which may
be missed if the monitor is only switched on at selected locations. Figure 2.2 on page 7 shows an
environmental meter setup for measurement.

All monitoring locations should be accurately recorded (i.e. using the Global Positioning System
(GPS) receiver) so that, after rehabilitation, background radiation levels can be correctly compared
with pre-exploration and/or pre-mining ones.

In some cases, when a gamma survey needs to be carried out for the area larger than 2530 km
2

and the gamma radiation level is relatively constant, it may be acceptable to separate the area into
several smaller blocks and carry out the delineation by recording the coordinates of these blocks with
the GPS receiver, instead of coordinates of individual survey points. Additional consultation with

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Figure 2.1.: Gamma survey  recommended grid sizes

100 metres

low levels < 0.3 µG/h

50 metres
100 metres

background levels
> 0.3 µG/h

25 metres
50 metres
highly
variable
background 25 metres

levels

DMP is required in regards to not only the requirements for the recording of survey coordinates for
a particular project, but also about the grid size.

In cases where transportation of material containing elevated concentrations of natural radionuclides


between sites on public roads may occur, a survey on the proposed transport route is also recom-
mended. This is to ensure that all possible spillages arising after the completion of the project are
identied and areas rehabilitated. Depending on the length of the route the readings may be taken
at intervals of between 2001000 metres.

Monitors specically designed for the monitoring of environmental radiation levels produce the most
accurate gamma radiation measurements. The most appropriate monitor is one that allows aggre-
gating of the environmental data for a period of time (typically 30, 60 or 120 seconds). The use of
older style monitors (those with analog `arrow' display and scaled in non-S.I. units  milliRöentgen
per hour (mR/h), etc.) is not recommended in environmental monitoring as some of them have a
tendency to over-read in low ranges.

Additionally, survey instruments must be appropriately calibrated by a calibration service approved


for use in Western Australia. The survey meters must be suitable for radiation requiring measurement
at a particular exploration, mining and/or mineral processing site. A very clear interpretation of the
registered results must be available. An additional technical note on data interpretation and survey
instruments in Appendix B on page 14.

Ideally, the instrument used for gamma survey should also used for any monitoring carried out in
the same area after exploration/mining and rehabilitation.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Figure 2.2.: Mini-Instruments 680 environmental radiation survey meter

An important point to note when using the MiniInstruments 680 :


`The GM tube in this instrument is energy compensated for radiation entering radially.
While the response is not ideal, it is acceptable for most measurements. With the tube
held vertically the contribution from ground contamination is treated symmetrically and
direct radiation from a distant source would arrive nearly normal to the axis of the tube.
For determination of ground contamination immediately below the tube, it is sensible to
hold the tube horizontal but the cosmic contribution may be higher. Most surveys have
been done with the tube vertical so for inter comparison of results this is the preferred
method.' [7]

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

2.3.2. Airborne radioactivity surveys


2.3.2.1. Atmospheric dusts

Samples of atmospheric dust should be taken in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3580.3
2003. High-volume samplers are used to collect the samples for a minimum of 24 hours at selected
locations. (This has been the standard in the WA mining and mineral processing for about 15
yearsSamples are later analysed for gross alpha activity and, depending on the identication of
radionuclides carried out during the program design stage, an additional analysis of lters may be
carried out (for example, for
226 Ra or 228 Ra). Typically, it is not necessary to measure the size of

dust particles (Guideline NORM3.5 Measurement of particle size) in the pre-operational monitoring
program.

The suggested locations for monitoring are:

1. At or near the site boundaries.

2. In the sector predicted to have the highest dust concentration during operations.

3. At location remote (or `upwind') from the site to obtain a background concentrations.

4. Depending on the proximity of residential areas, sampling may also need to be conduc-
ted in these locations. Samples should be collected to take account of seasonal variations
(e.g. quarterly).

In certain circumstances, two background positions can be selected upwind  one at a distance of
about 23 kilometres from the proposed exploration/mining/mineral processing site and another 
approximately 100200 metres from the site boundary. This is particularly useful in situations where
soil in the area is known to contain elevated concentrations of identied radionuclides and a block
of land with little vegetation or a block of arable land is located in the immediate vicinity of the
proposed site. The dust carried onto the site by wind from the adjacent agricultural property will,
therefore, not be mistakenly attributed to the exploration, mining and/or processing operation.

Another method for monitoring of atmospheric dust is the use of dust deposition gauges, particularly
in locations where the use of high-volume monitor may be impractical. This should be done in
accordance with Australian Standard AS3580.10.12003.

2.3.2.2. Radon and thoron

222 Rn) and thoron (220 Rn220) in air prior


It may be important to quantify the levels of radon (
2
to commencement of operations. Typically, soil radon ux (in Bq/m /sec) is measured using the
charcoal cup method. This method involves using the inverted sealed container (typically for 24
hours) to collect radon from the soil surface, where radon is absorbed onto an activated charcoal trap
and the subsequent analysis is undertaken in a laboratory.

Other passive samplers for the monitoring of radon and thoron are available and are very useful in
area measurements as they integrate the data over a period of several months and provide average
concentration in Bq/m .
3

The monitoring of radon/thoron concentrations can also be carried out by taking grab samples of
air onto a standard 25 mm lter and later analysing this lter for gross alpha activity.

There are also several types of electronic equipment that may be used to determine radon and thoron
concentrations such as the shown in gure on the next page. Due to the variability of this equipment
and to the fact that some of it is not suitable for the industrial/mining use, advice should be sought
from an appropriate authority prior to the use of a particular instrument on an exploration, mining
and/or processing site.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Figure 2.3.: Electronic sampling of radon

Solar/battery powered radon sampler

Sampling should be carried out at the same locations where the monitoring of atmospheric dust
is conducted. Additional information can be found in the Guidelines NORM3.3 Air monitoring
strategies and NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

The concentrations of radon and thoron and their daughters in the atmosphere vary by more than
an order of magnitude over the diurnal cycle, and driven also by the weather pattern and pumped by
rainfall events. It may be necessary to install a weather station at an advanced exploration site, such
as the one shown in Figure on the following page to gain a better understanding of the characteristics
of the site.

2.3.3. Water quality surveys


In order to determine the correct locations for water monitoring the groundwater ow direction and
penetration rate in soil (gradient) need to be established. The groundwater ow direction will allow
for the correct location of monitoring bores, the rate of water penetration in soil (in meters per year)
is needed to estimate a potential eect of any aqueous release of radioactivity on the critical group
of members of the public and on local aquifers (including biota).

Typically, the following samples are required to characterise water quality:

1. Several groundwater samples from bores hydrologically down-gradient from a point of a possible
aqueous release of radionuclides (tailings disposal areas, processing plant site).

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Figure 2.4.: Weather station

Solar/battery powered weather station collecting site meteorological data

2. One groundwater sample from each well within 1 or 2 km of a possible aqueous release of
radionuclides which are or could be used for potable water supplies, watering of livestock, or
crop irrigation (the distance will signicantly depend on the rate of water penetration in soil).

3. One or two samples from each surface water body (dams or wetlands) within the vicinity of
the proposed operations.

4. Several groundwater samples from bores hydrologically up-gradient from a point of a possible
aqueous release of radionuclides (tailings disposal areas, processing plant site)  for the esta-
blishment of the local background values.

The amount of bores to be monitored down-gradient and up-gradient should be determined based
on the size of the proposed site, the gradient of groundwater ow, proximity to the critical groups
of the members of the public, and on the solubility and mobility of identied radionuclides in the
ground water.

The amount of samples to be taken from each surface water body depends on the size of this body.
For example, one sample from a running creek will be sucient, but two samples will need to be
taken from a relatively large (more than 0.5 hectares in size) stagnant wetland or pond.

While analysis of samples for gross alpha and gross beta activities can be useful, analysis of all samples
for all radioisotopes identied earlier is also recommended (in case of most NORM, an analysis for
226 Ra and 228 Ra concentrations is required).

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

2.3.4. Other monitoring


2.3.4.1. Soil sampling and assessment of secular equilibrium

In many cases, analysis of soil and collected dust samples in order to establish if both uranium and
thorium decay chains are in the equilibrium in the local environment will be required.

To evaluate the degree of secular equilibrium in the uranium decay chain it would be necessary to
238 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra and 210 Pb. To evaluate the degree of equilibrium
measure the relative activities of
in the thorium decay chain it would be necessary to measure the specic activities of
232 Th, 228 Ra,
228 Th and 212 Pb.

Thorium and uranium decay series are described in Appendix A of the guideline NORM1 Applying
the system of radiation protection to mining operations. The amount of samples will vary signicantly
depending on the characteristics of the particular site, mineral to be mined/processed and its intended
treatment.

2.3.4.2. Surface contamination

In the cases where measurable amounts of radionuclides are detected in the airborne dust prior to
the commencement of exploration, mining and/or processing operations surface contamination levels
in the local environment may need to be assessed. For critical group members of the public this
can be done by taking wipe samples from the surfaces around and inside premises used for human
habitation. Alternatively, a monitor calibrated for the measurement of surface contamination can be
used in this assessment.

In situations where a critical group cannot be adequately established, swipe samples can be taken in
the areas where dust has been accumulating for some period of time. A monitor such as alpha probe
is likely to be inadequate in these situations.

The amount of measurements will vary signicantly depending on the characteristics of the particular
site, mineral to be mined/processed and its intended treatment.

2.3.4.3. Biota samples

In situations such as those described in Section 2.2.3 on page 4 (where a reference plant/animal is
selected for the study), additional consultation with the appropriate authority will be necessary to
ensure that appropriate species are selected for this assessment.

Local biota can be separated into ora and fauna. Typically, entry by radionuclides into ora is
through uptake of radionuclides (from water, soil and dust deposition). Typical pathways of radiation
exposure of fauna are ingestion (water, soil, ora containing elevated concentrations of radionuclides)
and inhalation (dust, radon, thoron).

Pre-operational samples of native vegetation (and crops, where applicable) and local fauna may need
to be collected and analysed for content of radionuclides of interest as identied earlier. The amount
of samples/measurements will vary signicantly depending on the characteristics of the particular
site, mineral to be mined/processed and its intended treatment.

Biological surveys are essential for sustainable resource management, especially in areas with poorly
known biological communities or for ecological communities that have, until recently, escaped the
attention of researchers. For example, stygofauna are a group of mostly crustacean invertebrates
that live in the groundwater of many calcrete uranium deposits. Their distribution, biological di-
versity, and ecology is poorly known outside of Western Australia [10]. Stygofauna have been used

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

as environmental bargaining chips, as reasons to delay or prevent mining operations by various en-
vironmental groups and proponents of stygofauna research and taxonomy, arguing that stygofauna
are, by dint of their habitat in restricted aquifers, extremely biologically important [11]. Figure 2.5
shows a Stygofauna trap.

Figure 2.5.: Stygofauna trap

2.4. Data presentation

Data should be presented for the assessment to the appropriate authority in a form described in
NORM6 Reporting requirements.

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

A. Appendix with a suggested pre-operational


radiation monitoring program

Measured parameter Site/item monitored Frequency/amount of Measurement technique


measurements
1. Gamma radiation Proposed mine site Once-o survey: →100 m Properly calibrated gamma
×100 m grid  all site
radiation monitor
→50 m x 50 m grid  areas
with elevated levels and
proposed plant site
Proposed route for the Once-o survey, readings
transport of material every 200  1000 meters
2. Atmospheric dust → At or near site Four samples per year, High-volume sampler [5]
boundaries taking seasonal variations Dust deposition gauge [6]
→Where the highest dust
concentrations are predicted into account with subsequent analysis of
during operations samples for gross alpha
→One or two remote
(upwind) locations activity concentrations and,
→Residential areas (where if needed, for specic
applicable) radionuclides
3. Radon ux At all locations specied in Once-o for 24 hours Charcoal cup method
(2) above.
4. Radon and thoron in At all locations specied in →Radon  four quarterly Track etch detectors
air (2) above. samples (three months
each)
→Thoron  grab samples Rock method (NORM3.4,
Appendix A3)
Approved electronic
instruments
5. Water quality →Down gradient from One sample from each Grab sampling, laboratory
potential release point identied bore every six analysis for identied
→Up-gradient from
months radionuclides and, where
potential release point warranted, for gross alpha
and gross beta activity
→Wells within 12 km from One sample from each well
potential release point every six months
→Surface waters in the Onetwo samples from each
vicinity of operations water body every six
months
6. Soil sampling Determined after consultation with DMP
7. Surface contamination Determined after consultation with Swipe samples, properly
DMP calibrated alpha/beta probe
8. Biota samples Determined after consultation with DMP Laboratory analysis for
identied radionuclides

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

B. Appendix about survey instruments and


their data interpretation
B.1. General considerations

The survey instruments designed to measure gamma radiation in the environment at a particular
exploration, mining and/or minerals processing site must have certain characteristics such as:

ˆ ability to respond to the radiation being measured;

ˆ sucient sensitivity to measure radiation at the desired level;

ˆ suitable response time;

ˆ appropriate energy dependence; and

ˆ be calibrated for the gamma ray energies of interest.

These characteristics should be conrmed with the calibration service.

The most accurate gamma radiation measurements can be obtained with a monitor that is specically
designed for the monitoring of environmental radiation levels.

So-called `scintillometers' that are typically used by geologists at exploration sites for the determina-
tion of the uranium ore grade and for core logging are, as a rule, unacceptable for use in measurements
of gamma-radiation in the workplace and in the environment.

B.2. Data interpretation

A very important consideration is to ensure that data obtained can actually be accurately interpreted.

A typical survey monitor may have dierent scales such as:

ˆ microRöentgen per hour (µR/hr);

ˆ microgray per hour (µGy/h); and

ˆ microSievert per hour (µSv/hr).

→ Röentgen  related to the degree of ionization in air

→ gray/Rad  absorbed dose in air

→ rem/Sv  dose equivalent

It is very important to ensure that the data are not misinterpreted, as on many occasions the following
approximate interpretation is used:

100 Roentgen = 100 rem = 1 gray = 1 Sievert

This is generally NOT correct and the following interpretations of data may be used, but only after
the consultation with an appropriate authority:

The correction factors described below can be used only with an approval from an appropriate
authority, due to the variety of the instruments used in surveys and the fact that these instruments
are calibrated by dierent laboratories.

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Instrument measuring in Röentgen


1. A certicate of calibration from an authorised laboratory should clearly state that the monitor
is, indeed, calibrated to read values in mR/hour (or in µR/hour).
2. The actual relationship between Röentgen and rem is that one Röentgen produces 0.96 rem in
tissue (however, this may typically be ignored as an insignicant dierence).

3. One Röentgen produces 0.87 Rad in air [1].

4. The coecient of 0.7 Sv/Gy is the most appropriate average value of the quotient of eective
dose rate to absorbed dose rate in air for males and females for environmental exposures to
gamma rays [2].

Figure B.1.: The Ludlum 12S meter reads in µR/h

Therefore, a potential error of interpretation could be quite signicant, as described in the calculation
example below:

Results of a post-mining survey The results indicate that the level of gamma radiation on a site
is 27 µR/h in comparison with 15 µR/hour registered during the pre-mining survey.

If the `direct' relationship is used, the calculation of a dose to a member of the general public that
would be living in the area will be as follows:

ˆ the `excess' dose rate is 27  15 = 12 µR/h;


ˆ the result will be:

(12 µR/h × 8760 hours)


= 105.1 mRem = 1.05 mSv
1000
that is above the limit of exposure for the members of the general public (1 mSv/year).

If, however, the use of appropriate coecients is made, the situation is completely dierent and the
calculation of a dose to a member of the general public that would be residing or working in the area
will be as follows:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

ˆ the `excess' dose rate is 27  15 = 12 µR/h;


ˆ assuming that one Röentgen produces 0.87 Rad in air:

(12 µR/h × 8760 hours)


× 0.87 = 91.5 mRad = 0.92 mGy
1000
(absorbed dose in air);

ˆ If the factor of 0.7 Sv/Gy [2] is also applied, the annual dose for the member of the public will
be 0.92 × 0.7 = 0.64 mSv, that may be acceptable in some situations.
It is, therefore, clear that the overestimation of radiation dose from external gamma radiation can
be as high as 4045%.

Instruments measuring in gray


A certicate of calibration from an authorised laboratory should clearly state that the monitor is,
indeed, calibrated to read values in µGy/h
Then the dose could be estimated as follows: If an `excess' dose rate for a member of the general
public is measured at 0.06 µGy/h, an annual dose estimation would be:

(0.06 µGy/h × 8760 hours)


× 0.7 Sv/Gy = 0.37 mSv
1000

Figure B.2.: The Mini-Instruments environmental radiation survey meter reads in µGy/h

Instruments measuring in Sievert


A certicate of calibration from an authorised laboratory should clearly state that the monitor is,
indeed, calibrated to read values in µSv/h.
Then the dose could be estimated as follows: If an `excess' dose rate for a member of the general
public is measured at 0.05 µSv/h, an annual dose estimation would be:

(0.05 µSv/h × 8760 hours)


= 0.44 mSv
1000

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Figure B.3.: The Bicron `micro rem' meter reads in µSv/h

Instruments measuring in multiple units


Several types of monitors (particularly newer, electronic models) have scales in both mR/h and
µGy/h (or, sometimes, in µSv/h); and a change between dierent units is achieved by simply moving
one of the instrument's controls into the appropriate position. A certicate of calibration from an
authorised laboratory should clearly state that the monitor is, indeed, calibrated to read values in the
specied units. Alternatively, the calibration may be provided only for one parameter (for example,
for µGy/h) and both calibration certicate and a calibration sticker on the instrument should clearly
state which scale should be used during monitoring, and which should not.

Another important consideration


An additional complication arises when a specic correction factor that should be applied to the
obtained readings is also provided during the calibration of the instrument (like, for example, for the
mineral sands industry  when a correction factor for monazite was sometimes provided during the
calibration of monitors by the Radiation Health Section of the Health Department of WA may be
between 0.7 and 1.3 for dierent scales of dierent instruments).

If any supplementary, material-specic factors are introduced during calibration  additional infor-
mation from the laboratory carrying out this service will be required to ensure that the data can be
adequately interpreted.

It is also essential that the `raw data' obtained during gamma radiation surveys is kept to ensure
that any possible mistakes in data interpretation may be corrected at a later stage, if required.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM3.1 Monitoring NORM  preoperational monitoring requirements

Bibliography
[1] L. Toussaint, `Environmental Gamma Survey and Meter Calibration', Radiation Protection in
Australia , Vol.12, No.2, p.75, 1994.

[2] United Nations Scientic Committee on the Eects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) Report
to the General Assembly, Sources and Eects of Ionising Radiation, Volume I  Sources, Annex
A  Dose Assessment Methodologies, paragraph 72, p.31, 2000.

[3] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[4] Code of Practice and Safety Guide: Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management
in Mining and Minerals Processing, Radiation Protection Series Publication No.9, Australian
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2005.

[5] AS 3580.9.3:2003. Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air Method 9.3: Determination
of suspended particulate matter  Total suspended particulate matter (TSP)  High volume
sampler gravimetric method, 2003.

[6] AS/NZS 3580.10.1:2003 : Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air  Determination of
particulate matter  Deposited matter  Gravimetric method.

[7] Environmental Radiation Meter Type 680 User Manual, Mini-Instruments Ltd, page 23,
March 1998.

[8] Contaminated Sites Act, 2003. link

[9] Contaminated Sites Regulations, 2006. link

[10] Monitoring stygofauna diversity link

[11] Stygofauna, Wikipedia Stygofauna

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Index
absorbed dose, 14, 16 monitoring bores, 9
atmospheric dust, 8 monitoring program, 3, 4, 8, 13
Australian Standard, 8 MSIR, 1

baseline reference, 2 post-mining survey, 15


biota, 11 pre-mining survey, 15
processing site, 2
calibration service, 6, 14
certicate of calibration, 15 Röentgen, 15
Contaminated Sites Act, 18 Rad, 14
Contaminated Sites Regulations, 18 Radiation Health Section, 17
correction factor, 17 radioactivity, 2
critical group, 2, 4, 10, 11 radionuclides, 2, 4
radium (
226 Ra), 5, 8, 10
decay products, 3 radium (
228 Ra), 5, 8, 10
DMP, 4 radon (
222 Rn), 3, 5, 8
dose equivalent, 14 rem, 15
drinking water, 3 response time, 14
dust deposition gauges, 8
dust samples, 11 secular equilibrium, 3
sensitivity, 14
ora, 11 Sievert, 16
y-in y-out, 4 soil sampling, 11
stygofauna, 11
gamma radiation, 1417
surface contamination, 11
gamma survey, 5
survey instruments, 14
general public, 15, 16
Global Positioning System (GPS), 5 tailings disposal, 9
grab samples, 8 thorium (
232 Th), 3, 5, 11
gray, 16 thoron (
220 Rn), 3, 8
grid intervals, 5
groundwater, 10 uranium (
238 U), 3, 5, 11

high-volume samplers, 8 wetlands, 10


human habitation, 11 wipe samples, 11

ionization in air, 14

local average, 2

members of the public, 2


microgray per hour, 14, 16, 17
microRöentgen per hour, 14, 15
microSievert per hour, 14, 16, 17
milliRöentgen per hour, 6
mineral sands industry, 17

19
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM3.2

Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational moni-
toring requirements: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 16pp.
<www.dmp.wa.gov.au>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

Contents
List of Figures iv

1 General information 1
1.1 Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2 Guidance 2
2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2 Elements to be considered in the program design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2.1 Radioactivity content and characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.2 Pathway analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2.3 Identication of supervised/controlled areas and employees to be monitored . 4
2.2.4 Other considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3 Monitoring methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.1 External gamma radiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.1.1 Individual (personal) monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.1.2 Area (positional) monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3.2 Airborne radioactivity surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.2.1 Atmospheric dusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.2.2 Radon and thoron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.3 Water quality surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.4 Other monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.4.1 Assessment of secular equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.4.2 Surface contamination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3.4.3 Biota samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.4.4 Task related monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.3.4.5 Quality assurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.4 Data presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Bibliography 14

Index 15

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

List of Figures
1.1 Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

1 General information
1.1 Purpose

To provide guidance on the practical ways to conduct operational monitoring in relevant exploration,
mining and mineral processing operations and on the assessment of obtained data.

1.2 Scope

This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 ([1]).

1.3 Relationship to other NORM guidelines

The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

2 Guidance
2.1 Introduction

Operational radiation monitoring of an exploration, mining and/or mineral processing site aims to:

ˆ demonstrate compliance with regulatory limits;

ˆ determine radiation exposure of individuals, groups and members of the general public; and

ˆ provide information on the eectiveness of engineering and administrative control measures.

Workplace conditions, individual exposures, and assessment of the potential impact an operation may
have on the environment must be assessed. It is therefore necessary to clearly distinguish between
monitoring carried out for the purpose of assessing occupational exposure of workers and monitoring
conducted to quantify both the potential for environmental impact of the operation and the possible
level of radiation exposure to members of the general public.

The main purpose of an occupational radiation monitoring program is to ensure workforce exposure
to radiation remains below the regulatory annual limit and are As Low As Reasonably Achievable
(ALARA). This is usually achieved by personal monitoring or by area surveys coupled with employee
time and motion studies.

The purpose of the environmental radiation monitoring program is to ensure that radiological impact
on the local environment and potential exposures of members of the general public are kept ALARA
and, where applicable, below regulatory limits. This program is closely related to site specic pre-
operational monitoring, and its overall aim is provide data for the restoration of the environment
to the same conditions that existed prior to commencement of exploration, mining and mineral
processing operations. This is usually achieved by area monitoring, water and air sampling, and
biological monitoring, if necessary.

As with any monitoring program, the extent to which certain program elements are considered
is dependent on site specic considerations such as mineral being mined/processed, radionuclides'
concentrations in operational and other site areas, number of employees involved in dierent stages
of the exploration/mining/processing operation, present and proposed future land use, potential
exposure pathways both for employees and members of the public, variability of radiation parameters,
etc.

2.2 Elements to be considered in the program design

There are three important stages in the design of an operational radiation monitoring program,
involving the identication of:

ˆ the potential for radionuclides in the material mined/processed to change their physical and
chemical characteristics due to the treatment of the material at the operation and potential
changes in their concentrations and distribution in the local environment;

ˆ possible pathways of exposure of workers, and possible changes in the pathways' characteristics
for members of the public and local environment; and

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

ˆ all areas on site to be classied as a supervised or controlled area.

The purpose of the design phase is to establish which sites and what personnel need to be monitored,
the frequency of measurement required, and the monitoring method to be used, including monitoring
instrumentation and radiation parameters to be measured.

2.2.1 Radioactivity content and characteristics


A variety of dierent methods for the treatment of minerals are used. The detailed assessment of
the behaviour of radionuclides is necessary to establish potential pathways of radiation exposure to
workers and to the environment, and to evaluate any changes to these pathways.

In situations where only physical processing of ore takes place (e.g. gravimetric or electrostatic sepa-
ration, crushing, etc,) a change in radionuclides' behaviour is unlikely. Therefore, the only issue to
be considered would be a possible increase in radionuclides concentrations in processed material or
in workplace dust. Where ne grinding of the mineral takes place, the possibility of dust inhalation
increases signicantly and radon/thoron levels in air may also be elevated.

In a situation where the processing of minerals is complex or mineral concentration is undertaken


(involving either chemical or thermal processing or both), a detailed study is required to determine if
changes in radionuclides' behaviour and changes in secular equilibrium of both uranium and thorium
decay chains occur.

For example:

1. Polonium and lead from some minerals may be volatilised at comparatively low temperatures
(above 250300‰) and be attached to dust particles. These elements may collect on the lters
in exhaust stacks.

2. During some stages of chemical processing, radium atoms may become mobile and then be
carried by dierent process streams through the processing plant. Then at a later stage, for
example after treatment with sulphuric acid, the radium may be deposited as scale inside pipes
or as sediment inside processing vessels.

The radiation safety ocer at a processing plant should have the training that will allow him/her
to assess chemical, physical and thermodynamic factors that may inuence the behaviour of all
radionuclides in the mineral process. Alternatively, the involvement of a specialist team familiar
with the plant chemistry/engineering or an external radiation protection expert would be required
to ensure that the assessment of radiological situation in the processing environment is accurate.

It also is important to include into the monitoring program any articial sources of radiation that
are being used on site. This would include such devices as:

1. XRF (X-ray uorescence) machines in the laboratory and portable X-ray instruments that may
be used in mineral exploration.

2. Radiation gauges that are used for ow control and typically contain either
137 Cs or 60 Co,

which emit gamma radiation.

3. Product quality devices such as `in-stream analysers' that may contain


55 Fe, 238 Pu, 241 Am or
244 Cm, which emit alpha particles.

4. Portable gauges for the purpose of monitoring soil moisture content containing
241 Am/Beryllium9), where beryllium is combined with 241 Am to produce neutrons from

the alpha bombardment of the beryllium nucleus.

At the end of this stage a list of `radionuclides of interest' can be compiled.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

2.2.2 Pathway analysis


After determining which radionuclides need to be included in the monitoring program, an assessment
of potential exposure pathways should be assessed.

If the list of identied radionuclides is the same for both the pre-operational monitoring stage and
the operational monitoring stage, an assessment of potential radiation exposure to members of the
general public and the local environment should be carried out in a similar method to the one
undertaken prior to the commencement of operations. However, it may be necessary to carry out
this assessment at a greater frequency.

If the list of `radionuclides of interest' has changed signicantly, the monitoring program must be
modied to accommodate the change.

In occupational environments, the two main exposure pathways are internal exposure (inhalation
and ingestion) and external exposure. External radiation exposure will need to be assessed in almost
all cases. This includes exposure to radiation from surface contamination, in particular where it has
been established that radionuclides emitting relative high energy beta particles are present in the
working environment. These radionuclides may accumulate on plant surfaces and protective clothing
worn by workers.

A detailed assessment of potential internal exposure must be conducted on a case-by-case basis and
the following pathways of exposure considered:

Inhalation:
1. Re-suspended dust; and

2. Radon (
222 Rn), Thoron (220 Rn) and their progeny.

Ingestion:
1. Drinking water  should only be considered in cases where on-site drinking water is supplied
from a local source (e.g. a bore).

2. Dust (incidental)  only when the potential exists due to employees not following the working
rules for controlled areas.

At the end of this stage:

ˆ the list of `radionuclides of interest' is coupled with pathways of potential exposure;

ˆ the monitoring required is known; and

ˆ the media to be monitored is identied.

2.2.3 Identication of supervised/controlled areas and employees to be monitored


Guideline NORM6 Reporting requirements provides information on threshold levels used in identi-
fying supervised and controlled radiation areas. These are based on potential employee exposure of
1 mSv/year and 5 mSv/year, respectively.

The detailed assessment of radionuclides in the process and the potential radiation exposure pathways
will allow for the accurate estimation of the site areas that will most likely be classied as supervised
or controlled. After the predictions have been made, an assessment of the worker's involvement in
the relevant processes should be carried out.

On exploration sites, the radionuclides' concentrations are typically not known, at least at the time
of the commencement of exploration activities. It is, therefore, very important that the monitoring
program is structured in a way that will allow the determination of supervised (and, where applicable,
controlled) areas as soon as possible after the exploration commences.

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

On mine sites, an assessment of radionuclides' concentrations in the ore prior to mining together
with the site's mine plan will allow for the timely prediction of pits or underground areas that may
need radiological classication.

In processing environments where the process is fully automated the worker's involvement is expected
to be minimal and only personal radiation exposure that may need to be assessed will be the one that
may be received during routine or non-routine maintenance. In other cases, where plant equipment
requires regular cleaning and maintenance, potential exposure of all employees involved in routine
operation and maintenance of processing plants will need to be assessed.

Typically, employees in working groups expected to receive a radiation dose in order of 1 mSv/year
will not be monitored on a personal basis. Rather, their doses will be estimated on a group ba-
sis. Employees that are expected to receive doses in excess of 4 mSv/year need to be monitored
individually.

For employees who are expected to receive doses between 1 and 4 mSv per year, a combination of
group and individual monitoring can be used. For example, ve employees out of group of 15 can
be issued with personal dosimeters  thus a `cross-section' of employees is monitored to conrm the
data of the group dose assessment carried out on the basis of area measurements.

At the end of the nal stage of the operational radiation monitoring program design the following
information should be available:

1. Radionuclides to be monitored.

2. Media to be monitored.

3. An updated environmental radiation monitoring program which is basically an amended version


of the pre-operational program.

4. Working groups of employees for which area monitoring data will be used for the dose assess-
ments.

5. Working groups of employees for which individual radiation monitoring will be necessary to
ensure that the assessment of radiation exposure is as accurate as possible.

This information should be sucient for the design of a comprehensive monitoring program. At this
point a consultation with DMP (and, in some cases, with other government departments) will be
necessary. This will ensure that:

1. An independent assessment of the proposed monitoring program is undertaken.

2. Any amendments can be made.

3. The program can receive statutory approval.

2.2.4 Other considerations


After the initial design of the operational monitoring program some elements may seem excessive.
However, it is important to maintain the program as broad as practicable. Monitoring provides
important supplementary benets to industrial and public relations, reassurance and motivation to
the workforce and the general public. It also provides information useful in the determination of
liability in the event of the expression of adverse health eects in individual workers or claims of land
contamination.

It is also important to keep in mind that radiation protection is only one (and, frequently, relatively
minor) element in ensuring the overall occupational health and safety of workers in mining and
minerals processing industry.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

The radiation monitoring program should be established and managed in close cooperation with
those responsible for other areas of occupational hygiene, health and safety  as radiation protection
measures can sometimes signicantly inuence the exposure of workers to other agents. For example:

1. Dust control/extraction units may be required inside processing plants with expected high
concentrations of airborne dust. It is, however, known that if these are installed without having
due regard to other factors, they may become a serious source of the exposure of workers to
the unacceptable noise levels.

2. Protective clothing provided to employees for the protection from surface contamination can
cause heat stress, particularly in the summer months. The examples of such workplaces are
remote exploration sites where temperatures in excess of 40‰are common and the vicinity of
heat sources (kilns, driers, etc.) in relatively enclosed workplaces such as processing plants.
Whilst being protected from surface contamination, workers will be only be able to perform
duties in certain areas for very short periods due to the protective clothing interfering with
body's capacity to lose heat.

2.3 Monitoring methods

Measurement of the identied radiation parameters at the particular exploration, mining or mine-
ral processing operation provides a method for detecting anomalous operating conditions and for
the indication that corrective action should be taken. Apart from the monitoring of radioactivity
concentrations, the typical program should also contain monitoring of the performance of the control
equipment such as dust control systems and measures for identifying deciencies in the initial design
of routine operations.

Typically, during rst year of operation, comprehensive surveys of external gamma radiation, air-
borne radioactive dust, radon/thoron and their progeny, and surface contamination levels should be
conducted.

The monitoring program may be adjusted after the rst year of operations (after the consultation
with DMP and other Government departments, if applicable) to ensure that only those radionuclides
and exposure pathways that contribute a measurable radiation exposure of employees, members of
the general public and the local environment are being monitored. The pathways that contribute
only 510% to the overall exposure level may not need to be monitored frequently and the monitoring
program can be adjusted accordingly.

2.3.1 External gamma radiation


2.3.1.1 Individual (personal) monitoring

In most circumstances, exposure to the external gamma radiation is assessed by the systematic
monitoring of individual workers. In some cases it is suitable to estimate the exposure from the
results of workplace monitoring. For example, when the:

ˆ method based on workplace monitoring has been shown to be acceptable;

ˆ exposure levels are relatively constant and can be reliably assessed by carrying out an area
survey; or

ˆ workers concerned are regularly employed in either unclassied or in a supervised area, and
enter controlled areas only occasionally.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

Individual monitoring is normally required for workers who routinely work in areas that are designated
as `controlled' because of the external radiation hazard. The individual monitoring program for
external exposure to gamma radiation is intended to demonstrate that the worker's exposure has not
exceeded a dose limit and to verify the adequacy of workplace monitoring.

For workers in `supervised areas', it may be simpler to use a limited number of individual dosemeters
rather than to adopt a comprehensive program of monitoring of the workplace. In many cases
individual monitoring for the purposes of dose records and re-assurance of employee's is a good
practice for all workers in a supervised area.

Individual monitoring is typically carried out using thermo-luminescent (TLD) badges. There are
many providers of this service and it is important to ensure that:

1. TLD badges designed for exploration, mining and mineral processing environment are available
(the badges should be suitable for the operational conditions  dust, heat, humidity).

2. A particular TLD service is approved for use in Western Australia.

There are two types of TLD badges  personal and `control'. A `control' badge is supplied with each
TLD issue and it must be stored in an area where it is not exposed to sources of ionising radiation or
excessive heat (inside the storage box for the duration of the monitoring period). If a new employee
is requested to wear the TLD badge for the rst time, it must be ensured that this person is notied
of his/her responsibilities and rules for the wearing of the badge.

If a TLD badge is lost or damaged, the data obtained in other periods during the monitoring year
must be averaged and used as a substitution for the period in which data could not be obtained
through direct measurement (and a specic note inserted into the `Boswell' database clarifying that
the result is an estimate). Please refer to Norm7 Boswell assessment and reporting database for
more information.

Example: Data: The results reported by the monitoring services for `J Smith' for the monitoring
year are: 1st quarter: 250 µSv; 2nd quarter: 310 µSv; 3rd quarter: The badge is lost; 4th quarter:
430 µSv. Therefore, the annual exposure to the external radiation of `J Smith' will be:

250 + 310 + 430


= 250 + 310 + + 430 = 1320 µSv
3

Another useful instrument that can be used for individual monitoring is a personal integrating elec-
tronic dosimeter. These are very useful in surveys of particular work practices but not for the dose
assessments, as typically their batteries must be regularly recharged or replaced and an appropriate
background reading must be subtracted.

2.3.1.2 Area (positional) monitoring

Area monitoring is used extensively for surveying purposes when there is a need to monitor trends.
It is also essential in environmental radiation monitoring. The advantage of a survey meter over a
TLD badge is that an instantaneous dose rate is obtained, thereby permitting fast implementation
of corrective action where required. Locations that are specically used for trend analysis should be
clearly marked, either in the environment or on a map/plan. Such surveys should form an integral
part of the overall radiation protection program as the success, or otherwise, of control measures
used to minimise employee radiation exposures can then be readily assessed.

The choice of an appropriate surveying instrument for a specic application depends on numerous
factors, such as:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

ˆ portability;

ˆ mechanical ruggedness;

ˆ ease of use and reading;

ˆ ease of servicing; and

ˆ reliability.

In addition to these general requirements, survey instruments must be appropriately calibrated by the
calibration service approved for use in Western Australia. The survey meters must be suitable for the
radiation that needs to be measured at a particular exploration, mining and/or mineral processing
site. A very clear interpretation of the registered results and their use in dose estimates must be
available. An additional technical note on data interpretation and survey instruments in general is
provided in Appendix B of the Guideline NORM3.1 Pre-operational monitoring requirements.

Limits for gamma dose rates are described in Table 1 of the Guideline NORM6 Reporting require-
ments.

2.3.2 Airborne radioactivity surveys


2.3.2.1 Atmospheric dusts

In many circumstances involving exposure due to airborne radionuclides from NORM, workplace dust
monitoring is required. Monitoring procedures are introduced to demonstrate satisfactory working
conditions, compliance with statutory limits, or in cases where individual monitoring is unable to
provide sucient data (e.g. when radioactivity content in the workplace air is expected to be relatively
low, but an estimate of a potential exposure is required).

For new operations, individual monitoring is likely to be needed and should be considered. As data
on individual radiation exposure at a particular exploration/mining/processing site accumulates, the
need for routine individual monitoring should be reviewed.

In existing situations it may be dicult to determine whether individual monitoring of workers is


necessary. Such monitoring should be used routinely only for workers who are employed in designated
`controlled areas', specically in relation to the radioactivity in the air. If initial monitoring has shown
that it is unlikely that annual radiation doses from dust inhalation will exceed 1 mSv (including both
dust and radon/thoron and their progeny), then individual monitoring may be unnecessary, but
workplace monitoring should be undertaken.

Workplace monitoring usually consists of sampling dust in selected locations and collecting air-
borne radioactivity on the lter. The lter can then be analysed for gross alpha activity for the
determination of either radon/thoron and their progeny concentrations, and/or gross alpha activity
concentrations.

The frequency of individual monitoring will be signicantly dependent on the expected exposure
levels. Typically, the following schedule can be used:

1. Expected annual dose < 1 mSv  workplace monitoring, occasional conrmatory individual
monitoring.

2. 1 mSv < Expected annual dose < 4 mSv  workplace monitoring complemented by individual
monitoring of 25% of the work group every quarter  every employee wears an individual
monitor (dust cassette, radon monitor) at least once a year (minimum of 12 personal samples
for the work group).

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

3. 4 mSv < Expected annual dose < 10 mSv, regular individual monitoring program, either 6
samples from every employee every year or 24 samples per year from a work group (whichever
the greatest); to ensure that sucient data is available for personal dose assessments, comple-
mented by workplace monitoring.

4. Expected annual dose > 10 mSv, a comprehensive individual monitoring program, 2 individual
samples are required from every employee every month to ensure that sucient data (at least
24 samples) is available for personal dose assessments, complemented by workplace monitoring.
Additional investigations that will need to be undertaken may include determinations of dust
Activity Median Aerodynamic Diameter (AMAD), dust solubility, uraniumthorium content
ratio, secular equilibrium of both uranium and thorium decay chains, etc.

Please refer to NORM3.3 Air monitoring strategies and to NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sam-
pling for more information on the program design and the analysis of samples; and to NORM5 Dose
assessment for airborne radioactivity levels derived for dierent concentrations of radionuclides.

From the environmental perspective it is important to continue high-volume dust sampling at all
locations identied during the pre-operational stage. Several other locations should also be added
to the monitoring program, depending on the character of operations, the radionuclides present in
the mineral that is mined/processed, on concentrations of these radionuclides in the process, and the
proximity of the critical group of members of the public. Initially, it is recommended to continue
taking samples of environmental dust quarterly, with the subsequent assessment after rst year of
operation when the monitoring frequency should be reviewed. Typically, at an operational site the
sampling is undertaken every six months.

It is also important to sample all stacks and exhaust vents to ensure that any radionuclides emitted
from them are accounted for in the estimation of exposures for members of the critical group of
members of the public. Typically, daily emissions of uranium and thorium are assessed. In many
circumstances it is also appropriate to determine the levels of lead and polonium as well. For practical
purposes an annual assessment of concentrations of
210 Po and 210 Pb (from the uranium decay chain)

and
212 Pb (from the thorium decay chain) is recommended.

Individual and workplace samples should be taken in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3640
2004, environmental samples  in accordance with Australian Standards AS 3580.32003 and/or AS
3580.10.12003. Additional information is provided in the following Guidelines:

ˆ NORM3.1 Pre-operational monitoring requirements;

ˆ NORM3.3 Air monitoring strategies;

ˆ NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling; and

ˆ NORM3.5 Measurement of particle size.

2.3.2.2 Radon and thoron

Where the levels of radon (


222 Rn) and thoron (220 Rn) in air have been identied during the pre-

operational monitoring as requiring additional assessment, the monitoring should be undertaken.


Typically, passive samplers for the monitoring of radon and thoron are used throughout the workplace
as they integrate the data over a period of several months and provide average concentration in
Bq/m .
3

The monitoring of radon and thoron concentration can also be carried out by taking grab samples
of air onto a standard 25 mm lter and later analysing this lter for gross alpha activity.

There are also several types of electronic equipment that may be used to determine radon and thoron
concentrations. Due to the variability of this equipment and to the fact that some of it is not suitable

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

for the industrial/mining use an advice should be sought from an appropriate authority, prior to the
use of a particular instrument on an exploration, mining and/or processing site.

Sampling should be carried out at the same locations where the monitoring of atmospheric dust
is conducted. Additional information can be found in the Guidelines NORM3.3 Air monitoring
strategies and NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

2.3.3 Water quality surveys


From an occupational exposure perspective, water monitoring should be undertaken for potable
water supply, where this is drawn from nearby underground aquifers. Water samples are typically
taken every six months to evaluate the ingestion of radionuclides by employees and to determine if
contamination of potable ground water is occurring by seepage pathways.

From an environmental perspective, it is important to continue water monitoring at all bores, wells
and surface water bodies identied during the pre-operational stage. Several other locations should
also be added to the monitoring program depending on the character of operations, the radionuclides
present in the mineral that is mined/processed, on concentrations of these radionuclides in the process
and their solubility in water, and the proximity of the critical group of members of the public. Initially,
it is recommended that samples of water continue to be taken every six months with subsequent
assessment after the rst two years of operation, when the monitoring frequency should be reviewed.
Typically, sampling at an operational site is undertaken once a year.

As with all other radiation parameters, the sampling frequency is dependent on the magnitude of
observed waterborne radionuclide concentrations.

While the analysis of samples for gross alpha and gross beta activities can be useful, it is also
recommended to analyse all samples for all radioisotopes identied earlier (in case of most NORM,
an analysis for
226 Ra and 228 Ra concentrations is required).

Information and procedures can be found in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines [8].

2.3.4 Other monitoring


2.3.4.1 Assessment of secular equilibrium

If material containing natural radionuclides is either treated with chemicals and/or heated to more
than 250300‰, it will be necessary to sample all generated waste to establish if both thorium
and uranium decay chains are still in secular equilibrium. This will allow for the estimation of
environmental mobility of dierent radionuclides in the long term and it is required to ensure that
the waste is deposited in appropriately designed facilities, where necessary.

To evaluate the degree of equilibrium in the thorium decay chain it is necessary to measure the specic
activities of
232 Th, 228 Ra, 228 Th and 212 Pb/212 Po. To evaluate the degree of secular equilibrium in

the uranium decay chain it would be necessary to measure the relative activities of
238 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra

and
210 Po/210 Pb.

Thorium and uranium decay series are described in Appendix B of the guideline NORM2.1 Prepa-
ration of a radiation management plan  exploration. The amount of samples will vary signicantly
depending on the characteristics of the particular site, mineral processed and its treatment.

2.3.4.2 Surface contamination

Surface Contamination means the presence of a radioactive substance on a surface in quantities in


excess of 0.4 Bq/cm
2 for beta and gamma emitters and low toxicity alpha emitters, or 0.04 Bq/cm2

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

for all other alpha emitters. Low toxicity alpha emitters are natural uranium, natural thorium,
235 U,
238 U, 232 Th, 228 Th and 230 Th when contained in ores, physical or chemical concentrates; or alpha

emitters with a half-life of less than ten days.

Occupational monitoring is usually undertaken in crib and change rooms, control rooms and in all
supervised and controlled areas. Auditing of personal hygiene practices of workers should also be
undertaken.

The measurement of easily removable radionuclides on plant surfaces can be useful for assessing
operating conditions, but it gives only a very indirect measure of potential exposure. Therefore, it
is recommended that the monitoring emphasis in the occupational environment should be placed on
inspection and housekeeping audits.

A program of surface contamination monitoring can be used to:

ˆ assist in preventing possible spread of contamination;

ˆ detect failures of containment or departures from good operating practices; and

ˆ restrict surface contamination to levels at which the general standards of good housekeeping
are adequate to maintain exposures as low as practicable.

It is also important to ensure that all items leaving a particular site classied as supervised or
controlled area have surface contamination at very low levels. These items may include vehicles,
parts of plant and dierent machinery that is sent from the site, either for repairs or for the disposal.
Particular attention must be paid to situations when potentially contaminated equipment is planned
to be re-used in another industry (e.g. the use of elevators from a mineral separation plant in a grain
handling and/or storage facility). In some operational plants where dust on surfaces can be clearly
seen, the radiation hazard is related to the amount of this dust that can be readily re-suspended. It
is therefore important that regular cleanup programs are in place to ensure this hazard is minimised.

Surface contamination is usually monitored by direct measurement (e.g. alpha scintillation probe)
or indirectly, by wiping a surface with a lter paper and subsequent alpha counting of this paper.
The rst technique yields total (xed plus removable) contamination, while the second will indicate
the percentage of removable contamination. A wipe test eciency factor must be incorporated to
relate the removable contamination to the total surface contamination. For example, in the case of
treatment plant dusts and in the absence of relevant experimental data, a wipe test eciency factor
of 60% can be used. An appropriate survey monitor should be available and should be calibrated in a
way that allows easy interpretation of results and their comparison with the levels given in NORM6
Reporting requirements.

2.3.4.3 Biota samples

In cases where a reference plant or animal is selected for the study instead of the critical group of
the members of the public, it is necessary to continue this monitoring on the annual basis to ensure
than any changes can be identied as early as possible.

2.3.4.4 Task related monitoring

Task related monitoring is conducted to provide information about a particular operation and to
give, where necessary, a basis for decisions on the conduct of the operation (e.g. if a particular work
practice results in exposures that are signicantly higher than other similar ones).

It is particularly useful when short-term work is carried out under conditions that will be unsatis-
factory for permanent use. Task related monitoring is usually conducted in the same way as routine
monitoring, unless the circumstances of the operation change signicantly (e.g. if radionuclides invol-
ved may be dierent or the potential magnitude of internal exposure may be signicantly greater).

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

2.3.4.5 Quality assurance

Quality assurance comprises planned and systematic actions that are necessary to provide adequate
condence in the results of a monitoring program. Quality assurance includes quality control, which
involves all those actions by which the adequacy of equipment, instruments and procedures are
assessed against established requirements.

It is important that any monitoring program should include, as an integral part, a quality assurance
part, which will ensure that:

ˆ equipment and instruments function correctly;

ˆ procedures are correctly established and implemented;

ˆ analyses are correctly performed with limited errors;

ˆ records are correctly and promptly maintained;

ˆ the required accuracy of measurements is maintained; and

ˆ systematic errors are minimised to the extent possible.

In the design of a quality assurance program the following factors are usually taken into account:

1. Quality of equipment and instruments.

2. Training and experience of personnel.

3. Verication of procedures by the routine analysis of control samples and the use of standard
methods for analysis.

4. Frequency of calibration and maintenance of equipment and instruments.

5. The need for traceability of the results of monitoring program to the National Standard.

6. The degree of documentation needed to demonstrate that the required quality has been achieved
and is maintained.

The level of accuracy required for all types of undertaken measurements depends on the type of the
measurement made and its importance from the point of view of the protection of the workers and the
environment. Please note that even the best method currently available for making a measurement
may be subject to large errors, which may simply have to be accepted (e.g. the variability of gamma
measurements with a portable instrument, where the accuracy may be as low as ±20%, in some
circumstances).

The scope and extent of a quality assurance program will also depend on the importance of the
measurements from the point of view of protection of the workers and the environment. On the
other hand, quality control actions may vary from a simple functional test of an instrument by way
of a built-in check source to the thorough and frequent calibration of an alpha-counting assembly to
determine if the equipment complies with established requirements concerning low level of background
counts, eciency, accuracy (statistical analysis such as chi-square test is required).

In the Australian Mining and Mineral Processing Code, ARPANSA [3] requires that the quality
assurance program which is compliant with Australian Standards should be implemented, including
traceability of all radiation measurements to Australian metrological standards where possible.

Metrology is dened by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) as `the science of
measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty
in any eld of science and technology.'

The Australian Standards referred to above are:

ˆ Environmental Management Systems [4];

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

ˆ Quality Management Systems [5];

ˆ Occupational Health and Safety Systems [6]; and

ˆ Occupational Health and Safety Systems [7].

2.4 Data presentation

Data should be presented for assessment to the appropriate authority (and, if required to other
Government Departments) in a form as described in Guideline NORM6 Reporting requirements.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

Bibliography
[1] Part 16 Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.


[3] Code of Practice and Safety Guide: Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management
in Mining and Minerals Processing, Radiation Protection Series Publication No.9, Australian
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 2005.

[4] AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004 Environmental management systems  Requirements with guidance for
use, 2004.

[5] AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 : Quality management systems  Requirements, 2001.

[6] AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational health and safety management systems  Specication with
guidance for use, 2001.

[7] AS/NZS 4804:2001 Occupational health and safety management systems  General guidelines on
principles, systems and supporting techniques, 2001.

[8] Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, 2004. PDF

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Index
administrative controls, 2 grab sample, 9
air sampling, 2 gravimetric, 3
ALARA, 2 group dose assessment, 5
alpha counting, 11
alpha emitters, 11 heat stress, 6

alpha particles, 3 high-volume sampling, 9

alpha scintillation probe, 11 hygiene practices, 11

americium (
241 Am), 3
incidental dust, 4
americium/beryllium, 3
individual exposure, 2
area monitoring, 2
internal exposure, 11
area survey, 6
ARPANSA, 12 land contamination, 5
articial sources of radiation, 3 lead (
210 Pb), 10
atmospheric dusts, 8 lead (
212 Pb), 10
Australian Standards, 9, 12 local environment, 2

beta particles, 4
members of the public, 2
biological monitoring, 2
mineral processing, 2, 5
biota samples, 11
monitoring instrumentation, 3

137 Cs), 3 monitoring methods, 6


caesium (
monitoring procedures, 8
calibration, 12
monitoring program, 27, 9, 10, 12
chemical processing, 3
60
cobalt ( Co), 3
natural thorium, 11
controlled area, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11
natural uranium, 11
crushing, 3
neutrons, 3
noise levels, 6
design phase, 3
DMP, 5
occupational exposure, 2
dose assessment, 5
occupational health, 5
drinking water, 4
occupational monitoring, 11
dust control, 6
dust inhalation, 3 pathway analysis, 4
dust particles, 3 polonium (
210 Po), 10

polonium (
212 Po), 10
electrostatic separation, 3
portable gauge, 3
engineering controls, 2
processing plant, 3
environmental impact, 2
progeny, 8
environmental monitoring, 7
protective clothing, 4, 6
exhaust stack, 3
exposure pathways, 2 quality assurance, 12
quality assurance program, 12
lter paper, 11
future land use, 2
radiation dose, 5
radiation exposure, 2, 3
gamma radiation, 3, 6, 7

15
Guideline NORM3.2 Monitoring NORM  operational monitoring requirements

radiation gauge, 3
radiation monitoring, 2
radiation monitoring program, 2
radiation parameters, 3, 6
radiation protection expert, 3
radiological impact, 2
radionuclides, 24
radionuclides of interest, 4
radium (
226 Ra), 3, 10

radium (
228 Ra), 10

radon (
222 Rn), 3, 4, 9

radon/thoron, 8
regulatory limits, 2

secular equilibrium, 10
statutory approval, 5
sulphuric acid, 3
supervised area, 3, 4
surface contamination, 6, 11
survey monitor, 11

task related monitoring, 11


thermal processing, 3
thermodynamic factors, 3
thorium (
228 Th), 10, 11

thorium (
230 Th), 10, 11

thorium (
232 Th), 11
thorium232, 10
thoron (
220 Rn), 3

thoron (
220 Rn), 4, 9

TLD, 7
training, 3

uranium (
235 U), 11

uranium (
238 U), 10, 11

water quality surveys, 10


water sampling, 2
wipe test, 11
workplace conditions, 2
workplace monitoring, 6

XRF, 3

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM3.3

Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monito-
ring strategies: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 13pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

Contents
List of Figures iv

List of Tables v

1. General information 1

1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2

2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. A suggested ow chart for airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3. Positional airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3.1. Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions . . . . . . . 5
2.4. Conrmatory personal airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.4.1. Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.4.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions . . . . . . . 5
2.5. Regular personal airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.5.1. Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.5.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions . . . . . . . 6
2.6. Increased regular personal airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.6.1. Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.6.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions . . . . . . . 7
2.7. Additional investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

A. Appendix showing the estimation of the optimum sample size 9

A.1. Work category sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Bibliography 12

Index 13

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1. Airborne radioactivity sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

List of Tables
A.1. Sample size for work groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
A.2. Dependency between the exposure and airborne radioactivity concentrations . . . . . 10

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To provide guidance on the measurement of the airborne radioactivity that may be encountered in
exploration, mining and mineral processing operations.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 ([1]).

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows how the Radiation Safety Guidelines are arranged.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction
NORM-3.3 deals primarily with the monitoring of radioactivity in air and assumes that readers
are familiar with the practice of dust monitoring. One pre-requisite for appointment as RSO is
successfully completing the Certicate III in Surface Ventilation Technician (Mining Industry) and/or
Certicate IV in Surface Ventilation Ocer (Mining Industry) courses (Current course provider:
Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention (IFAP)  www.ifap.asn.au). For further guidance on
dust sampling strategies, frequency of sampling, repeat sampling and the statistics of occupational
hygiene distributions, publications such as Simplied Monitoring Strategies [4] and A Strategy for
Assessing and Managing Occupational Exposures [5] are recommended.

Regular monitoring for airborne radioactivity (dust, radon/thoron and their progeny) should be
performed in exploration, mining and mineral processing operations where there is a possibility of
radiation exposure via the inhalation pathway.

A personal air sampler placed in the worker's breathing zone can collect a sample that is representative
of the activity concentration in air, which the worker has inhaled. Air concentration measurements,
combined with assumptions of breathing rates and measured exposure times, can be used to estimate
the intake of radioactivity.

When establishing the frequency of measurements for radon/thoron and their progeny, historical
results, expected variations in measurements and the degree of hazard should be taken into account.
The frequency should be increased if:

ˆ measured concentrations exceed the usual range in the individual workplace or specied refe-
rence levels are exceeded; and

ˆ major changes are made to the ventilation system, the layout of the exploration site or
mine/plant or the method of exploration, mining and/or processing.

In setting up the frequency of dust monitoring, the concentrations of radioactive dust, its size distri-
bution and the potential for its inhalation or ingestion should be taken into account. The levels of
exposures that are predicted due to the concentrations of radioactive dust are a key factor in deciding
the nature and extent of any individual monitoring program that may be necessary.

The main purposes of an airborne radioactivity monitoring program are to:

1. Assess committed eective dose equivalent and committed dose to individual organs, due to
internal exposure.

2. Enable informed decisions to be made regarding protection of the workers from internal radia-
tion exposures.

3. Facilitate the achievement of air contamination concentrations that are As Low As Reasonably
Achievable (ALARA).

4. Identify long term trends and to detect short term excessive levels.

5. Test procedures and plant including the eectiveness of engineering and institutional controls.

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2.2. A suggested ow chart for airborne radioactivity sampling


It is important not to embark on a full-scale personal monitoring program without detailed knowledge
of the seriousness of radiation issues at a particular operation. This may include consideration of
the range of actual exposures of employees performing dierent tasks at dierent locations under the
normal variation of working conditions.

In the rst instance, workplace (positional) monitoring should be undertaken. Monitoring frequency
of personal sampling (and more rened dose assessments) that will be required in accordance with
the level of potential personal radiation exposure is suggested in Figure 2.1 on the next page.

Methods dierent from the one above may also be acceptable to the appropriate authority. For
example, it may be useful to modify the ow chart to suit a specic exploration/mining/processing
operation by re-dening the limits given from eective dose (in mSv) to Annual Limits on Intake
(ALI, in Bq) or Derived Air Concentrations (DAC, in Bq/m ).
3 When making such conversions,
please refer to Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment. Other parameters, such as dust particle size
and its solubility may need to be considered in this modication and suitable conservative values
should be chosen.

Details of the monitoring requirements each level of airborne activity can be found by referring to
sections of this Guideline, as indicated by Figure 2.1 on the next page.

2.3. Positional airborne radioactivity sampling


2.3.1. Sampling

Established xed positions that will provide samples representative of conditions in each area of
the workplace should be used. Samples should always be collected in the same position. A simple
qualitative visual survey (e.g. using a beam of light) can be invaluable in identifying dust sources,
patterns and movement within the workplacethus helping direct the subsequent monitoring eorts.
Alternatively, if greater accuracy is required, personal sampling may be substituted for positional
sampling.

Samples should be collected in accordance with the Australian Standard [3]. An alternate sampling
technique may be by using grab sampling. A high volume sampler can be used to collect dust from
at least 500 litres of air. The sampling should be designed to give representative samples over a
working shift and some variation analysis may be required.

The frequency of sampling will depend on the level of dust concentration and its variability. In order
to conrm that annual doses are below the 1 mSv limit, samples should be collected at a minimum of
three monthly intervals. Values consistently exceeding the 1 mSv limit should be investigated, and
this may require further sampling.

In the case of radon/thoron and their progeny, a certain number of samples will need to be taken either
by time integrated measurements or grab samples, as described in Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne
radioactivity sampling. Appropriate electronic instruments may also be used. Consultation with
DMP is required to determine the frequency and method of this monitoring, and the resultant value
should be accounted for in the assessment of the internal dose.

The location of xed position samplers to provide representative samples needs to be done with
care and with reference to the actual working conditions of employees in the areas. Improperly
located positional samplers may under or over estimate personal dust exposure by a large factor and
invalidate subsequent dose assessment. The sampling strategy employed will need to be site and area
specic.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

Figure 2.1.: Airborne radioactivity sampling

A
NOT
Positional airborne APPLY FOR EXEMPTION EXEMPTED
EXEMPTED
radioactivity sampling

NO

B
Dose above NO Above
Confirmatory personal
public limit public limit
airborne radioactivity
(1 mSv/year) (1mSv/year)
sampling & a simple
dose assessment

YES YES

C
Regular personal
NO
Dose above airborne radioactivity
~ 4 mSv/year sampling and a dose
assessment for a work
category

YES

NO
Dose above
~ 10 mSv/year
ACTION AS
NO YES REQUIRED BY
Dose above
THE
~ 5 mSv/quarter
APPROPRIATE
AUTHORITY
YES

D E
Increased personal Determine exact particle
airborne radioactivity size, Th and U content,
sampling and an confirm secular equilibrium
individual dose and re-assess dose
assessment for each assessment criteria as
employee neccessary

Key:
A  Section 2.3 on the preceding page
B  Section 2.4 on the next page
C  Section 2.5 on page 6
D  Section 2.6 on page 7
E  Section 2.7 on page 7

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2.3.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions

Gross alpha determination  refer to the Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

Eective dose equivalent assessments  refer to the Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment.

The result should be compared with the annual public exposure limit of 1 mSv/year. If the result is
below this value, conrmatory personal monitoring is recommended. If, however, the result is above
1 mSv/year a regular personal airborne radioactivity sampling program should be established.

2.4. Conrmatory personal airborne radioactivity sampling


2.4.1. Sampling

Personal total dust sampling should consist of regular sampling of selected members of the workforce
for a set period (typically six months). Monitoring of these representatives should be conducted
monthly with dierent members selected for each monitoring period. Monitoring should be conducted
for greater than 4 hours and preferably for a full shift and care should be taken that the work of the
monitored employee is representative of the work normally conducted by the work group members.

Samples should be collected in accordance with the Australian Standard [3]. Additional grab samples
may be taken to assess variability of dust levels. These samples should be of at least 100 litres in
volume and sampling should be designed to give a variety of working conditions; some variation
analyses would be required.

Sampling frequency will depend on the level of dust concentration and its variability. It will also
depend on the size of the work group and the variability of their activities. Sampling should be
conducted so as to ensure that there are at least 12 representative samples taken per set period on
members of the work group.

In the case of radon/thoron and their progeny, a certain number of samples will need to be taken either
by time integrated measurements or grab samples, as described in Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne
radioactivity sampling. Appropriate electronic equipment may also be used. Consultation with DMP
is required to determine the need and, if necessary, frequency and methods, for personal monitoring
for radon/thoron and their progeny.

2.4.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions

Gross alpha determination  refer to the Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

Eective dose equivalent assessments  refer to the Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment.

If personal sampling conrms that the internal exposure of employees is less than the 1 mSv limit,
an estimate of the total dose should be carried out.

The result should include all possible pathways of radiation exposure (ingestion and exposure to
external sources of radiation  refer to the Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment) and must again
be compared with the annual public exposure limit of 1 mSv/year. If the result is below this value,
an application for an exemption [1] can be lodged with DMP.

1. The applications for exemption should be made on the basis of at least one year's sampling
results. Results should be presented separately for each specic area for which exemption is
sought.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2. The data supplied to support an application for exemption should be of high quality i.e. full
account must be taken of counting statistics and the number of samples should be sucient
to support the claim that levels are below the 1 mSv limit. A minimum of ten sample results
would be required for each area.

3. It is expected that some conrmatory monitoring may be required to provide assurance that
exemption from regular monitoring is appropriate. DMP will recommend the frequency and
nature of conrmatory monitoring on a case-by-case basis.

If the result of dose assessment is between 1 and 4 mSv/year, regular personal monitoring is recom-
mended.

2.5. Regular personal airborne radioactivity sampling


2.5.1. Sampling

Regular personal dust sampling can be carried out for work group representatives or for individual
workers, as appropriate.

In case of sampling of work group representatives, monitoring should be conducted monthly with
dierent members selected for each monitoring period. Sampling should be done in accordance with
the sampling regime as described in Appendix A on page 9.

In case of sampling of individual workers, the sampling should consist of regular sampling of all
members of the work group. Sampling should be conducted so as to ensure that each employee in
the work group is sampled at least six times per year.

In both cases, monitoring should be carried out for greater than four hours and preferably for a full
shift and care should be taken that the work of the monitored employee is representative of the work
normally conducted by the work group members.

Samples should be collected in accordance with Australian Standard [3]. Additional grab samples
may be taken to assess variability of dust levels. These samples should be of at least 100 litres in
volume and sampling should be designed to give a variety of working conditions; some variation
analyses would be required.

Sampling frequency will depend on the level of dust concentration and its variability. It will also
depend on the size of the work group and the variability of their activities.

In case of radon/thoron and their progeny a certain number of samples will need to be taken either
by time integrated measurements or grab samples, as described in Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne
radioactivity sampling. Appropriate electronic equipment may also be used. A consultation with
DMP is required to determine the need (and, if necessary, frequency and methods) for personal
monitoring for radon/thoron and their progeny.

2.5.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions

Gross alpha determination  refer to the Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.

Eective dose equivalent assessments  refer to the Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment.

The result should be compared with the value of 4 mSv/year (20% of the annual exposure limit of 20
mSv/year for designated employees). If the result of dose assessment is between 4 and 10 mSv/year,
continuation of a regular personal monitoring as described in Section 2.5.1, is recommended. If the
result is above 10 mSv/year, the establishment of a more comprehensive personal monitoring program
is recommended.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2.6. Increased regular personal airborne radioactivity sampling


2.6.1. Sampling

The increase in personal monitoring may result in a comprehensive individual sampling of all mem-
bers of the relevant work groups. Monitoring should be conducted for greater than four hours and
preferably for a full shift and care should be taken that the work of the monitored employee is
representative of the work normally conducted. Any non-routine occurrences should be noted.

Samples should be collected in accordance with Australian Standard [3]. Additional grab samples
may be taken to assess variability of dust levels. These samples should be of at least 100 litres in
volume and sampling should be designed to give a variety of working conditions; some variation
analyses would be required.

Sampling frequency will depend on the level of dust concentration and its variability. It will also
depend on the level of radioactivity concentration to which the individual is exposed and to variability
in that exposure.

Sampling should be conducted so as to ensure that each employee is sampled at least 12 times per
year.

In the case of radon/thoron and their progeny a certain number of samples will need to be taken either
by time integrated measurements or grab samples, as described in Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne
radioactivity sampling. Appropriate electronic equipment may also be used. Consultation with DMP
is required to determine the need (and, if necessary, frequency and methods) for personal monitoring
for radon/thoron and their progeny.

2.6.2. Gross alpha determination and dose assessments and exemptions

Gross alpha determination  refer to the Guideline NORM3.4 Airborne radioactivity sampling.
Some analysis of the variability of alpha concentration in air will be required to determine the
appropriate mean air concentration for the employee.

Eective dose equivalent assessments  refer to the Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment. The
annual intake of radionuclides is determined on an individual group basis and estimate the eective
dose equivalent is based on known or approved values of Activity Median Aerodynamic Diameter
(AMAD  Guideline NORM3.5 Measurement of particle size) and using individual occupancy
factors.

The results should be compared with the value of 10 mSv/year (50% of the annual exposure limit
of 20 mSv/year for designated employees). If the result of dose assessment is between 4 and 10
mSv/year, continuation of a regular personal monitoring as described in Section 2.5 on the facing
page, is recommended. If the result is above 10 mSv/year (and approaching 5 mSv/year in a 3-month
period), additional investigations should be carried out.

2.7. Additional investigations


In consultation with DMP, the following should be carried out:

1. The AMAD of the dust (Guideline NORM3.5 Measurement of particle size) should be deter-
mined by an approved method. This AMAD will be used in dose calculations in areas where
that AMAD is applicable and for specic work groups.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

2. The solubility of the dust should be determined so as to indicate the ratio between soluble and
insoluble parts. For this determination a high volume sample will be needed and a laboratory
analysis performed.

3. The ratio between thorium content and uranium content should be determined. Again a large
volume sample will be required for laboratory analysis.

4. Secular equilibrium should be evaluated by measurement on a large volume air sample. The
thorium and uranium decay series are described in Appendix B of the guideline NORM2.1
Preparation of a radiation management plan  exploration.

5. To evaluate the degree of equilibrium in the thorium decay chain it would be necessary to
measure the specic activities of
232 Th, 228 Ra, 228 Th and 212 Pb. If not accessed previously, a

determination of the loss of thoron (


220 Rn) through emanation from the dust should be made.

6. To evaluate the degree of secular equilibrium in the uranium decay chain it would be necessary
to measure the relative activities of
238 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra, and 210 Pb. If not assessed previously,

a measurement of radon (
222 Rn) emanation from the dust should also be performed.

If investigations reveal the levels of radioactivity collected on personal samples to be measurably


higher than that detected by positional monitoring in the same operational area, a special task mo-
nitoring program can be initiated. The program involves taking short-term (2030 minutes in length)
samples from individual employees performing the task that is known (or suspected) to cause elevated
exposure. The values obtained from individual employees are assessed and a particular standard job
procedure may be modied to ensure that radiation exposure is kept as low as practicable.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

A. Appendix showing the estimation of the


optimum sample size
A.1. Work category sampling
If a maximum risk worker cannot be selected for a particular work category with reasonable certainty,
then it is necessary to resort to random sampling of the group of workers.

The procedure is to randomly sample the group whose members have a similar expected exposure
risk. The objective is to select a sub-group of adequate size to ensure that there is a high probability
that the random sample will contain at least one worker with high exposure (if one exists).

According to Simplied Monitoring Strategies [4] , the number of samples to take remains the most
dicult issue in any monitoring strategy . The number of samples will inuence the precision of the
exposure estimate and the attached condence levels.

Table A.1 details the sample size required for various work group sizes:

Table A.1.: Sample size for work groups

Group Size Employees to be sampled


< 8 All
8 7
9 8
10 9
11  12 10
13  14 11
15  17 12
18  20 13
21  24 14
24  29 15
30  37 16
38  49 17
50 18
∞ 22

The key aspect of this strategy is the selection of a `maximum risk worker' from a group of workers
of similar exposure risk. If the group is not homogeneous, in terms of exposure risk, then workers
should be reclassied into additional groups to ensure homogeneity.

Additional guidance for the sampling of work categories has been developed in order to align airborne
radioactivity monitoring programs carried out at dierent mining and processing sites in Western
Australia. It is suggested that the frequency of monitoring is dependent on:

ˆ the potential annual radiation exposure of an employee in a particular work category (based
on the measured level of airborne radioactivity); and

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

ˆ the number of employees in a particular work category.

Firstly, the reasonable levels of airborne radioactivity concentrations in the dust are used to estimate
potential annual internal radiation exposure levels, using the default particle size value (AMAD) of
5 µm and 2000 working hours per year:

Table A.2.: Dependency between the exposure and airborne radioactivity concentrations

Internal dose (mSv/y) Activity (Bq/m³)  uranium dust Activity (Bq/m³)  thorium dust

0.5 0.059 0.026

1.0 0.119 0.052

2.0 0.238 0.104

3.0 0.357 0.156

4.0 0.476 0.208

5.0 0.595 0.260

6.0 0.714 0.312

7.0 0.833 0.364

8.0 0.952 0.417

9.0 1.071 0.469

10.0 1.190 0.521

12.0 1.429 0.625

15.0 1.786 0.781

The values in Table A.2 can be modied to reect the circumstances of a particular site, for example
where both thorium and uranium is expected to be present in the airborne dust and/or radon and
thoron exposure may need to be taken into account.

The following steps are taken in the development of the monitoring program where:

ˆ an average airborne radioactivity concentrations would result in internal radiation exposure of


less than 1 mSv/year (≤ 0.119 Bq/m³ for uranium dust and ≤0.052 Bq/m³ for thorium dust)
it is suggested that personal monitoring of employees in this work category is not required;

ˆ an average airborne radioactivity concentrations indicate that internal radiation exposures in


excess of 1 mSv/year are possible, the measured values are averaged to the closest value in
Table A.2; and

ˆ the number of employees in a particular work category is multiplied by the expected annual
internal dose value and the result is the number of samples required from the employees in this
work category per year.

Please note that due to the fact that monitoring levels for each work category will need to be carried
out annually and that statistical analysis of monitoring data needs to be performed  the number of
samples cannot be less than 12 per year (one sample per month).

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

An example: There are ve work categories at a site processing mineral containing thorium.

The levels of airborne dust radioactivity for these categories have been measured and are as follows:

1. `Laboratory'  0.031 Bq/m³;

2. `Metallurgist'  0.069 Bq/m³;

3. `Supervisor'  0.147 Bq/m³;

4. `Maintenance'  0.189 Bq/m³; and

5. `Operator'  0.297 Bq/m³.

There are 8 employees in the laboratory:

ˆ 2 metallurgists;

ˆ 3 supervisors;

ˆ 9 maintenance personnel; and

ˆ 15 operators.

The design of the monitoring program is carried out as follows in each work category:

1. `Laboratory': the level is suciently low to carry out positional monitoring only. The location of
the monitoring positions and the frequency of monitoring should be determined in consultation
with laboratory personnel.

2. `Metallurgist': the measured airborne radioactivity level corresponds to the value of 0.052
Bq/m³ (potential exposure of 1 mSv/year, Table A.2). The value of 1 is multiplied by the
number of employees in the work category (2). The result is that only two samples per year
need to be taken, which will not be sucient for the statistical analysis and the assessment of
the requirement for the monitoring of this category in a subsequent year. Therefore, there will
be a need to take 12 samples for employees in this work category.

3. `Supervisor': the measured airborne radioactivity level corresponds to the value of 0.156 Bq/m³
(potential exposure of 3 mSv/year, Table A.2). The value of 3 is multiplied by the number of
employees in the work category (3). The result is that only six samples per year need to be taken,
which (as for the work category `metallurgist') will not be sucient for the statistical analysis
and the assessment of the requirement for the monitoring of this category in a subsequent year.
Therefore, there will be a need to take 12 samples for employees in this work category. Due
to the relatively low airborne radioactivity levels for both `metallurgist' and `supervisor' work
categories the merger of these categories into one may be considered.

4. `Maintenance': the measured airborne radioactivity level corresponds to the value of 0.208
Bq/m³ (potential exposure of 4 mSv/year, Table A.2). The value of 4 is multiplied by the
number of employees in the work category (9). The result is that 36 samples per year need to
be taken for employees in this work category.

5. `Operator': the measured airborne radioactivity level corresponds to the value of 0.312 Bq/m³
(potential exposure of 6 mSv/year, Table A.2). The value of 6 is multiplied by the number of
employees in the work category (15). The result is that 90 samples per year need to be taken
for employees in this work category.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM3.3 Monitoring NORM  air monitoring strategies

Bibliography
[1] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994 .

[3] AS 3640, 2004. Workplace atmospheres  Method for sampling and gravimetric determination of
inhalable dust, 2004.

[4] Grantham, David. Simplied Monitoring Strategies. Australian Institute of Occupational Hygie-
nists Inc, 2001.

[5] Bullock, William H. and Ignacio, Joselito S., A Strategy for Assessing and Managing Occupational
Exposures, American Industrial Hygiene Association Exposure Assessment Strategies Committee,
3
rd Edition, 2006.

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Index
activity concentration, 2 positional sampling, 3
airborne radioactivity, 1, 2
ALARA, 2 radiation exposure, 8

ALI, 3 radioactive dust, 2


radon (
222 Rn), 8
AMAD, 7
annual public exposure limit, 5 radon/thoron, 2, 5, 7

application for exemption, 5 representative sample, 5

Australian Standard, 3, 5, 6
sampling regime, 6

breathing rates, 2 standard job procedure, 8

breathing zone, 2
thorium decay chain, 8
thoron (
220 Rn), 8
committed dose, 2
time integrated measurement, 5
DAC, 3 total dust sampling, 6
DMP, 57
dose assessment, 7 uranium decay chain, 8

dust concentration, 5, 7
variation analyses, 5, 6
dust monitoring, 2
dust solubility, 8
work group, 6

eective dose equivalent, 2, 57


elevated exposure, 8
engineering controls, 2
equilibrium, 8

grab samples, 3, 5
gross alpha determination, 57

high volume sample, 8


high volume sampler, 3

IFAP, 2
inhalation pathway, 2
internal dose, 3
internal exposure, 2

laboratory analysis, 8
long term trends, 2

mineral processing, 1
monitoring period, 6
monitoring program, 2, 3, 6, 8

pathways of radiation exposure, 5


personal monitoring, 5
positional monitoring, 3

13
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM3.4

Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radio-
activity sampling: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 24pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Contents
List of Figures v
List of Tables vi
1. General information 1
1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2
2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Radioactive dust sampling considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.1. Selection of counting equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.2. Sample preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.3. Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3. Analysis considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3.1. Filter handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3.2. Calibration and use of alpha counting equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.2.1. Background count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.2.2. Chi-square . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.2.3. Eciency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3.2.4. Excel spreadsheet for data processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3.3. Gross alpha activity calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.4. Other considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4.1. Alpha self-absorption eects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4.2. Partial sample loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.5. Measurement of radon/thoron and their progeny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.6. Environmental dust monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.7. Passive air samplers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.8. Stack emissions monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

A. Appendix showing methods for the measurement of radon/thoron progeny 14


A.1. Rolle method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
A.2. Kusnetz method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
A.3. Rock method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
A.4. Cote method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
A.5. Borak method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
A.6. Modied Tsivoglou method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
A.7. Useful conversion factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

B. Appendix showing the Excel spreadsheet 19


C. Appendix showing dierent sampling cassettes 20
C.1. Conguration dierences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
C.2. Dierences in the sample surface area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Bibliography 23
Index 24

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1. Alpha counters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3


2.2. Detection Limit LD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3. Eberline sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.4. Example of a passive dust sampler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

B.1. The user interface of the Excel spreadsheet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

C.1. SKC 7-hole and IOM open face cassettes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20


C.2. Comparison between diameters of Am-241 calibration source and lters from SKC
7hole and IOM open face cassettes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

List of Tables
A.1. The Rolle method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
A.2. Exhibit 3-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
A.3. Rock method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To provide practical guidance on airborne radioactivity sampling and assessment of obtained data in
relevant exploration, mining and mineral processing operations.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 ([1]).

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows how the Radiation Safety Guidelines are arranged.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction
Measurements of airborne radioactivity are undertaken to assess the performance of engineering
control systems and to assess exposures of both employees and members of the general public. The
most common technique involves portable or stationary air pumps/samplers. Passive air samplers,
however, are also used where appropriate.

The major risk associated with airborne radioactivity arises from internal irradiation following in-
halation. To evaluate the signicance of the measured activity, information is required on Annual
Limits of Intake (ALI) through inhalation and derived airborne concentration (DAC) limits of re-
levant radionuclides. A discussion of these parameters is outside the scope of this guideline and is
available in another document (Guideline NORM5 Dose assessment).

The method for determining gross (or total) alpha activity involves the collection of airborne dust
onto a high-eciency lter paper. The collected dust is usually analysed by counting directly with
an alpha counter. The sensitivity of this technique is strongly dependent on sampling volume and
can be adjusted to almost any desired value by manipulation of the appropriate sampling parameters
(time and ow rate). In addition, the counting time can also be increased to further improve the
sensitivity of this monitoring method.

Several dierent methods are used to determine concentrations of radon/thoron and their progeny.
These may vary from short-term air samples that are analysed within several hours or minutes of the
sample being taken to passive monitors that are used to collect the data from a particular location for
several months before being analysed. Additionally, electronic monitoring equipment is also available
for the estimation of radon and thoron concentrations.

In radiation protection, it is common practice to sample total dust by drawing air through a lter
and to then compare the measured radioactivity with an operational limit. Total dust is dened as
the dust which is collected on the lter of a non-size selective gravimetric sampler.

There are a number of commercially available personal air samplers (PAS), however, the dierences
in sampling head design and operating ow rate may result in signicant variations in particle intake
or collection eciency characteristics. To ensure the consistency of measurements, the sampling and
the analysis of data should be undertaken:

ˆ in accordance with the Australian Standard [8]; and

ˆ most importantly, by a person qualied to perform such measurements.

It is expected that, as a minimum, a person undertaking the measurements should be a qualied


ventilation ocer, as required in accordance with Part 9 of the Regulations [9] and be a `registered
CONTAM sampler'. As such, the person is expected to have detailed knowledge of:

ˆ human respiratory tract system;

ˆ classication of dusts (including inspirability criteria);

ˆ sampling `congurations' (including dierent sampling heads and their collection eciencies);
and

ˆ selection of sampling equipment (pumps and lter paper).

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Information on the CONTAM system is available on the DMP web site in the Resources Safety area
 http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/6749.aspx.

This guideline, therefore, addresses only issues that are directly relevant to airborne radioactivity
sampling.

2.2. Radioactive dust sampling considerations


2.2.1. Selection of counting equipment
Great care should be taken when selecting or purchasing alpha counting equipment to ensure that
it is suitable for the purpose intended. Some computer/software controlled alpha counters available
are designed for `American Homeland Security' market where a rapid determination of potential
atmospheric contaminants is required and are typically unable to be used for the procedures described
on the following pages. Counters using PIPS detectors such as the Canberra Model 7401 (Figure 2.1)
and Tennelec TC-257 have been used by the WA mining and mineral processing industry for over a
decade with excellent reliability and accurate results.

Figure 2.1.: Alpha counters

Three Canberra Model 7401 NIM modules in a Model 1000 power supply bin.

2.2.2. Sample preparation


1. For the purpose of airborne radioactivity sampling, it is recommended that the lters have as
low resistance to airow as possible (to avoid excessive pump power), a low clogging rate, and
collect the aerosol particles close to the surface (to avoid alpha self-absorption issues).

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2. Two dierent types of lter paper are typically used for collection of radioactive dust  PVC
(with pore size of 0.8 microns) and glass-bre (with pore size of 5 microns). The PVC lters
are more appropriate in situations where dust concentrations are relatively low (in order of 12
3
mg/m ) whereas glass-bre lters are recommended for use when the dust levels are compara-
tively high so as to minimise the possibility of partial sample loss due to dust particles falling
o the lter in the process of sample handling between weighing and counting.

3. Filters must be handled using the tweezers only.

4. To account for the atmospheric humidity, it is recommended that lters are placed in clean
containers and left with lids slightly ajar in the laboratory/oce overnight to come to equili-
brium with the atmosphere.

5. The lter should be pre-weighed to an accuracy ±0.01 mg. The number of the sample and its
weight should be recorded and the lter then placed into the sampling cassette.

There are two dierent cassettes approved for the use in dust sampling by the relevant Australian
Standard[8]. The dierences between those tow cassettes are described in Appendix C.

2.2.3. Sampling
Dust sampling cassette should be attached to a suitably calibrated constant airow sampler and worn
as close as possible to the employee's breathing zone. Sampling time should be a minimum of four
hours but must be as close to the length of the shift as possible. In some cases a `full shift' sampling
may not be possible. In such circumstances, monitoring can be carried out in two dierent parts
of the shift (usually for six hours at the beginning and at the end of the shift) to ensure that the
monitoring data is representative.

Dierent methods of recording sample information may be implemented. As detailed information is


required for the data entry into the DMP `Boswell' database (refer to the guideline NORM7 Boswell
 Assessment and reporting database), it is recommended that the following information is recorded
for each sample:

1. The date and start and stop times of sampling.

2. Sample type (personal or positional) and number.

3. The name/occupation of the person wearing the sampler (or a position number).

4. Respiratory protection data.

5. Any other remarks, if required.

After sampling, lters should come to equilibrium with the atmosphere as is done before sampling.
The lter should be weighed to an accuracy of ±0.01 mg, the mass of the sample should be recorded
and the lter placed in the clean container for the subsequent radiometric analysis.

2.3. Analysis considerations


2.3.1. Filter handling
After air sampling and gravimetric determination the lters should be individually stored in suitably
marked containers or protective envelopes (e.g. petri dishes) in readiness for alpha counting. When
handling lters, particular care must be taken to avoid damage to them. Filter handling including
transportation, and vibration should be kept to a minimum to avoid loss of material before radiolo-
gical evaluation. Tweezers should be used during all handling to hold the unexposed lter edge. The
anti-static guns should be used if necessary.

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2.3.2. Calibration and use of alpha counting equipment


A background count, chi-square test and eciency calculation should be undertaken at least weekly
when counting is in progress. These parameters should be monitored regularly to ensure that any
deterioration in performance of the system is detected as soon as possible.

2.3.2.1. Background count


This is typically performed over a relatively long period of time  12 to 15 hours, with a clean
unused lter in the drawer assembly or counting chamber, and the value is used in the assessment of
the Minimum Detection Limit (MDL) [11] of a particular counter as follows:

s !
Ct Ct
 
M DL = 4.65 × Bc × + Bc ×
Bt Bt

where:
MDL  minimum detection limit of the equipment in use for the counting time Ct;
4.65  the detection limit LD shown in Figure 2.2;
Bc  number of counts from background for the background counting time Bt;
Bt  background count time (usually 720 or 900 minutes);
Ct  counting time (typically 60 or 100 minutes).

Figure 2.2.: Detection Limit LD

Background Sample

Count Rate L D

LD is the true net signal level that may be expected a priori to lead to detection [10].

Calculation example: Data: Background counting results are: in 900 minutes 33 counts were
obtained. The actual sample counting will be carried out during 60 minutes.

Solution: Bc = 33 counts; Bt = 900 min; Ct = 60 min;

s
60
! 
60
  √ 
M DL = 4.65 × 33 × + 33 × = 4.65 × 2.2 + 2.2 = 9.097 ≈ 9 counts
900 900

Therefore, the minimum detection limit of alpha spectrometer is currently 9 counts in 60 minutes. If
the sample count does not exceed the MDL then the MDL must be substituted for the sample count
in the calculation. In other words, if the sample count will be 5 counts per 60 minutes the value of
9 counts per 60 minutes should be used in the calculation of the dust activity concentration.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2.3.2.2. Chi-square
This test is carried [4] out after obtaining background counts for each counter. If only the standard
(25 mm in diameter) samples will be analysed during the following week, 25 mm americium (
241 Am)

calibration source (re-calibrated annually by the Radiation Health Section of WA) must be used.

If personal impactor or environmental samples (37 mm in diameter) are also to be analysed, calibra-
tion should also be carried out with the 37 mm calibration source.

Note when purchasing calibration sources, the Eberline Services


241 Am model DNS-5SP sources with

diameters of 25mm, 36mm and 44.5mm are currently the only sources approved for use in Western
Australia as shown in Figure 2.3  www.eberlineservices.com.

Figure 2.3.: Eberline sources

Several companies have standardised on these three sources.

This is because the geometry of


241 Am on the calibration source must be similar to the dust collected

on the lter; therefore, `point' sources where a small amount of the isotope is placed in the middle
of the disc are not acceptable. The
241 Am should be present on the surface of the disc in the form

of a thin lm, closely resembling the dust accumulated on the lter.

Ten counts (typically of 30 or 60 seconds) using a calibration source must be carried out and the
data and the calculations carried out using the following equation:

n
(χi − χ̄)2
X

i=1
χ2 =
χ̄
where:
χi is the ith experimental data value;
χ̄ is the mean of the experimental data values.

The chi-square value should be 3.33 ≤ χ2 ≤ 16.9. In cases where the value is either lower than 3.33
or above 16.92, the test should be repeated until an acceptable value is obtained. If the results are
repeatedly outside the bounds, the counter must be removed from service.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2.3.2.3. Eciency
The Eciency for each counter is calculated as follows:

CST D
Ef f % = 100 ×
(TST D × N × 2)
where:
CST D  total number of counts from the calibration source (average of ten results);
TST D  counting time for the calibration source in seconds;
N  number of alpha particles emerging from the front surface of the calibration source
per second (this number is obtained from the calibration certicate of the source).

2.3.2.4. Excel spreadsheet for data processing


An Excel spreadsheet has been developed in order to the simplify calculations and minimise errors.
Data should be entered into the appropriate elds to calculate the values. The program user interface
is shown in Figure B.1 on page 19.

The sample Excel Spreadsheet is embedded in the electronic version of this document and may be
run from here or saved onto your computer. This spreadsheet is free software; you can redistribute it
and/or modify it. The software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Click here if you accept these conditions →

Calculation example: `Mean' number of counts is 40807;

Counts were obtained during the 30 seconds interval;

Number of alpha particles from the Certicate is 113,300 per minute;

Calculate number of alpha particles per second;

113300
N= = 1888.3 counts per second
60
Calculate the eciency;

40807
Ef f % = 100 × = 36.0%
(30 × 1888.3 × 2)

Six or seven days are allowed to elapse before alpha counting to allow for the decay of short-lived
thoron (
220 Rn) and radon (222 Rn) daughter products trapped on the lter. This decay time also

provides for the build-up of thoron daughters from


224 Ra in the event of thoron emanation from the

airborne dust particles. The assumption employed when determining gross alpha activity is that
all alpha particles emitted from the
232 Th and 238 U radioactive decay chains are registered by the

counter.

The counting of the lters is typically performed for a minimum of 60 minutes, but this time may
be extended to 100 or 200 minutes to increase the accuracy of measurement when it is expected that
concentrations of radioactivity would be relatively low (environmental high volume samples, lower
stages of personal impactor, or conrmatory samples collected outside supervised and controlled
radiation areas).

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2.3.3. Gross alpha activity calculation


The activity of the sample (in Becquerels) is calculated as follows:

100 Cc Bc
   
A= × −
60 × Ef f % Ct Bt
where:
A  activity of the sample (in Becquerels);
Cc  number of counts from the sample for the counting time Ct;
Ct  counting time (typically 60 or 100 minutes);
Bc  number of counts from background for the background counting time Bt;
Bt  background count time (usually 900 minutes);
E%  percent eciency of the alpha spectrometer.

Dust activity concentration This is then determined as follows:

  A (Bq)
Ac Bq/m3 =
V (m3 )

The value obtained in accordance with this procedure should be compared with the derived air
concentration (DAC) calculated for a particular industry/operation in accordance with the Guideline
NORM5 Dose Assessment.

Calculation example: Data:

Counting results are: sample was counted for 60 minutes; 71 counts were obtained.

Background counting result is: in 900 minutes 33 counts were obtained.

The sample was worn for 370 minutes.

Flow rate of the sampler was 2 litres per minute.

The eciency of the alpha spectrometer is 31.7%.

Solution:

Bc = 33 counts;

Bt = 900 min;

Cc = 71 counts;

Ct = 60 min;

E% = 31.7 %;

V = 370 min ×2 litres /min = 740 litres = 0.74 m .


3

The activity of the sample is:

100 71 33
   
A= × − = 0.060 Bq
60 × 31.7 60 900
The dust activity concentration is:

0.060 Bq
= 0.081 Bq/m3
0.74 m3
The calculations described above are performed when all relevant data is entered into the DMP
`Boswell' database (please refer to guideline NORM7 Boswell  Assessment and reporting database).

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

2.4. Other considerations


2.4.1. Alpha self-absorption eects
Self-absorption can seriously aect the nal alpha activity concentrations when collected samples have
relatively large dust loadings. With knowledge of layer inuence, these eects can be minimised.

Alpha particles have a very short range in air (40 mm for alpha particles with the energy of 5.3 MeV)
and an even shorter range in more dense substances. The assessment of alpha self-absorption eects
may be very complicated as radioactive atoms are distributed throughout the dust matrix, ranging
from the surface of the deposit to the deposit/lter paper interface. In some instances penetration
of the dust into the lter paper matrix will also intensify this eect.

Although alpha particles will lose considerable energy as they pass through the dust matrix the alpha
counter will still register them as long as the distance to the detector is less than their range in the
dust matrix. Particle size also becomes important, as alpha particles originating from atoms within
a large grain will not pass completely through the grain. Additionally, the lter paper itself may
trap dust particles at depth within its matrix and the degree of self-absorption for this situation is
estimated as follows:

(C2 − C3)
 
%SA = × 100
C1 + C2 + C3
where:
%SA is the % self absorption;
C1 is the sample count (above background);
C2 is the count obtained by turning the sample lter upside down;
C3 is the count obtained by covering the sample lter (sample side up) with an unused
lter paper.

To limit self-absorption the simple solution is to choose a lter paper with a pore size that will ensure
the deposit is collected on the surface. In practice, the thickness of the dust deposit on the lter paper
determines the degree of self-absorption. Any visible deposit is likely to suer from self-absorption
making an absolute activity determination impossible. It is therefor advisable to carry out periodic
checks of lters collected at a particular operation to quantify the degree of self-absorption.

As the ow rate is xed in accordance with Australian Standard [8] at 2 litres per minute, to limit
self-absorption due to layer inuence the sampling time must be chosen to ensure that no excessive
dust loadings are captured on the lter.

Where appropriate, the statistical analysis of obtained results should be carried out in accordance
with Section 3.2 Basic Principles for the reporting of data detailed in the Guideline NORM6 Re-
porting requirements.

2.4.2. Partial sample loss


It is possible that in the process of weighing and counting during sample handling, loss of dust may
occur (particularly where dust concentrations in excess of 5 mg/m
3 are being registered). In this

case, the result of sample count should be deemed invalid. If the circumstances warrant further
investigation the following calculation may be carried out:

1. Determine the average dust specic activity (Bq/mg) for the particular work category (exclu-
ding the result for the sample in question).
3
2. Multiply the weight of the sample in question (mg/m ) by the average dust specic activity
(Bq/mg) to obtain expected dust activity concentration for the sample in question (Bq/m ).
3

3. The obtained result may be used for ad hoc reporting purposes.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Calculation example: Results of dust monitoring for the sample in question are 14.62 mg/m
3
3
and 0.077 Bq/m . The dust from the sample was partially lost prior to counting. The average dust
specic activity for this particular work category in this particular month is 0.081 Bq/mg (data
averaged for all other samples in this work category).

The expected dust activity concentration is estimated as follows:

14.62 mg/m
3 × 0.081 Bq/mg = 1.184 Bq/m
3

The value 1.184 Bq/m


3 should be used for reporting purposes instead of questionable 0.077 Bq/m3 .

2.5. Measurement of radon/thoron and their progeny


The radioactive decay chains of
238 U and 232 Th contain a gaseous member: radon (
222 Rn) and

thoron (
220 Rn). These gaseous elements can diuse from dierent materials and accumulate in the

surrounding atmosphere. The radon will continue to decay and the newly formed radon progeny will
be attracted to dust particles and will become `attached' to them.

The measurement of radon progeny concentrations is based on the detection of the alpha particles
emitted in the decay process. Most sampling methods require the drawing of a known volume of air
through a lter paper. The amount of alpha activity on the lter paper and the decay characteristics
exhibited are a function of the radionuclides present and their quantity. Determination of individual
progeny activities can be made by performing a sequence of counts at various intervals after sampling,
and solving the relevant radioactive in-growth and decay equations.

There are many dierent methods for the determination of radon progeny concentrations. The
220 Rn progeny is considered to be much lower than that of 222 Rn progeny
radiological signicance of
because of the comparatively short half-life of
220 Rn (55 seconds) and its limited opportunity for

release.

Many dierent monitors are available for both positional and personal assessment of the exposure to
radon and its progeny, several monitors capable of detecting thoron are also available. In situations
where only a simple assessment is necessary, some of these monitors can be used.

In situations where airborne dust radioactivity measurements are routinely undertaken and an al-
pha counter is readily available, several methods that utilise gross alpha counts (performed after a
suitable interval after the completion of sampling) can be used to determine radon/ thoron progeny
concentrations. The measurements are generally simple to perform and detailed description of these
methods is provided in Appendix A on page 14.

2.6. Environmental dust monitoring


To ensure the consistency of measurements, sampling and the analysis of data should be undertaken
in accordance with the Australian Standard [7]. The sampling is carried out using high volume
3
samplers with the airow rate of 70 to 80 m /hour, for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure that
sucient amount of dust is collected for radioactivity analysis. In some cases it may be necessary to
operate the high volume sampler continuously for 57 days, while in other cases the 24 hour interval
may be sucient; an additional consultation with DMP is recommended to ensure that the samplers
are not overloaded and sucient amount of dust particulate is collected on the lter.

Five, 37 mm diameter circular representative sub-samples are removed from the active area of the
high-volume lter. The sub-samples are stored for a period of six to seven days to allow short lived
radioactive products to decay, and are then presented to the alpha spectrometer for the determination
of the long-lived alpha radioactivity.

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

The mean alpha activity from the sub-samples is integrated over the total active area of the sample
to determine total collected alpha activity.

The mean activity is multiplied by the correction factor f:

total active surf ace of the sample


f=
surf ace of the 37 mm diameter sample

Calculation example: The eective sampling area is usually 382.5 cm


2 (22.5 x 17.0 cm).

The surface of the 37 mm diameter sub-sample is:

2
3.7

πR2 = 3.142 × = 10.75 cm2
2
Then the factor is:

382.5
f= = 35.6
10.75

3
If the mean alpha activity for ve 37 mm diameter sub-samples is 0.017 mBq/m , then the total
alpha-activity will be:

0.017 mBq/m3 × 35.6 = 0.62 mBq/m3

2.7. Passive air samplers


The use of passive (non-mechanical) samplers may be advantageous in certain situations. For
example, passive samplers for measuring radon progeny exposures are very useful in area measu-
rements as they integrate over a period of several months and give much better measurements than
any of the grab sampling techniques.

Passive samplers are also useful in environmental dust monitoring as shown in Figure 2.4 on the
next page. Deposition collectors, sticky plates and tacky cloths are typically used. The sticky plate
deposition collector is a horizontal or vertical plate covered with a sticky material that traps any fall
out that hits it. The tacky cloth sampler consists of a cloth stretched over dierent forms of wire
frames.

These samplers can be placed in reasonable numbers around a particular site. The cloth can then
be changed at monthly or quarterly intervals and assessed for trapped radioactive material.

Despite the fact that the results from passive samplers are qualitative rather than quantitative,
results from a series of passive samplers around the potential source of radioactive dust can reveal
the direction and location of higher concentrations of this dust, and thus indicate the best locations
for high volume environmental dust samplers.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Figure 2.4.: Example of a passive dust sampler

A passive dust sampler located next to a ore stockpile at the former WMC Yeelirrie exploration site.

2.8. Stack emissions monitoring


In order to correctly estimate potential exposures for members of the general public, it is necessary
to know the content of radioactivity in air discharged from any stacks (ventilation, dust extraction,
drying, kilns, etc.). Typically, as air will have been through the exhaust lter, most of the radioactive
dust particles are likely to be trapped.

It is, however, important to ensure that all stacks are monitored at regular intervals or as required
by licence conditions due to the fact that any radioactive dust emitted from them can travel much
further from the point of origin than dust carried by the wind from a stockpile. In cases where
chemical and thermal processing of material takes place, it is recommended that the state of secular
equilibrium of both uranium and thorium chains is assessed. This will help in determination if any
other radionuclides (except thorium and uranium) should be monitored in stack air. Where possible,
radionuclides' activity balance calculations should be performed to ensure maintenance personnel are
not exposed to signicant levels of radiation during the change of exhaust lters, which may have
accumulated signicant amounts of ne radioactive dust containing radioactive isotopes of polonium
and lead from both thorium and uranium decay chains (refer to Appendix B of the guideline NORM
2.1 Preparation of a radiation management plan - exploration). For practical purposes an annual
assessment of concentrations of
210 Po and 210 Pb (from the uranium decay chain) and 212 Pb (from

the thorium decay chain) is recommended.

Also as part of the operating licence conditions, some processing plants are required to undertake an
emissions testing program on their stacks involving isokinetic testing. Isokinetic testing is a technique
in which a representative sample from the stack is obtained by removing a sample at the same rate as
the stack gas. Once the sampling event is complete, the particulate mass collected on the lter can
be determined by weight, or gravimetrically. Several standard sampling `Methods' developed by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency are used to determine stack sample site suitability,

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

velocity and volumetric owrate, gas stream density, moisture content, and total particulates using
isokinetic sampling trains. Uranium and Thorium emissions collected on the lter are measured at a
laboratory using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICPMS). The isokinetic variation
during a sampling run should be between 90% and 110%.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

A. Appendix showing methods for the


measurement of radon/thoron progeny
There are several methods that utilise a single or multiple gross alpha count (performed after a
suitable interval after the completion of sampling) to determine radon (
222 Rn) and thoron (220 Rn)

progeny concentrations.

A.1. Rolle method


This method [3] is used for the determination of
222 Rn progeny concentration:

Table A.1.: The Rolle method

Sampling time (min) Delay time (min) Counting time (min) Conversion factor Error (±%)

4 6.46 5 213 12

5 6.06 5 213 11

10 4.35 5 213 11

15 1.36 10 212 10

20 2.12 5 210 10

The
222 Rn progeny concentration, in mJ/m3 , is then calculated as follows:

(CS − CB ) × 2.1 × 10−2


 
XRn =
(E × F × V × T )
where:
XRn  Rn-222 progeny concentration in mJ/m3 ;
CS  gross count in interval T;
CB  background count in interval T;
E  eciency of detection equipment expressed as a fraction;
F  Average factor to convert from counts/minute to WL (working level);
V  volume of air sampled in L;
T  counting time in minutes;
2.1×10
−2  factor to convert from WL to mJ/m3 .

For example, for a 10 minute sampling period, followed by a 5 minute counting period, a delay time
of 4 minutes and 20 seconds will apply. The conversion factor F for this sampling will be 213, with
an error of ±11%.
Due to the short delay times this method is more suitable in situations where the detection equipment
is located in close proximity to the sampling point.

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

A.2. Kusnetz method


This method [5] is similar to the one described in the A.1 on the facing page however:

ˆ the delay period between completion of sampling and beginning of counting is longer;

ˆ the sample is collected for 510 minutes and then stored in a petri dish for 4090 minutes prior
to counting;

ˆ the lter is transferred carefully from the lter holder assembly to the detector with the collec-
tion side of the lter oriented toward the face of the detector; and

ˆ the total counts for the sample and the time (in minutes after sampling) at the midpoint of the
10-minute time interval are recorded.

The
222 Rn progeny concentration is calculated using the equation presented in the A.1 on the prece-

ding page but the conversion factor is taken from the Table Exhibit 3-1 (PHS 1957)A.2:

Table A.2.: Exhibit 3-1

Kusnetz Factors

(Public Health Service, 1957)

Time Conversion factor Time Conversion factor

40 150 66 98

42 146 68 94

44 142 70 90

46 138 72 87

48 134 74 84

50 130 76 82

52 126 78 78

54 122 80 75

56 118 82 73

58 114 84 69

60 110 86 66

62 106 88 63

64 102 90 60

Note: the conversion factor is for the time from end of collection to midpoint of counting

The extended duration of the delay period enables the collection of samples at dierent site locations
and returning them to the laboratory for analysis.

The Kusnetz method is not suitable for atmospheres containing both


222 Rn and 220 Rn progeny, as

the extended delay time allows the in-growth of


220 Rn progeny, which will contribute to the gross

alpha count.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

A.3. Rock method


This method [6] is primarily used for the determination of
220 Rn progeny concentration. The method

is similar to that of Kusnetz ( A.2 on the preceding page), the sampling time is limited to less than
60 minutes, and the delay period between end of sampling and beginning of counting is much longer
 between 5 and 17 hours. A preliminary count of the lter conducted between 40 and 90 minutes
after sampling (Kusnetz method, 3.2.2) can be used to indicate the presence and concentration of
222 Rn progeny.

The
220 Rn progeny concentration is then calculated using the equation presented in the A.1 on

page 14 but the conversion factor is taken from the Table A.3:

Table A.3.: Rock method

Time after sampling (hours) Conversion factor

5 13.2

7 11.3

9 9.8

11 8.6

13 7.5

15 6.7

16 6.3

The extended duration of the delay period enables the collection of samples in remote locations and
returning them to the laboratory for analysis.

A.4. Cote method


This method [12] uses a 10 minute sampling time followed by several 15 minute gross alpha counts.
222 Rn and 220 Rn progeny contributions are discriminated by selecting an appropriate delay interval.

The rst gross alpha count is conducted 1.2 minutes after the completion of sampling, followed by a
second count 155 minutes after sampling, with a nal count carried out 225 minutes after sampling.

The contribution of
220 Rn progeny during the rst counting period is negligible; therefore the sample

reects the value of


222 Rn progeny concentrations. The conversion factor for this count is 218, which

should be used in calculations using the equation presented in A.1 on page 14.

The second count is used to produce a combined


222 Rn and 220 Rn progeny potential alpha energy
3
concentration (PAEC, in J/m ) with a conversion factor of 14.1. The nal count is used to derive
the
220 Rn progeny PAEC with a conversion factor of 14.2. These conversion factors are used in

calculations using the equation presented in A.1 on page 14.

The counting instrument has to be very close to the sampling location for the completion of the rst
count. Samples may then be returned to the laboratory for two subsequent counts and it is very
important to conduct the counting precisely at the specied delay intervals.

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

A.5. Borak method


Prompt determinations of potential alpha energy for
222 Rn daughters in mJ/m3 or working level

are required for radiation protection purposes in underground mines. A single measurement of gross
alpha activity collected on a lter can be optimised by selecting appropriate timing sequences for
sampling and counting. The process of optimisation includes inherent uncertainty associated with
measuring an unknown mixture of
222 Rn daughters as well as the precision of each measurement due

to counting statistics. The Borak method allows timing sequences less than 10 min total duration
that can yield an estimate of potential alpha energy with uncertainties less than 20% at 0.1 working
level.

This method involves taking a 3 minute air sample onto a 25mm 0.8 micron glass bre lter at 3.5
litres per minute. Waiting 3 minutes for the decay of some of the progeny before counting the sample
in a portable detector for a 3 minute count, hence the `333 method'.

The
222 Rn progeny concentration (RPC), in microJ/m3 , is then calculated as follows:

3
RPC (microJ/m ) = (Counts × 0.2237)÷(Eciency)
3
and a conversion of 1 microJ/m /h at standard breathing rates gives 1.41 µSv/h.

A.6. Modied Tsivoglou method


The modied Tsivoglou method is more complicated than the Kusnetz, but it yields additional
information: the concentration of individual radon progeny [15].

In this method, the sampling procedure is identical to that used for the modied Kusnetz method.
After the end of sampling, remove the lter containing radon progeny from the lter holder and
transfer it to the counting system for analysis. The standard counting intervals are 25, 620, and
2130 min after the end of sampling. These intervals allow adequate time to transfer the lter into
the counting system and record the counts from the dierent counting intervals. The technician or
the person who performs the test is required to stand by for 30 minutes unless he uses automated
counting equipment operated by a computer.

Calculation The equations needed to calculate the air concentrations from a 5 min sample and for
the standard counting intervals are:

[6.247Nt (2 − 5) − 3.028Nt (6 − 20) + 2.857Nt (21 − 30)]


C1 =
EQ

[0.056Nt (2 − 5) − 0.776Nt (6 − 20) + 1.836Nt (21 − 30)]


C1 =
EQ

[−0.8327Nt (2 − 5) + 1.224Nt (6 − 20) − 1.389Nt (21 − 30)]


C1 =
EQ

[2.011Nt (2 − 5) − 1.372Nt (6 − 20) + 3.954Nt (21 − 30)]


Cp =
EQ

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

where:
C1 , C 2 , C3 = the concentrations of 218 Po, 214 Pb, and 214 Bi, respectively (Bq/m3 );
Cp =the PAEC (nJ/m3 );
Nt (...) =the net counts in the intervals 25, 620, and 2130;
E =fractional counter eciency[(counts/min) ÷ (disintegrations/min)];
Q =sampling air ow rate, L/min.

These coecients were derived using 3.05 min for the half life of
218 Po [18]. The half lives used for
214 Pb and 214 Bi were 26.8 and 19.9 min, respectively[17].

The standard deviation equations which calculate the precision for each radionuclide are:

1
[39.0Nt (2 − 5) + 9.17Nt (6 − 20) + 8.16N (21 − 30)] /2
1
C1 =
EQ

1
[0.003Nt (2 − 5) +).062N (6 − 20) + 3.37N (21 − 30)] /2
1
C2 =
EQ

1
[0.69Nt (2 − 5) + 1.50Nt (6 − 20) + 1.93N (21 − 30)] /2
1
C3 =
EQ

1
[4.04Nt (2 − 5) + 1.88N (6 − 20) + 15.6N (21 − 30)] /2
1
Cp =
EQ
where:
S1 , S 2 , S3 = standard deviation of 218 Po, 214 Pb, and
214 Bi, respectively (Bq/m3 );

Sp =standard deviation of the PAEC (nJ/m3 );


Nt (...) ,E and Q where dened earlier.

A.7. Useful conversion factors


To convert:

ˆ picoCuries to Becquerels, divide by 27 (27.027);

ˆ d.p.m. (disintegrations per minute) to Becquerels, divide by 60;

ˆ Becquerels to picoCuries, multiply the number of Becquerels by 27 (27.027);

ˆ picoCuries per cubic meter to Becquerels per cubic metre, multiply pCi/m
3 times 0.037;

ˆ Becquerels per cubic metre to microBecquerels per cubic meter, multiply the Bq/m
3 times 1 x

10
−6 .

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

B. Appendix showing the Excel spreadsheet

Figure B.1.: The user interface of the Excel spreadsheet.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

C. Appendix showing dierent sampling


cassettes
C.1. Conguration dierences
There are two dierent cassettes approved for the use in dust sampling by the relevant Australian
Standard[8]  one is SKC 7hole, another is IOM open face. SKC is a leading manufacturer and
supplier of air sampling products www.skcinc.com.

Figure C.1.: SKC 7-hole and IOM open face cassettes

The SKC 7hole cassette is predominately used in Western Australian mining and mineral processing
industries, but IOM open face ones may also be used, provided that the following considerations are
taken into account.

The general disadvantage of adopting the IOM open face cassette for dust sampling in exploration,
mining and mineral processing is that for any analyses other than gravimetric, the dust that may
adhere to the walls of the cassette must be washed o and added to the material collected on the
lter. Where the dust concentrations are relatively low (around 1  2 mg/m³) and the sampling is
undertaken for a period of 4 to 6 hours it is unlikely that this will be the case.

However, in circumstances when dust concentrations are comparatively high (above 3 mg/m³) and
the sampling is undertaken for a period of 8 hours or more the dust inside the IOM cassette (but not
on the lter) may require special consideration.

Please note that minimum sampling time in accordance with Australian Standard[8] is 4 hours and
samples collected over 3.5 hours or less are considered to be invalid.

To allow for such possibility the IOM open face cassettes are typically weighted together with the
lter  both prior and after the sampling. When using the SKC 7hole cassette the lter is weighted
separately, prior to loading into the cassette and after the sampling.

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Where dust samples require analysis for gross alpha activity concentrations, as described in this
guideline, the lters from SKC 7hole cassettes can be easily analysed.

However, in cases where IOM open face cassettes are used and relatively high dust levels are measured
the accurate analysis of the dust for gross alpha activity concentrations may, in some cases, become
impossible.

It is unlikely that additional analysis steps (such as washing the material from the walls of a cassette,
drying it and adding the dust that is already on the lter) will be possible for the implementation on
an exploration, mining or mineral processing site, and performing this analysis in an o-site certied
laboratory may be cost-prohibitive. In addition, in most cases it is impossible to determine if the
dust is present on cassette walls until the cassette is opened.

C.2. Dierences in the sample surface area


Further dierences between these cassettes are associated with the diameter of the collected sample
on the lter and its compatibility with the standard 25 mm
241 Am calibration source, as illustrated

on Figure C.2.

Figure C.2.: Comparison between diameters of Am-241 calibration source and lters from SKC 7hole
and IOM open face cassettes

It is expected that the number of counts registered would not normally be signicantly dierent
between sources of 18, 21 and 25 mm in diameter, when the smaller size detectors are used for
counting, such as ones with an active surface of 450 mm². However, as the diameter of the source
decreases and larger size detectors are used (such as ones with an active surface of 1200 mm²), the
the source (dust on the lter) is behaving more and more like a point source  resulting in better
resolution and increased counts.

In this regard it is clear that the lter from an SKC 7hole cassette (surface of 1390 mm²) is more
closely resembling the calibration source (surface of 1960 mm²) then the lter from an IOM open
face cassette (surface of 1020 mm²).

The relationships are relatively complex as the number of detected counts is dependent on factors
such as active surface of the detector, active surface of the calibration source, active surface of dust
on the lter, and the distance between the source and detector.

The same detector will have dierent geometrical eciencies for both dierent size sources and
dierent distances between the source and the detector, and it is not the purpose of this guideline to

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

provide detailed mathematical analysis, particularly as various sizes of detectors are used in mining
and mineral processing industry.

It can, however, be concluded that when sampling of the same dust is undertaken using the SKC
7hole and IOM open face cassettes  the gross alpha counting of IOM lters is more likely to result
in an over-estimation of activity concentrations than counting of SKC lters.

An overall recommendation is that both SKC 7hole and IOM open face cassettes can be used in
exploration, mining and mineral processing in Western Australia  with a preference given to an SKC
7hole cassette when comparatively high levels of dust and/or airborne radioactivity are expected or
measured.

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.4 Monitoring NORM  airborne radioactivity sampling

Bibliography
[1] Part 16 Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.


[3] Rolle, R. Rapid Working Level Monitoring Health Physics 22 : 233, 1972.

[4] Measuring Airborne Radon Progeny at Uranium Mines and Mills G4, Regulatory Guide, Ca-

nadian Nuclear Safety Commission, 2003. PDF

[5] Kusnetz, H.L. Radon Daughters in Mine Atmospheres  A Field Method for Determining
Concentrations. Industrial Hygiene Quarterly (March 1956). Alexandria, VA:p.85, 1956.

[6] Rock, R.L., R.W. Dalzell and E.J. Harris. Controlling Employee Exposure to Alpha Radiation
in Underground Uranium Mines. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of
Mines: Pergamon Press, p.629, 1970.

[7] AS 3580.9.3:2003. Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air Method 9.3: Determination
of suspended particulate matter  Total suspended particulate matter (TSP)High volume
sampler gravimetric method, 2003.

[8] AS 3640: 2004. Workplace atmospheres  Method for sampling and gravimetric determination
of inhalable dust, 2004.

[9] Part 9  Ventilation and control of dust and atmospheric contaminants, page 176, Mines Safety
& Inspection Regulations, 1995.

[10] Currie, L.A. Limits for Qualitative Determination and Quantitive Determination Anal. Chem.
Vol. 40, No. 3, 586593, 1986.

[11] Strom, D., Stansbury, P. Minimum detectable activity when background is counted longer than
the sample. Health Physics Vol. 63, pp.360-361, 1992.

[12] Cote, P., Townsend M.G. Mixtures of Radon and Thoron Daughters in Underground Atmos-
pheres. Health Physics, Vol.40, No.1, pp.517 1981.

[13] Borak, T.B., A method for prompt determination of working level using a single measurement
of gross alpha activity. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vol.19, No.2, pp.97102, 1987.

[14] Tsivoglou, E.C., Ayer, H.E., and Holaday, D.A. Occurrence of Nonequilibrium Atmospheric
Mixtures of Radon and Its Daughters. Nucleonics, Vol. 1, p. 40, 1953.

[15] Thomas, J.W., Measurement of Radon Daughters in Air, Health Physics, Vol. 23, p.783, 1972.

[16] EPA 402R92004. Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols.
U.S. EPA, Oce of Air and Radiation, July 1992. www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/devprot1.html

[17] ICRP Radionuclide Transformations: Energy and Intensity of Emissions. Annals of the Inter-
national Commission Radiological Protection, ICRP Publication 38, Vol. 1113, 1983.

[18] Martz, D. E., R. T. Harris, and G. H. Langner The Half-Life of


218 Po Report UNCJ00288,

UNC Geotech, Grand Junction, CO, 1988.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Index
air pumps, 2 PAEC, 16
airborne radioactivity, 2 partial sample loss, 9
ALI, 2 PAS, 2
alpha counter, 2, 9 passive air samplers, 2, 11
alpha particles, 9
americium (
241 Am), 6 Radiation Health Section, 6
radium (
224 Ra), 7
Australian Standard, 2, 9, 10
radon (
222 Rn), 7, 10, 1416
average dust specic activity, 9
radon/thoron, 2
background count, 5 respiratory protection, 4
Borak method, 17 respiratory tract, 2
Rock method, 16
chi-square test, 5, 6 Rolle method, 14
correction factor, 11
Cote method, 16 sample preparation, 3
sampling, 4
DAC, 2, 8 sampling cassette, 4
decay chains, 10 sampling head, 2
decay time, 7 sampling trains, 13
dust activity concentration, 8 sampling volume, 2
dust matrix, 9 self-absorption, 9
SKC 7hole cassette, 21
Eberline Services, 6
stack emissions monitoring, 12
eciency, 5, 7, 8
engineering control, 2 thorium (
232 Th), 7, 10
environmental dust monitoring, 10 thoron (
220 Rn), 7, 10, 14, 16

thoron (
222 Rn), 15
lter handling, 4
Tsivoglou method, 17
lter paper, 2, 4, 9
ow rate, 2 uranium (
238 U), 7, 10

glass-bre, 4
gross alpha activity, 2, 8

humidity, 4

ICPMS, 13
impactor, 7
internal irradiation, 2
isokinetic variation, 13

Kusnetz method, 15

maintenance personnel, 12
MDL, 5
mean alpha activity, 11

24
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM3.5

Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM3.5. Monitoring NORM  measurement
of particle size: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 31pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Contents
List of Figures iv

List of Tables v

1. General information 1
1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Denitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.4. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2. Guidance 3
2.1. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2. The monitoring method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3. Determining the AMAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

3. Data processing 8
3.1. Manual data processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.1.1. MMAD and associated calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.1.1.1. Calculation example  MMAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.1.2. AMAD and associated calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.1.2.1. Calculation example  minimum detection limits . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.1.2.2. Calculation example  activity concentration . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.1.2.3. Calculation example  AMAD and GSD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.2. Excel spreadsheet for data processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

4. DMP AMAD approval policy 23


4.1. Evaluation of impactor program results by the Regulator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

A. Appendix with a typical procedure for setting up a seven-stage impactor 24

B. Appendix with Excel spreadsheet views 25

Bibliography 30

Index 31

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2.1. Dust removal by the human respiratory system [3] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


2.2. The assembled Marple cascade impactor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3. An illustration of the Marple cascade impactor operating principle [3]. . . . . . . . . 5
2.4. The several stages that make up the Marple cascade impactor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

B.1. The user interface of the Excel spreadsheet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25


B.2. Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 1 & 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
B.3. Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 3 & 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
B.4. Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 5 & 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
B.5. Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: F & Sum of all stages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

List of Tables
3.1. Marple Impactor Dust Size Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2. Minimum Detection Limits (mBq) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.3. Counting results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.4. Comparison with MDL for each stage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

1. General information
1.1. Purpose
To provide guidance on the measurement of the particle size of radioactive dust that may be encoun-
tered in exploration, mining and mineral processing operations.

1.2. Scope
This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [1].

1.3. Denitions
Aerodynamic Diameter The Aerodynamic Diameter of a particle is dened as the diameter of a
sphere of unit density (1 g/cm3 ) that has the same aerodynamic behaviour (e.g. settling velocity) as
the particle itself. Particles of the same physical diameter but dierent densities will have dierent
terminal velocities and, therefore, dierent aerodynamic diameters.

Equivalent Aerodynamic Diameter (EAD) Two particles of dierent densities are said to have
Equivalent Aerodynamic Diameter (EAD) if their densities and diameters are such that their terminal
settling velocities are equal.

Activity Median Aerodynamic Diameter (AMAD) Activity Median Aerodynamic Diameter


(AMAD) is the EAD value of radioactive dust such that 50% of the activity in the dust is asso-
ciated with smaller particles. The accurate determination of this value is critical in the process of
the assessment of internal exposure of employees (NORM5 Dose assessment).

Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter (MMAD) Similarly, the Mass Median Aerodynamic Dia-
meter (MMAD) of airborne dust is the EAD value such that 50% of the mass of the dust is associated
with smaller particles.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

1.4. Relationship to other NORM guidelines


The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows the arrangement of the Radiation Safety Guidelines.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM Guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

2. Guidance
2.1. Summary
The biological eects of inhaled dust depend on the size of dust particles and it is, therefore, necessary
to determine this value and the associated radioactivity in the workplace atmosphere. Basically, the
smaller particles of radioactive dust are easier inhaled and their depth of penetration in lungs is
higher than for the larger particles. Figure 2.1 on the next page demonstrates how the size of dust
particles aects their deposition in the human respiratory system.

Particles encountered in practice are rarely regular in shape, and size parameters can be assigned to
them in dierent ways. There is a wide variety of instruments for the determination of the particle
size, based on dierent physical principles. For example, a cascade impactor is based on particle
inertia, a laser aerosol spectrometer is based on light scattering, and an electron microscope uses a
projected area image. It is, therefore, important to specify the method of measurement whenever
particle size data is discussed.
Appendix A in NORM  5 describes the ICRP 66 [5] lung model for the respiratory tract regions.
Deposition of dust particles is governed by either the activity median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD)
or the mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) of the inhaled aerosol. The percentage of activity
or mass of an aerosol which is deposited in the dierent regions is given as a function of the AMAD
of the aerosol distribution.

2.2. The monitoring method


AMAD is commonly determined using an inertial separation technique, which provides a direct
determination of aerodynamic diameter. The inertial separation device separates the aerosol into
particle size groups with a known range of aerodynamic diameter. The activity associated with each
of the particle groups is easily determined by either radiological or chemical analysis, and statistical
handling of data yields the activity median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD).
A personal lightweight cascade impactor is the preferred instrument for determining AMAD. The
Marple cascade impactor shown in Figure 2.2 on the following page is an example of this type of
equipment. Cascade impactor collection is based on the relative inertial properties of particles in
an air stream changing its ow direction from perpendicular to parallel on the impaction surface.
Particles with sucient inertia due to their size and density will not follow the direction of airow,
but will impact upon and be retained by the collector surface. This principle is illustrated in a
drawing in Figure 2.3 on page 5.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure 2.1.: Dust removal by the human respiratory system [3]

7 Microns & above

4.7 - 7 Microns

3.3 - 4.7 Microns

2.1 - 3.3 Microns

1.1 - 2.1 Microns

0.65 - 1.1 Microns

Figure 2.2.: The assembled Marple cascade impactor

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure 2.3.: An illustration of the Marple cascade impactor operating principle [3].

Air flow

Trajectory of Jet exit


the particle
Trajectory of the
that is too
impacted particle
small to impact

Figure 2.4.: The several stages that make up the Marple cascade impactor

STAGE: f 6 5 4 3 2 1

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

As several impaction stages of decreasing jet widths (therefore ⇒ higher ow rates) are arranged
in series, successive stages collect progressively smaller particles. A disassembled Marple cascade
impactor showing the several impaction stages is shown in Figure 2.4 on the preceding page.

A mesh to hold the ne lter to collect all the particles passing the impaction stages usually follows
the last stage which can also be seen in Figure 2.4. Many dierent models of personal impactor
are currently available and a consultation with DMP is necessary prior to acquiring the equipment
to ensure that it will be suitable for the industry sector in which it will be used. For example,
several models were designed exclusively for the measurement of wood dust and, whilst marginally
acceptable for phosphate and bauxite industry, may not be suitable in other industry sectors.
The main sources of error in the use of a personal impactor are wall loss, particle bounce and the
incorrect choice of a collection surface. The errors due to the wall loss can be minimised by choosing
an appropriate impactor model. To ensure that the possibility of other errors is also minimised the
following precautions should be taken:
1. The use of bare metal, glass or other hard surface as an impaction surface should be avoided
when sampling solid aerosols.
2. The use of glass bre substrates may introduce signicant errors, but for an `approximate'
measure of the size distribution AMAD they may be useful.
3. Oils and solvent/grease coatings used on collection substrates should be of suitable stability
to prevent the coating `owing' under the jet, especially for the lower stages. If the coating
ows under the jet, the exposed substrate surface will accommodate bounce and blow-o and
consequently give incorrect results. Silicone grease or Vaseline in a suitable solvent are typically
used.
4. Care should be exercised so that the loading capacity of the impactor is not exceeded. This
can be accomplished by limiting the sampling time based on the expected dust concentration.
Over-sampling manifests itself as trails of particles leading from the sample deposits towards
the edge of the plate, rather than as well dened, discrete piles of particulates.
5. The incorporation of a deector plate (inlet cowl) above the impactor inlet to prevent direct
fall of large particles into the impactor (refer to Figures 2.2 on page 4 and 2.3 on the preceding
page.
The defaultsize of AMAD is 5 microns (µm) and in the absence of sucient data the dose conversion
factor associated with this particle value is used in dose assessments (Guideline NORM5 Dose
assessment). If, however, the AMAD of dust particles in a particular operation is signicantly
dierent from this value, a special particle size characterisation program can be used to obtain data
for the quantication of AMAD. The typical requirements of the annual program:
1. At least two valid personal impactor samples are required for each month (several conrmatory
positional samples are also recommended).
2. At least ve personal impactor samples per year are required for each of the `major' work
categories.
3. A nal report on the AMAD monitoring program should be presented to DMP as soon as
possible after the rst of April each year and before the Annual Occupational Radiation Mo-
nitoring Report. The data is assessed and, if warranted, an alternative dose conversion factor
is provided to the company (please refer to guideline NORM6 Reporting requirements for
additional information).

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

2.3. Determining the AMAD


Once the dust particles have been sized by the impactor, an analysis of the activity associated with
each particle size (aerodynamic diameter) fraction is required to determine the AMAD. Recommen-
ded analysis techniques include gross alpha counting and, in rare cases, x-ray uorescence (XRF)
spectrometry.
For glass bre lter papers and oil-coated substrates of diameters less than 47 mm, the substrates can
be analysed directly for alpha activity, similarly to the standard dust samples. However, practical
limitations of this method include the possibility of alpha self-absorption due to large particles on top
stage and, also, deposit build-up eects. Some impactors deposit the aerosol onto very small areas
(usually rectangular or circular) and, given the small range of alpha particles, signicant build-up
can inuence the registered activity.
Where the collection substrates are too large for the direct assay, or when too little sample is collected,
other analysis techniques are required. With samples collected with high volume samplers and on
large lter papers XRF method can be used. This involves grinding the lters with boric acid,
pressing the mixture into a briquette and analysing by XRF for the element sought (thorium and/or
uranium). For lters with a smaller dust loading, XRF of a fusion disc sample will increase the
sensitivity.
Large samples can be removed from oil or solvent/grease coated substrates by appropriate chemical
treatment (e.g. solvent washing). The collected material may then be re-deposited onto small lter
papers for alpha counting or assayed using XRF, gamma spectroscopy, liquid scintillation counting
or another appropriate technique. Such sample preparation will, however, increase the determination
time and complicate the activity measurement.
Practical considerations, involving the choice of equipment include:
1. The collection media should preferably be in such a form that it can be placed directly into an
alpha counter or be amenable to simple sample preparation.
2. The deposition pattern on collection substrates should be such that signicant deposit build-ups
do not occur to minimise alpha self-absorption eects.
3. The ow-rate through the impactor should be adjusted so that a range of particle size cut-os
can be collected to suit the dust distributions encountered in a particular operation. In general,
ow rates between 2 and 5 litres per minute may be utilised in sampling.
4. The device must have a dust loading capability of greater than 0.5 mg per stage so that the
substrates can be analysed directly by gross alpha counting.
5. The impactor should have the optimum number of collection stages (typically between 5 and
7 stages), which would allow size separation to be made with adequate resolution.
An example of the procedure for setting up of a seven-stage personal impactor and associated issues
is presented in Appendix A on page 24.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

3. Data processing
3.1. Manual data processing
3.1.1. MMAD and associated calculations

For the calculation of the total dust concentration three parameters are required:
1. `pre-weight' of the each impactor stage i;
2. `post-weight' of the each impactor stage i; and
3. sampling time.

Since the ow rate of the constant ow sampler is known (usually 2 litres per
minute), the volume
(V) of the sample is calculated as follows:

TSAM P × F R
V (m3 ) =
1000
where:
TSAM P = sampling time in minutes; and
F R = sampler ow rate in litres per minute.
The total weight of each stage
(TWi) is calculated as follows:

T W i(mg) = W T iP OST − W T iP RE

where:
W T iP OST = weight of the stage i after sampling; and
W T iP RE = weight of the stage i before sampling.

a) The total weight of the sample (T W S ) is calculated as follows:


7
X
TWS = (W T iP OST − W T iP RE )
i=1

7
X
= T W i, i = 1st , 2nd , 3rd , 4th , 5th , 6th , 7th (f − f inal)stages
i=1

b) The total dust concentration (Dc) of the sample is calculated as follows:


T W S(mg)
Dc (mg/m3 ) =
V (m3 )

Table 3.1 on the facing page shows the dust size range for each impactor stage.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Table 3.1.: Marple Impactor Dust Size Range


Stage No Size range (µm) Median (mm)
1 50  21.3 32.6
2 21.3  14.8 17.75
3 14.8  9.8 12.04
4 9.8  6.0 7.67
5 6.0  3.5 4.58
6 3.5  1.55 2.33
F 1.55  0.1 0.39

In order to determine M M AD the following calculations should be carried out:


1. Determine a cumulative % `less than' for each stage:
Stage 1:  
7
X
 (W T iP OST − W T iP RE ) 
 
Cum.% < size =  i=2  × 100
 
 TWS 
 

Stage 2:  
7
X
 (W T iP OST − W T iP RE ) 
 
Cum.% < size =  i=3  × 100
 
 TWS 
 

Stage 3:  
7
X
 (W T iP OST − W T iP RE ) 
 
 i=4
Cum.% < size =   × 100

 TWS 
 

Stage 4:  
7
X
 (W T iP OST − W T iP RE ) 
 
 i=5
Cum.% < size =   × 100

 TWS 
 

Stage 5:  
7
X
 (W T iP OST − W T iP RE ) 
 
 i=6
Cum.% < size =   × 100

 TWS 
 

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Stage 6:  
(W T fP OST − W T fP RE )
Cum.% < size = × 100
TWS

Stage F:
Cum.% < size = 0

2. Since all median values are known, calculate the natural logarithm of M for each stage:
Stage 1: ln(M 1) = ln 32.6 = 3.484
Stage 2: ln(M 2) = ln 17.75 = 2.876
Stage 3: ln(M 3) = ln 12.04 = 2.488
Stage 4: ln(M 4) = ln 7.67 = 2.037
Stage 5: ln(M 5) = ln 4.58 = 1.522
Stage 6: ln(M 6) = ln 2.33 = 0.846
Stage F: ln(M f ) = ln 0.39 = −0.942
3. Calculate values T W i × ln(M i) for each stage and summarise them:
7
X
T W i × ln(M i)
i=1

4. Then the M M AD value could be calculated as follows:


 !
X 7
 (T W i × ln(M i)) 
 
 i=1
M M AD = exp 

TWS

 
 

5. Geometric standard deviation (GSD) for the M M AD value should also be calculated:
v ( )
u 7
u X 2 
Mi
u
u T W i × ln M M AD


t i=1 
GSD = exp  

 TWS 

 

3.1.1.1. Calculation example  MMAD

Data The sample was worn for 8 hours (480 minutes) and the `pre-weights' and `post-weights' are:
Stage 1: W T 1P RE = 28.58 mg, W T 1P OST = 44.05 mg
Stage 2: W T 2P RE = 27.27 mg, W T 2P OST = 43.94 mg
Stage 3: W T 3P RE = 27.25 mg, W T 3P OST = 32.12 mg
Stage 4: W T 4P RE = 27.33 mg, W T 4P OST = 27.77 mg
Stage 5: W T 5P RE = 26.75 mg, W T 5P OST = 27.01 mg
Stage 6: W T 6P RE = 26.53 mg, W T 6P OST = 26.67 mg
Stage F: W T fP RE = 10.31 mg, W T fP OST = 10.47 mg

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Solution
1. The volume of the sample is
480 minutes × 2 litres per minute
= 0.96 m3
1000

2. The total weight of each stage is:


Stage 1: T W 1 = W T 1P OST − W T 1P RE = 44.05 − 28.58 = 15.47 mg
Stage 2: T W 2 = W T 2P OST − W T 2P RE = 43.94 − 27.27 = 16.67 mg
Stage 3: T W 3 = W T 3P OST − W T 3P RE = 32.12 − 27.25 = 4.87 mg
Stage 4: T W 4 = W T 4P OST − W T 4P RE = 27.77 − 27.33 = 0.44 mg
Stage 5: T W 5 = W T 5P OST − W T 5P RE = 27.01 − 26.75 = 0.26 mg
Stage 6: T W 6 = W T 6P OST − W T 6P RE = 26.67 − 26.53 = 0.14 mg
Stage F: T W f = W T fP OST − W T fP RE = 10.47 − 10.31 = 0.16 mg
Total weight of the sample (TWS) is:
7
X
TWS = (W T iP OST − W T iP RE )
i=1

7
X
= T W i, i = 15.47 + 16.67 + 4.87 + 0.44 + 0.26 + 0.14 + 0.16 = 38.01 mg
i=1

3. The total dust concentration is


38.01mg
= 39.59mg/m3
0.96m3

4. Determine a cumulative % less than for each stage:


Stage 1:
 
(T W 2 + T W 3 + T W 4 + T W 5 + T W 6 + T W f )
Cum.% < size = × 100
TWS
 
22.54
= × 100 = 59.30%
38.01

Stage 2:
   
(T W 3 + T W 4 + T W 5 + T W 6 + T W f ) 5.87
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100
TWS 38.01

= 15.44%

Stage 3:
   
(T W 4 + T W 5 + T W 6 + T W f ) 1.00
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 2.63%
TWS 38.01

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Stage 4:
   
(T W 5 + T W 6 + T W f ) 0.56
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 2.63%
TWS 38.01

Stage 5:
   
(T W 6 + T W f ) 0.30
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 0.79%
TWS 38.01

Stage 6:    
(T W f ) 0.16
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 0.42%
TWS 38.01
Stage F:
Cum.% < size = 0.00%

5. Natural logarithms for median values were calculated previously:


Stage 1: ln(M 1) = ln 32.6 = 3.484
Stage 2: ln(M 2) = ln 17.75 = 2.876
Stage 3: ln(M 3) = ln 12.04 = 2.488
Stage 4: ln(M 4) = ln 7.67 = 2.037
Stage 5: ln(M 5) = ln 4.58 = 1.522
Stage 6: ln(M 6) = ln 2.33 = 0.846
Stage F: ln(M f ) = ln 0.39 = −0.942
6. Calculate values T W i × ln(M i) for each stage and summarise them:
Stage 1: T W 1 × ln(M 1) = 15.47 × 3.484 = 53.902
Stage 2: T W 2 × ln(M 2) = 16.67 × 2.876 = 47.949
Stage 3: T W 3 × ln(M 3) = 4.87 × 2.488 = 12.118
Stage 4: T W 4 × ln(M 4) = 0.44 × 2.037 = 0.896
Stage 5: T W 5 × ln(M 5) = 0.26 × 1.522 = 0.396
Stage 6: T W 6 × ln(M 6) = 0.14 × 0.846 = 0.118
Stage F: T W f × ln(M f ) = 0.16 × (−0.942) = −0.151
7
X
T W i × ln(M i) = 53.902 + 47.949 + 12.118 + 0.896 + 0.396 + 0.118 − 0.151 = 115.229
i=1

7. Calculate the MMAD value:


 !
7
X
 (T W i × ln(M i)) 
 
i=1
M M AD = exp 
 
TWS

 
 

 
115.229
= exp
38.01
= exp (3.03) = 20.7

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

8. Calculate the standard deviation for the MMAD value:


2
Calculate values for T W 1 × ln M MM1
AD and summarise them:
Stage 1:
  2   2
M1 32.6
T W 1 × ln = 15.47 × ln = 15.47 × 0.206 = 3.187;
M M AD 20.7

Stage 2:
  2   2
M2 17.75
T W 2 × ln = 16.67 × ln = 16.67 × 0.024 = 0.400;
M M AD 20.7

Stage 3:
  2   2
M3 12.04
T W 3 × ln = 4.87 × ln = 4.87 × 0.294 = 1.432;
M M AD 20.7

Stage 4:
  2   2
M4 7.67
T W 4 × ln = 0.44 × ln = 0.44 × 0.986 = 0.434;
M M AD 20.7

Stage 5:
  2   2
M5 4.58
T W 5 × ln = 0.26 × ln = 0.26 × 2.275 = 0.591;
M M AD 20.7

Stage 6:
  2   2
M6 2.33
T W 6 × ln = 0.14 × ln = 0.14 × 4.771 = 0.668;
M M AD 20.7

Stage F:
  2   2
Mf 0.39
T W f × ln = 0.16 × ln = 0.16 × 15.775 = 2.524;
M M AD 20.7

Sum for all stages:


7   2
X Mi
T W i × ln ...
M M AD
i=1
= 3.187 + 0.400 + 1.432 + 0.434 + 0.591 + 0.668 + 2.524 = 9.236

Then the standard deviation will be:


v ( )
u 7
u X 2

Mi

u
u T W i × ln M M AD


t i=1 
GSD = exp  

 TWS 

 

r !
9.236
GSD = exp
TWS

Therefore the Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter (MMAD) is 20.7 ± 1.6.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

3.1.2. AMAD and associated calculations

Before the calculation the minimum detection limit


(MDL) of the equipment in use must be establi-
shed. MDL value is expressed in milliBecquerel (mBq).
The MDL for each impactor stage is calculated as follows:
  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

where:
M DLi = minimum detection limit of the equipment in use for the stage i for the
counting time Ct;
Bc = number of counts from background for the background counting time Bt;
Bt = background count time (usually 900 minutes);
Ct = counting time (e.g. 60 minutes for stages 14, 100 minutes for stages 5 and 6 and
200 minutes for the stage F);
Ef f = eciency of the alpha-spectrometer.

3.1.2.1. Calculation example  minimum detection limits

Data Impactor stages will be counted in two dierent alpha-spectrometer chambers.


Background counting results are:
Chamber `A': 42 counts in 900 minutes
Chamber `B': 37 counts in 900 minutes
Eciency was determined:
Chamber `A' E = 35.9%
Chamber `B' E = 31.5%
Stages will be counted for 60, 100 and 200 minutes.

Solution MDL should be determined for each chamber for three dierent counting periods:
Chamber `A', 60 minutes count:
  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

  q  
42
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 60
× (60 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.359 × 60 × 60 

( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 2.986
= × 1000 ≈ 7 mBq
1292.4

Chamber `A', 100 minutes count:


  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

  q  
42
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 100
× (100 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.359 × 100 × 60 

( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 5.185
= × 1000 ≈ 5 mBq
2154

Chamber `A', 200 minutes count:


  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

  q  
42
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 200
× (200 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.359 × 200 × 60 

( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 11.407
= × 1000 ≈ 3 mBq
4308

Chamber `B', 60 minutes count:


  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

  q  
37
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 60
× (60 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.315 × 60 × 60 

( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 2.631
= × 1000 ≈ 7 mBq
1134

Chamber `B', 100 minutes count:


  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

  q  
37
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 100
× (100 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.315 × 100 × 60 

( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 4.568
= × 1000 ≈ 5 mBq
1890

Chamber `B', 200 minutes count:


  q  
Bc
 3 + 3.29 × (Bt×60) Ct
× (Ct × 60) × (1 + Bt

M DLi = × 1000
 Ef f × Ct × 60 

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

  q  
37
 3 + 3.29 × (900×60) 200
× (200 × 60) × (1 + 900

= × 1000
 0.315 × 200 × 60 
( √  )
3 + 3.29 × 10.049
= × 1000 ≈ 4 mBq
1134

Therefore, minimum detection limits are shown in Table 3.2 :

Table 3.2.: Minimum Detection Limits (mBq)


60 minutes count 100 minutes count 200 minutes count
Chamber `A' 7 5 3
Chamber `B' 7 5 4

The following parameters are required for further calculations:


ˆ Background counts for the each impactor stage i;
ˆ Eciency for the each impactor stage i;
ˆ Number of counts for the each impactor stage i; and
ˆ Sampling time.
1. The volume (V) in cubic metres (m3) of the sample was calculated previously.
The `net counted' activity (in mBq) is calculated for each stage as follows:
   
Cc Bc
Ct×60 − Bt×60
Ai =   × 1000
Ef f

where:
Ai = activity of the stage i (in milliBecquerels);
Cc = number of counts from the stage i for the counting time Ct;
Ct = counting time for the stage i;
Bc = number of counts from background for the background counting time
Bt;
Bt = background count time (usually 900 minutes);
Ef f =eciency of the alpha-spectrometer.
1. The value obtained must be then compared with the respective `Minimum Detection Limit'.
If the sample count does not exceed the MDL then the MDL must be substituted for the
sample count in the calculation. In other words, if the stage `net counted' activity will be 5
milliBecquerel (with the MDL = 7 mBq), the value of 7 mBq should be used in all following
calculations. If the `net counted' activity on three or more stages is less than MDL, the sample
is invalid.
2. The activity of the sample is calculated as follows:
3. Then the dust activity concentration is determined as follows:
A (mBq)
Ac (mBq/m3 ) =
V (m3 )

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

3.1.2.2. Calculation example  activity concentration

Data The sample was worn for 480 minutes and the ow rate of the sampler was 2 litres per minute.
A set of counting results are listed in Table 3.3:

Table 3.3.: Counting results


Backgrd. Backgrd. time Count time
Stage No Eciency (E) Counts (Cc)
counts (Bc) (Bt) (Ct)
1 42 900 0.359 775 60
2 37 900 0.315 291 60
3 42 900 0.359 162 60
4 42 900 0.359 57 60
5 42 900 0.359 45 100
6 42 900 0.359 19 100
f 37 900 0.315 43 200

Solution
1. The volume of the sample is: 480 min×2 litres per min = 960 litres = 0.96 m3 .
2. `Net counted' activity for each stage is:
       
Cc Bc 775 42
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
A1 =   × 1000 =  60×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 597 mBq
Ef f 0.359
       
Cc Bc 291 37
Ct×60 − Bt×60 60×60 − 900×60
A2 =   × 1000 =   × 1000 = 254 mBq
Ef f 0.315
       
Cc Bc 162 42
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
A3 =   × 1000 =  60×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 123 mBq
Ef f 0.359
       
Cc Bc 57 42
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
A4 =   × 1000 =  60×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 42 mBq
Ef f 0.359
       
Cc Bc 45 42
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
A5 =   × 1000 =  100×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 19 mBq
Ef f 0.359
       
Cc Bc 19 42
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
A6 =   × 1000 =  100×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 7 mBq
Ef f 0.359
       
Cc Bc 43 37
Ct×60 − Bt×60 −
Af =   × 1000 =  200×60 900×60
 × 1000 = 9 mBq
Ef f 0.315

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Table 3.4 shows the comparison with MDL for each stage (MDL values were calculated pre-
viously for both chambers and all counting times):

Table 3.4.: Comparison with MDL for each stage.


Stage 1 2 3 4 5 6 f

`Net counted' activity (mBq)Ai 597 254 123 42 19 7 9

MDL (mBq) 7 7 7 7 5 5 4

Comparison Ai > MDL Ai > MDL Ai > MDL Ai > MDL Ai > MDL Ai > MDL Ai > MDL

Therefore, this sample is valid for the AMAD calculation.


3. The activity of the sample is:
7
X
Ai = 597 + 254 + 123 + 42 + 19 + 7 + 9 = 1051 mBq
i−1

4. The dust activity concentration is determined as follows:


A (mBq) 1051mBq
Ac (mBq/m3 ) = 3
= = 1095mBq/m3 = 1.095Bq/m3
V (m ) 0.96m3
In order to determine AMAD the following calculations should be carried out:
1. Determine a cumulative % `less than' for each stage:
Stage 1:  
7
X
 Ai 
 
 i=2 
Cum.% < size =   × 100
 A 
 

Stage 2:  
7
X
 Ai 
 
 i=3 
Cum.% < size =   × 100
 A 
 

Stage 3:  
7
X
 Ai 
 
 i=4 
Cum.% < size =   × 100
 A 
 

Stage 4:  
7
X
 Ai 
 
 i=5 
Cum.% < size =   × 100
 A 
 

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Stage 5:  
X7
 Ai 
 
 i=6 
Cum.% < size =   × 100
 A 
 

Stage 6:  
Af
Cum.% < size = × 100
A

Stage F:
Cum.% < size = 0

2. Since all median values are known, calculate the natural logarithm of M for each stage:
Stage 1: ln(M1) = ln32.6 = 3.484
Stage 2: ln(M2) = ln17.75 = 2.876
Stage 3: ln(M3) = ln12.04 = 2.488
Stage 4: ln(M4) = ln7.67 = 2.037
Stage 5: ln(M5) = ln4.58 = 1.522
Stage 6: ln(M6) = ln2.33 = 0.846
Stage F: ln(Mf) = ln0.39 = − 0.942
3. Calculate values Ai× ln(Mi) for each stage and summarise them:
7
X
Ai × ln (M i)
i=1

4. Then the AMAD value could be calculated as follows:


 !
X7
 Ai × ln(M i) 
 
 i=1
AM AD = exp 

A

 
 

5. Geometric standard deviation (GSD) for the AMAD value should also be calculated:
v ( )
u 7
u X 2

Mi

u
u Ai × ln AM AD


t i=1 
GSD = exp  
 A 

 

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

3.1.2.3. Calculation example  AMAD and GSD

Data The following activities were calculated for each stage:


A1 = 597 mBq
A2 = 254 mBq
A3 = 123 mBq
A4 = 42 mBq
A5 = 19 mBq
A6 = 7 mBq
Af = 9 mBq
Therefore the total activity of the sample equals 1052 mBq.
Solution
1. Determine a cumulative % less than for each stage:
Stage 1:
   
(A2 + A3 + A4 + A5 + A6 + Af ) 454
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 43.16%
A 1052

Stage 2:
   
(A3 + A4 + A5 + A6 + Af ) 200
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 19.01%
A 1052

Stage 3:
   
(A4 + A5 + A6 + Af ) 77
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 7.32%
A 1052

Stage 4:
   
(A5 + A6 + Af ) 35
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 3.33%
A 1052

Stage 5:    
(A6 + Af ) 16
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 1.52%
A 1052

Stage 6:    
Af 9
Cum.% < size = × 100 = × 100 = 0.86%
A 1052

Stage F:
Cum.% < size = 0.00%

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

2. Natural logarithms for median values were calculated previously:


Stage 1: ln(M1) = ln32.6 = 3.484
Stage 2: ln(M2) = ln17.75 = 2.876
Stage 3: ln(M3) = ln12.04 = 2.488
Stage 4: ln(M4) = ln7.67 = 2.037
Stage 5: ln(M5) = ln4.58 = 1.522
Stage 6: ln(M6) = ln2.33 = 0.846
Stage F: ln(Mf) = ln0.39 = −0.942
3. Calculate values Ai × ln(Mi) for each stage and summarise them:
Stage 1: A1 × ln(M1) = 597 × 3.484 = 2079.948
Stage 2: A2 × ln(M2) = 254 × 2.876 = 730.504
Stage 3: A3 × ln(M3) = 123× 2.488 = 306.024
Stage 4: A4 × ln(M4) = 42 × 2.037 = 85.554
Stage 5: A5 × ln(M5) = 19 × 1.522 = 28.918
Stage 6: A6 × ln(M6) = 7 × 0.846 = 5.922
Stage F: Af × ln(Mf) = 9 × (−0.942) = −8.478

= Ai×ln (M i) = 2079.948 + 703.504 + 306.024 + 85.554 + 28.918 + 5.922 − 8.478 = 3228.392

4. Calculate the AMAD value:


 !
7
X
 Ai × ln(M i) 
 
i=1
AM AD = exp 
 
A

 
 

 
3228.392
= exp = 21.5
1052

5. Calculate the standard deviation for the AMAD value:


Calculate values for:
7   2
X Mi
Ai × ln
AM AD
i=1
and then summarise them:
Stage 1:
  2   2
M1 32.6
A1 × ln = 597 × ln = 597 × 0.173 = 103.281
AM AD 21.5

Stage 2:
  2   2
M2 17.75
A2 × ln = 254 × ln = 254 × 0.037 = 9.398
AM AD 21.5

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Stage 3:
  2   2
M3 12.04
A3 × ln = 123 × ln = 123 × 0.336 = 41.328
AM AD 21.5
Stage 4:
  2   2
M4 7.67
A4 × ln = 42 × ln = 42 × 1.062 = 44.604
AM AD 21.5
Stage 5:
  2   2
M5 4.58
A5 × ln = 19 × ln = 19 × 2.391 = 45.429
AM AD 21.5
Stage 6:
  2   2
M6 2.33
A6 × ln = 7 × ln = 7 × 4.938 = 34.566
AM AD 21.5
Stage F:
  2   2
Mf 0.39
Af × ln = 9 × ln = 9 × 16.077 = 144.693
AM AD 21.5
Sum for all stages :
7   2
X Mi
Ai × ln
AM AD
i=1
= 103.281 + 9.398 + 41.328 + 44.604 + 45.429 + 34.566 + 144.693 = 423.299
Then the standard deviation will be:
v ( )
u 7
u X 2 
Mi
u
u Ai × ln AM AD


t i=1 
GSD = exp  

 A 

 

r ! r !
423.299 423.299
= exp = exp = 1.9
A 1052

Therefore the Activity Median Aerodynamic Diameter (AMAD) is 21.5±1.9

3.2. Excel spreadsheet for data processing


An Excel spreadsheet has been developed in order to the simplify calculations and minimise errors.
Data should be entered into the appropriate elds to calculate the values. The program user interface
and formulae are shown in Figures B.2 on page 26, B.3 on page 27, B.4 on page 28, and B.5 on page 29.
The sample Excel Spreadsheet is embedded in the electronic version of this document and may be
run from here or saved onto your computer. This spreadsheet is free software; you can redistribute it
and/or modify it. The software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Click here if you accept these conditions →

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

4. DMP AMAD approval policy


4.1. Evaluation of impactor program results by the Regulator
Data generated from the impactor program must be submitted to DMP for approval. The data is
compared with data generated by the personal air sampling (PAS) data in the Boswell Database
to gain an indication of whether the impactor data is representative of the dust being encountered
by workers. Often the dust levels collected by impactors in a plant measure higher concentrations
than what is reported in Boswell. It is well known that impactors sample more dust that personal
samplers. This is more evident in the gravimetric analysis data where the impactor data indicates
that workers would be exposed to dust close to or above the recommended limit for nuisance dust,
10mg/m3 . This higher loading of dust would aect the detection of alpha particles in the evaluation
of radiometric impactor data. Better results can be achieved by specically instructing employees
on the method of wearing an impactor and how to avoid coarse particles (mineral spillage entering
the sampler. Where care is taken by employees wearing an impactor, mass concentrations of dust
measured with a personal impactor can be compatible with the levels obtained by the PAS program.
For the impactor data to be used as a means for determining the AMAD of the dust for converting
the results of the dust for converting the results of the PAS to an internal dose, the two sampling
methods should be representative of the same dust distributions. It is also important to be aware
that impactors are not approved by the Australian Standard [4].
However, the policy is that when it is apparent that the dust in a work area has an AMAD in excess
of 10 µm, a default particle size AMAD value of 10 µm is approved for use in the assessment of the
committed eective dose for a period of 12 months. Otherwise, the default AMAD is set at 5 µm as
recommended by ICRP 66 [5].

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

A. Appendix with a typical procedure for


setting up a seven-stage impactor
1. All parts for the impactor assembly should be present  seven stages, the impactor unit, the
metal lter holder, inlet cowl and two screws.
2. All internal surfaces of the impactor and impactor stages should be free of dirt:

a) Each stage and impactor should be thoroughly wiped with detergent or alcohol, then
brushed, wiped clean and completely dried;
b) The stages should be held onto a light to make sure that all slots are free of dirt and dust.

3. Plastic substrates should be put in the template and sprayed with silicone grease several hours
before setting up to allow solvent to evaporate completely.
4. The lter used for the last stage should be placed in a clean container and left with lid slightly
ajar overnight to come to equilibrium with the atmosphere.
5. The metal lter holder should be placed onto the bottom of the impactor unit.
6. The lter must be weighed to an accuracy of ±0.01mg and placed on the top of the metal lter
holder. The bottom impactor stage (typically  `F') should be placed on the top of this.
7. The plastic substrate, previously sprayed with silicon grease, should be weighed to an accuracy
of ±0.01mg and placed on the bottom stage (`F') so the holes match up. Then the stage No.6
should be placed on the top of this.
8. This process should continue for each stage, until the stage No.1, where, instead of the substrate,
the inlet cowl is placed on the top.
9. The impactor should be tightened with two screws and assembled with the dust pump. The
impactor is then worn in the same manner as ordinary dust sampling heads.
10. After the sampling impactor must be disassembled, each stage should be weighed to an accuracy
of ±0.01mg and placed in the plastic petri dish for the radiometric analysis.
11. The following data should be recorded: number of the sample, date and time of sampling,
wearer's name and occupation, and weight of each stage before and after sampling.
12. Each stage should be analysed in the same manner as `ordinary' dust samples for alpha activity
concentrations. Usually each stage is counted for 100 minutes. Counting times may increase
to 300 minutes with decrease in dust concentrations.

24 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

B. Appendix with Excel spreadsheet views

Figure B.1.: The user interface of the Excel spreadsheet.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 25


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure B.2.: Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 1 & 2.

26 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure B.3.: Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 3 & 4.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 27


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure B.4.: Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: 5 & 6.

28 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Figure B.5.: Spreadsheet calculations for Stage: F & Sum of all stages .

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 29


Guideline NORM3.5 Monitoring NORM  measurement of particle size

Bibliography
[1] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.
[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.
[3] Series 290 Marple Personal Cascade Impactors Instruction Manual P/N 10006500 Thermo Elec-
tron Corporation Environmental Instruments 27 Forge Parkway Franklin Massachusetts 02038,
1 Dec 2003.
www.thermo.com
[4] AS 3640: 2004. Workplace atmospheres  Method for sampling and gravimetric determination
of inhalable dust, 2004.
[5] ICRP Publication 66: Human Respiratory Tract Model for Radiological Protection Annals of the
ICRP Volume 24/1-3A International Commission on Radiological Protection, January 1995.

30 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Index
aerodynamic diameter, 1, 3 monitoring program, 6
aerosols, 6
alpha counter, 7 natural logarithm, 10, 21
alpha particles, 7
particle bounce, 6
alpha self-absorption, 7
AMAD, 1, 3, 6, 18, 19, 21 Radiation Monitoring Report, 6
respiratory system, 3
biological eects, 3
sampling time, 8
collection media, 7
silicone grease, 6, 24
collection stages, 7
solvent/grease coating, 6
cumulative percent, 9, 11, 18, 20
standard deviation, 13, 22
default size, 6
Total Dust Concentration, 8
deector plate, 6
total weight, 11
deposition, 3
total weight of each stage, 8
dose conversion factor, 6
total weight of the sample, 8
dust activity concentration, 18
TWS, 11
EAD, 1
Vaseline, 6
electron microscope, 3
Equivalent Aerodynamic Diameter, 1 wood dust, 6
ow rate, 8, 17 XRF, 7
gamma spectroscopy, 7
glass bre lter papers, 7
gross alpha counting, 7
GSD, 19

impaction stages, 6
impaction surface, 6
impactor assembly, 24
inertial separation device, 3
internal exposure, 1

laser aerosol spectrometer, 3


light scattering, 3
liquid scintillation, 7
lungs, 3

Marple cascade impactor, 3


mBq, 16
MDL, 14, 16
median, 10, 12, 19, 21
MMAD, 1, 9, 10, 12

31
Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM4.1

Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material
(NORM) in mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust
control strategies: Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 37pp.
<http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Contents
List of Figures v

1. General information 1

1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2

2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. General principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2.1. Mineral exploration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2.2. Surface mining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.3. Underground mining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.4. Processing (uranium minerals) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2.5. Processing (thorium minerals) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3. Overview of engineering controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.1. Suppression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.2. Local exhaust ventilation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.3. Enclosure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.4. Dilution and rapid removal (general mechanical ventilation) . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.5. Isolation and process modication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.4. Secondary control methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4.1. Personal protective equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4.2. Procedural changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4.3. Housekeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4.4. Training and supervision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4.5. Job rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5. Engineering guidelines for minimising dust emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5.1. New plants and modications to existing plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5.2. Implementation of control strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5.3. General suggestions for dust control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.5.4. Specic suggestions for engineering design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.5.4.1. Mineral handling and conveyance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.5.4.2. Electrostatic and magnetic separating equipment . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.5.4.3. Screening equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.5.4.4. Air tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.5.4.5. Sample cutters and containers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.5.5. Pre-treatment considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

A. Appendix showing design illustrations 15

B. Appendix showing photographs 22

C. Appendix showing respiratory protection 29

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

C.1. Respiratory protection program (RPP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


C.1.1. Site application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
C.1.2. Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
C.1.3. Fitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
C.1.4. Maintenance and storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
C.1.5. Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
C.1.6. Auditing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
C.1.7. Records management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
C.2. Protection factors (PF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
C.2.1. Administrative requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
C.2.2. Determination of personal protection factor (PPF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
C.3. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Bibliography 35

Index 36

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1. Schematic arrangement for a vented hood over air table. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


2.2. Schematic arrangement for ventilation of feeds to bins and hoppers. . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.3. Schematic arrangement of centralised vacuuming system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4. Schematic arrangement of dust collection chutes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.5. Schematic arrangement for venting feed boxes into main bins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.6. Schematic arrangement for a typical machine enclosure/spillage chute arrangement. . 13
2.7. Schematic arrangement for a typical machine enclosure/spillage chute arrangement. . 14

A.1. Schematic arrangement for ventilation in bag lling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


A.2. Schematic arrangement for ventilation in barrel lling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
A.3. Schematic arrangement for ventilation in bins and hoppers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
A.4. Schematic arrangement for ventilation in a bucket elevator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
A.5. Schematic arrangement for ventilation with conveyor belts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.6. Schematic arrangement of dust collection chutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

B.1. Interior of a plant with no dust control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


B.2. Interior of a plant with dust control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
B.3. Enclosed conveyor belt system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
B.4. Enclosed drop-points on conveyor systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
B.5. Enclosure around a HTR Separator, showing inspection door . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
B.6. Ventilated enclosures around an airtable and a kason screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
B.7. Feed distribution arrangement to HTRs  note enclosed feed hoppers, spillage collec-
tion hoppers and inspection doors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
B.8. Test rig for determining optimum ventilation parameters  enclosed, ventilated drop
box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
B.9. Enclosures around bucket elevator feed points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
B.10.Open mesh cable trays  minimises dust accumulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
B.11.Extraction ventilation connection to bucket elevator heads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
B.12.Insulation around gravity discharge pipes  assists in minimising thermal convections 27
B.13.Vacuum cleaning machine prior to maintenance work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

1. General information
1.1. Purpose

To provide guidance on a variety of strategies that may assist in minimisation of radiation exposure
arising from dust inhalation.

1.2. Scope

This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [1].

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines

The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows how the Radiation Safety Guidelines are arranged.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 1


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction

In most exploration, mining and mineral processing operations, measures are taken for dust control
to protect workers against hazards associated with non-radioactive dust. These measures usually
limit the airborne concentrations of radioactive dust suciently to meet the radiation protection
requirements.
To ensure that methods for controlling dust at mining and processing facilities are in place and
suciently adequate, programs for the sampling and control of dust should be formalised. The
following measures are suggested:
1. The generation of dust in operations should be minimised by the use of appropriate mining
techniques such as proper blasting patterns and timing, the use of water and other means of
suppressing dust and the use of appropriate equipment.
2. Where dust is generated, it should be suppressed at the source. Where necessary and practi-
cable, the source should be enclosed under negative air pressure. Air may have to be ltered
before being discharged to the environment.
3. Dust that has not been suppressed at the source may be diluted to acceptable levels by means
of frequent changes of air in the working area. Again, the exhaust air may have to be ltered
before being discharged to the environment.
4. Care should be taken to avoid the re-suspension of dust as a result of high air velocities.
5. Where methods of dust control do not achieve acceptable air quality in working areas or where
such controls are not practicable, appropriate respiratory protection should be provided to
employees.
The main emphasis of this guideline is on dust control issues in the mineral sands industry; but
the main principles of dust control suggested in this document can be applied in any other industry
where dust containing naturally occurring radionuclides may present an occupational hazard.

2.2. General principles

Typically, the following measures are put in place to minimise exposure of employees to airborne
dust:

2.2.1. Mineral exploration


Measures include:
ˆ `wet' drilling methods;
ˆ dust collection systems utilised wherever possible;
ˆ the re-suspension of dust, particularly during the maintenance of drilling rigs, is minimised by
cleaning the equipment prior to any repairs/maintenance being undertaken;

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

ˆ cutting of drilling core is carried out by `wet' methods wherever possible; and
ˆ the use of a dust `boot'/`skirt' to seals the area around the drill hole to prevent the escape of
dust into the working environment.

2.2.2. Surface mining


Generally, NORMbearing dust at mine sites does not represent signicant occupational radiation
exposure hazard. Typically, the concentrations of radionuclides in ores and mineral concentrates are
relatively low, and only on rare occasions the areas where the ore and/or concentrate is stored are
classied as `controlled'. In some branches of industry such as mining of heavy mineral sands, the
processed concentrates typically contain relatively high levels of moisture and consist predominantly
of mineral grains that are not susceptible to being wind-swept for long distances.
Other measures that need to be considered include:
ˆ the amount and surface of `open' areas at a mine site should be minimised;
ˆ only those areas that are absolutely necessary to be cleared of vegetation and topsoil are cleared,
and these, wherever possible, cleared just prior to the required period of use;
ˆ after the completion of mining, areas are rehabilitated and re-vegetated as soon as possible;
ˆ the cabins of mining machinery should be enclosed;
ˆ the surface of the stockpiles of ore, concentrate and waste materials should be either stabilised
by using appropriate surface suppression agents or kept wet by using a specically designed
sprinkler system and, where required, installation of shade cloth fencing;
ˆ the levels of dust that could be generated from the roads on a mine site can be minimised
by applying appropriate vehicle speed limits, regular grading and maintenance of these roads
(including watering); and
ˆ dust control is essential at the initial stages of ore processing such as crushing, particularly in
cases where the ore contains signicant amount of naturally occurring radionuclides (such as
at uranium mining sites) and dust collection/extraction may need to be implemented.

2.2.3. Underground mining


In cases where the dust in underground workings needs to be controlled, particularly in situations
where naturally occurring radioactive material (such as uranium) is mined  an appropriate advice is
required from a qualied ventilation engineer and a radiation protection specialist (as potential levels
of radon/thoron may need to be controlled simultaneously). The following dust control measures
may be considered:
1. Dilution ventilation (reduces concentrations of airborne dust).
2. Displacement ventilation (connes the dust source and keeps it away from workers by putting
the dust away from them).
3. Water sprays / wetting using water or foam using dierent wetting agents  depending on the
dust particle size and the density of the mined ore.
4. Dust collection/extraction systems.
5. Enclosing the cabins of mining equipment.
6. Special dust control measures would be required for other areas such as continuous miners,
longwall mining, roof bolters.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

It should be borne in mind that the primary objection is the identication of all possible sources
of the generation of dust in a particular underground mine and reducing the amount of dust at the
source  in the processes of ore extraction, drilling, conveying and handling, blasting and crushing
(where applicable).

2.2.4. Processing (uranium minerals)


As the processing of uranium is typically carried out using solvent extraction there is a little potential
for dust generation except in the process of ore crushing (addressed above) and the drying and packing
of the nal product.
The processing equipment used for the drying and packing of uranium product typically operates
under negative pressure  to restrict the release of dust into the working environment. The levels
of the generated dust are not expected to be signicant under the normal operational conditions;
however it is usual for employees in these areas to wear respiratory protection equipment (please see
Appendix C)  in cases of unforeseen spillages of the product and/or during the process of cleaning
up the dust collected on the surface of the equipment.

2.2.5. Processing (thorium minerals)


Dust control in processing of ores and concentrates containing thorium is very important as the
inhalation of dust contain thorium results in an internal dose which is typically 100% higher in com-
parison with the inhalation of uranium-bearing dust with the same gross alpha activity concentration
(please refer to the guideline NORM5. Dose assessment for more information).
The most common thorium-bearing dusts are generated in the processing and separation of heavy
mineral sands.
The most signicant radioactive mineral, monazite, is often the last mineral to be separated in the
typical process. Monazite therefore exists as a contaminant in all the processing sections, becoming
progressively concentrated as each of the other valuable heavy minerals are removed.
Monazite is softer and ner than the other `heavy' minerals, and this typically results in the concen-
tration of this mineral in airborne dust being up to 30 times higher than in the bulk concentrate that
is being processed. This is particularly evident in the nal stages of the separation process.
Many design features of the dry separation building, as well as the nature of process equipment and
techniques, exacerbate the generation of dust when:
1. Material is continually moving and because some equipment is not enclosed, it is readily sus-
pended.
2. The process involves the extensive piped or conveyor transport of dry sand between oors and
separation equipment.
3. One force involved in the separation process is gravity and so material is again likely to become
suspended through air displacement.
4. The existence of numerous exposed beams, pipes, cable trays and other surfaces provide settling
points for airborne dust.
5. Most ecient separation requires hot and dry conditions  therefore ne particles can be
carried by local thermal air currents.
6. Abrasion and attrition generate small particles which are more likely to become suspended.
7. Separation techniques such as vibrating screens and air agitation (e.g. air tables) are specic
generators of dust.

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

8. The buildings are multi-storey with open grid-mesh ooring which hinders eective spillage
identication and control.
9. Separation equipment is often designed `to spill' mineral in the case of overload (for reasons of
metallurgical convenience).
In addition to the physical concentration process and plant design, operation of the plant is reliant on
frequent visual inspections and manual adjustments of equipment settings (i.e. close operator-plant
contact is required). There are also a number of operating practices that aggravate dust generation
such as:
ˆ the use of compressed air and dry sweeping methods for housekeeping tasks;
ˆ manual cleaning (pulling) of machine screens and feed slips;
ˆ paddling air table decks to clean cloth substrates; and
ˆ overlling of surge bins.
The primary emphasis in this guideline is on engineering controls for dose reduction. However, be-
cause of the nature and complexity of dust control in mineral processing plants, other exposure miti-
gation strategies are also suggested. These other control strategies are briey described in Section 2.4
on page 7 and include metallurgical controls and administrative controls such as work procedures,
job rotation and the use of personal protective equipment.

2.3. Overview of engineering controls

The reliance should primarily be placed on measures to make plant and process intrinsically safe,
and that managerial procedures or personal protection should be regarded as secondary and supple-
mentary measures.
Some general engineering principles of atmospheric dust control are:
ˆ suppression (or prevention) at the source;
ˆ enclosure or containment;
ˆ provision of local exhaust;
ˆ dilution and rapid removal; and
ˆ isolation and process modication.

2.3.1. Suppression
Prevention of dust formation is usually carried out by wetting (application of ne water mist spray)
or electrostatic attraction, in the mineral sands industry. The process reliance on magnetic, elec-
trostatic and gravitational separation of dry mineral renders this control option impractical with
conventional separation technology. However, dust suppression should be practical in other indus-
tries and, overall,around processing buildings and product and tailing stockpile areas as appropriate.
Alternative mineral sands separation technology using wet magnets results in a signicant decrease
of dust concentration in a particular operation.

2.3.2. Local exhaust ventilation


Local exhaust ventilation involves controlling dust at the source by collecting and removing all air-
borne material. Dust extraction hoods on all dust generating equipment, apart from presenting a

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

complex engineering problem, involve signicant capital outlay. However, where other methods are
not practicable or fully eective, this may be the only option available. Priority areas would be poten-
tially high dust generating sources such as screens, mineral discharge and feed points, conveyors and
elevator discharge points and, in mineral sands industry  air tables. The air tables and large screen
decks would require canopy type hoods, with an extraction system capable of providing sucient
capture velocity to remove dust particles. Appendix B on page 22 contains photographs showing a
number of these dust control systems.
The local exhaust ventilation systems require high standards of design, installation, operation and
maintenance to ensure that their performance remains optimal. It is also important when designing
dust control equipment to include in the design evaluation the ultimate fate of any dust collected or
diverted from the workplace environment and any additional procedures involved. Attention must
be given to the nal ltration and discharge of the ventilation air and to procedures for disposing of
used lters and collected dust.

2.3.3. Enclosure
In the short term, satisfactory results may be obtained by simply enclosing machines. However, if
dust is generated and not removed, it will ultimately be released into the workplace atmosphere. The
use of enclosures to contain the dust may limit the number of points requiring exhaust ventilation.
The placement of a covering on the grid-mesh oors around separation equipment will reduce dust
concentrations by eectively limiting dust migration to lower oors. However, when other occupa-
tional hygiene issues are considered (such as protecting employees from noise and heat stress), this
measure may be impractical.

2.3.4. Dilution and rapid removal (general mechanical ventilation)


Dilution ventilation involves the provision of general exhaust or mechanical ventilation to remove
dust-laden air from the working environment. It is also important in underground workplaces where,
in addition to dust, relatively high radon/thoron concentrations are expected or measured. The clean
air dilutes the dusty air in the workplace, lowering the overall dust concentration.
With dilution ventilation, it is important not to use such a high velocity that the situation at an
occupied workplace worsens because dustier air is being delivered to it.
The introduction of dilution ventilation in a plant processing dry mineral, with the resultant increased
ventilation rate, may also liberate ner particles from surface deposits into the air. This would be
particularly relevant if neglect of housekeeping had resulted in signicant build-up of dust and ne
mineral grains inside the plant. In addition, a higher air velocity, particularly if it is upward, may
keep larger particles in the air for longer. Therefore, dilution ventilation must be introduced with
care if it is to be a viable control option.
In the control of airborne dust, attention should be focused, in the rst instance, on proposals that
utilise containment and extraction principles and improved housekeeping standards. General and
specic recommendations on these particular engineering controls are suggested in Sections 2.5.4 on
page 11 and 2.5.5 on page 14.

2.3.5. Isolation and process modication


Isolation of the hazardous process stream may be achieved by suitable metallurgical or process stream
modications.

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

The provision of rooms or cubicles in controlled areas with ltered air supplies in both surface
and underground workplaces is a form of personal protection. Self-closing doors should be tted,
preferably in a simple airlock with two doors. Air-conditioned cabs on mining, loading and transport
machinery might also be considered in certain circumstances. Stores where products are held prior
to dispatch should be well ventilated to prevent the accumulation of radon and thoron daughters,
although good natural ventilation is likely to be sucient.

2.4. Secondary control methods

2.4.1. Personal protective equipment


In certain circumstances, personal protection of the individual employee is necessary. However, perso-
nal protection does not eliminate or rectify the conditions causing the hazard, and devices can become
ineective without the knowledge of the wearer. The use of personal protective equipment such as
respirators, is considered acceptable while engineering controls are being developed and implemented,
or where such controls are not practicable. In general however, personal protective devices should
be regarded as being supplementary to process/procedural modications and engineering control
measures, and not to be used in preference of such modications and measures. To be eective, the
use of personal protection must be supported by a comprehensive personal protection program that
details use, tting, cleaning and maintenance. Information concerning the essential elements of a site
respiratory protection program can be found in the Appendix C on page 29.

2.4.2. Procedural changes


Sometimes a less hazardous method of performing a task can be substituted for the original method
(e.g. vacuuming instead of dry sweeping).
The most cost-eective way of minimising exposure is for workers to withdraw from the source of
dust for as long as the process allows. For example, occupancy of the section of the plant where
the radioactivity concentration in mineral dust is the highest should be limited only to that which is
absolutely necessary for the operating and maintenance of the equipment.

2.4.3. Housekeeping
Spillage may contribute signicantly to dust re-suspension. When examining solutions to a dust
problem, due attention must be paid to housekeeping and operating practices that can reduce spillage.
A positive attitude towards cleanliness at places of work in the plant should be encouraged, as the
re-suspension of dust deposited on surfaces can exacerbate the problem of airborne contamination.
Regular campaigns to minimise spillage, accumulation and disturbance of dust should be conduc-
ted; and routine actions to recover and return spilt material to the process should be devised and
implemented. In many cases, a continuous plant clean-up program will be very useful.
An eective and integrated plant vacuum cleaning system would greatly facilitate the implementation
of a housekeeping program.

2.4.4. Training and supervision


All employees working in controlled areas, as designated by the level of airborne radioactivity, must
be informed of the hazards from exposure to radioactive dust and the precautions necessary to prevent
damage to their health. They should be made aware of the need to carry out their work so that as

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

little airborne dust as possible is produced, and of the importance of the proper use of all safeguards
against radiation exposure. Adequate training, both in the proper execution of the task and in the
use of all associated engineering controls, as well as of any personal protective equipment, is essential.
Competent supervision is also essential in the overall strategy to reduce or eliminate employee expo-
sure to radioactive dust. Supervisors need to ensure that in addition to the provision and maintenance
of all equipment necessary for the task, such equipment is used and work procedures are carried out
in a safe and ecient manner.
Supervisors must have a good knowledge of the operation and must also be able to recognise potential
radioactive dust exposure pathways or the implications of unusual occurrences.

2.4.5. Job rotation


Where no practical means of control is available in process areas with high levels of airborne conta-
mination, job rotation may be considered in order to reduce the exposure of individual workers. Job
rotation should only be used in exceptional circumstances and should not be used as a substitute for
the development and use of appropriate radiation control methods.

2.5. Engineering guidelines for minimising dust emissions

The guidance in this part is mostly relevant to the mineral sands industry handling and proces-
sing thorium-bearing minerals, where the potential for the internal radiation exposure due to the
inhalation of the airborne dust is the highest. However, most of these suggestions could also be
implemented in any other industry where NORM is handled and processed in the dry form and there
is a relatively signicant potential for the generation of dust.

2.5.1. New plants and modications to existing plants


Isolation of the monazite and ilmenite separation circuits should be considered for new plant design;
the monazite circuit being a primary radiation source and ilmenite circuit being a primary dust
source throughout the dry plants where isolation is not provided.
Early separation and isolation of the monazite stream should be considered by the application of
appropriate metallurgical design in all new plants and in any major modications to existing plants. If
most of monazite could be removed in the rst separation stage, airborne radioactivity concentrations
in the other stages would be signicantly reduced.
Additional illustration on the eectiveness of the dust control inside the mineral sands dry separation
plant:
In Appendix B, Figure B.1 on page 22 shows the interior of a plant with no dust control while Figure
B.2 shows a plant with dust control. The plant with dust control has enclosures and dust extraction
systems.

2.5.2. Implementation of control strategies


If radioactive dust levels are relatively high over a signicant period of time (i.e. six months or more),
then the formulation of appropriate control strategies or action plans, within a time-frame that is
acceptable to the appropriate authority is required.

8 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

The control strategy selection process should not only look at a single method in isolation, but at
a combination of methods to achieve ecient workplace control. Technical feasibility and practi-
cal considerations such as strategy acceptance by employees, regulatory considerations, operational
practicality will limit the number of available strategies.
The implementation of control strategies should be performed in such a manner so that the eecti-
veness of successive stages can be readily evaluated and subsequent priorities reassessed.
It is recommended that adopted measures form a part of site's radiation management plan and, as
such, submitted to the appropriate authority for its information and approval, where required. These
documents would typically contain:
1. The location and nature of the particular measures it is proposed to be implemented in the
period.
2. The relationship of the particular program to the overall radiation exposure reduction strategy
for the particular workplace, and the priorities in implementation that apply to that strategy.

2.5.3. General suggestions for dust control


The proposed suggestions are designed to reduce the uncontrolled passage of airborne dust between
oors (where applicable), to facilitate disposal and collection of dust and to provide discrete areas
for dust clean up.
As a rst step in the engineering design of any modication, a check on the structural capacity of
the building frame either as existing or as necessarily strengthened to accept added loads, will be
required.
The following general suggestions are proposed where practical:
1. Open grid-mesh oors should be altered to solid steel, continuous steel plate ooring, sealed
against dust losses. These should be installed progressively outwards from equipment and
principal access routes. This suggestion must be balanced against possible increase in exposure
of employees to noise and heat, and should be only implemented after the advice from a qualied
occupational hygienist.
2. Dust proof chutes, which connect discrete solid oor areas at each level with dust collection
bins at oor level, should be incorporated into plant design. Each system should be vented to
minimise dust emissions caused by batch discharges of dust (see Figure 2.4 on page 12). They
may also be linked to machine enclosures (see Figure 2.5 on page 13, Figure 2.6 on page 13,
Figure 2.1 on the following page and Figure 2.2 on the next page).
3. Integrated vacuuming system should serve strategic points at each section and operating level
to facilitate equipment cleanup and housekeeping (see Figure 2.3 on page 11).
4. Discrete operating sections should be isolated to reduce dust migration by convection currents.
5. Thermal convection currents should be reduced by enclosing and insulating equipment that
handles hot mineral (e.g. feed elevators, driers). This should allow better ventilation without
causing increased dust circulation.
6. Operational areas should be designed such that they can be seen by operators to respond to
regular cleaning and careful product control and therefore encourage a positive response to
routine hygiene and process control procedures.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 9


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure 2.1.: Schematic arrangement for a vented hood over air table.
VENT

REMOVABLE HOOD
FEED PIPE

RUBBER FLAP

CLEAN AIR SUPPLY AIR TABLE

OUTLETS

Figure 2.2.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation of feeds to bins and hoppers.
FEED PIPE
TO DUST COLLECTOR
OR VENT

SLIDE PLATE

10 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure 2.3.: Schematic arrangement of centralised vacuuming system.

SNAP ON CONNECTION
FOR VACUUMING HOSES
(TYPICAL)

NOTES: Design shall allow for simultaneous


operation of one point per floor.

Horizontal runs to be avoided or minimised.

Minimum air speed to be 30m/s.

BAG COLLECTOR

PIPING TO SLOPE
DOWN AS MUCH AS
POSSIBLE
CYCLONE
ROOTS BLOWER

REMOVABLE CONTAINERS

2.5.4. Specic suggestions for engineering design


For success in implementation, the following suggestions must be preceded by a high level of com-
petence, professional design, manufacture and installation. Illustrations of hood design for specic
operations are shown in Figure A.1 on page 16 and Figure A.2 on page 17.

2.5.4.1. Mineral handling and conveyance

Where:
1. Mineral is discharged into feed boxes or onto conveyors, screens or other machinery, the transfer
point should be enclosed and vented. Free falls of materials should be eliminated in detail
design. Examples are given in Figure A.4 on page 19, Figure A.5 on page 20, and Figure A.6
on page 21.
2. Where possible, multiple feed points onto conveyors should be concentrated into a single, vented
enclosure. Where process requirements demand the spread of the feed points along the conveyor,
this entire section of the conveyor should be enclosed and vented.
3. Conveyor belts should be of generous width to allow running at low speeds which are less likely
to generate airborne dust. Flat belts should be avoided and likely dust spillage points should
be enclosed and vented. Where possible, conveyors should be fully enclosed and vented. An
example is given in Figure 2.7 on page 14.

2.5.4.2. Electrostatic and magnetic separating equipment

The space and operational considerations of existing plants are recognised as substantial constraints
on the practical implementation of recommendations for equipment enclosure. Nevertheless, enclosure
of part or the whole of existing machines should be examined for implementation as follows:

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 11


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure 2.4.: Schematic arrangement of dust collection chutes.

VENT

MACHINE
ENCLOSURE

SPILLAGE
CHUTE

PLATED FLOORS

SPECIAL PURPOSE
CONTAINERS

1. Visual inspection should be via viewing ports to eliminate the need to open doors.
2. Maintenance doors should be designed such that they are light, simple to open and whenever
possible self-closing and dust tight.
3. The enclosure should be light, dust-proof and easily demountable for major maintenance.
4. The enclosure should be ventilated via an appropriate collection device.
5. The enclosure should be provided with bottom gravity drains connected to the collection or
other convenient points to avoid internal accumulation of spilt material.
6. Where possible a vacuum connection point should be tted to each enclosure.
7. Where operating practice requires the exchange or cleaning of components such as distribution
feed slips or plates, an adequate area (e.g. fume cupboard) should be provided for the cleaning
of such components.

2.5.4.3. Screening equipment

Several types of vibrating screens are used in industry; some of the screens are open and are sources
of dust emissions. Where applicable, replacement of the open screens with fully enclosed units with
connections for dust collection systems should be considered.

2.5.4.4. Air tables

The following is suggested for reducing the specic problems associated with air tables (see Figure 2.7
on page 14):
1. Where possible, clean outside air should be used.

12 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure 2.5.: Schematic arrangement for venting feed boxes into main bins.
FEED PIPE

VENT

SLIDE
PLATE

VENT FEED BIN VENT

SEALED FEED
BOX SLIDE PLATE

DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT

Figure 2.6.: Schematic arrangement for a typical machine enclosure/spillage chute arrangement.

ENCLOSURE
VENT FEED PIPES

DUST AND SPILLAGE


PROOF ENCLOSURE

MACHINE

FLOOR RUBBISH
SPILLAGE CHUTE
CHUTE

NOTE: Enclosure size exaggerated for clarity.

CONTAINER

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 13


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure 2.7.: Schematic arrangement for a typical machine enclosure/spillage chute arrangement.
INCLINED FEED TO DUST COLLECTOR
OR VENT

SKIRTS

BURDEN BELOW SKIRTS

2. A light hood with clear (transparent) side panels should be tted over each table.
3. The hood should be tted with self-closing openings.

2.5.4.5. Sample cutters and containers

The whole apparatus could be fully enclosed with provision for the discharge of spillage into the main
ow stream. The sample container should be vented into the enclosure above.

2.5.5. Pre-treatment considerations


Coating of the coarser grains of mineral sands by slimes can provide a substantial source of dust in
the dry plant. The degree to which this occurs is a function of both the geological nature of the
deposit and the type of pre-treatment received during the primary separation process. The additional
dry weight of residual slime expressed as a proportion of the total feed dry weight, which has the
potential to be removed prior to dry processing, should be assessed and the decision on pre-treatment
measures taken based on this determination.
Two types of pretreatment should be considered to reduce the slimes coating:
1. Scrubbing of mineral grains in wet attritioning circuits, with released coatings being removed
in de-sliming circuits.
2. Wet classication (e.g. hydro-sizing) directed towards nes removal.

14 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

A. Appendix showing design illustrations


The following illustrations have been reprinted with permission from the American Conference of
Governmental Industrial Hygienists publication, Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended
Practice, 21st Edition, 1992 [6]. The illustrations are intended as guides for design purposes and apply
to usual or typical operations. In most cases they are taken from designs used in actual installations
of successful local exhaust ventilation systems.
A design engineer is referred to this publication for further details. The manual provides information
on the general principles of ventilation, hood design, specic operations, design procedure, testing of
ventilation systems and air cleaning (dust collection) devices.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 15


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.1.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation in bag lling.

Bin
Hood attached to bin

o
45

Principle dust source


500 fpm maximum

Scale support

Bag

Q = 400 - 500 cfm - non-toxic dust


1000 - 1500 cfm - toxic dust

Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm


he = 0 . 2 5 V Pd
Note: Care must be taken such that too much air
is not used, as valuable product will be
pulled into the exhaust system.

Reference : 10.15.2

AMERICAN CONFERENCE
BAG FILLING
OF GOVERNMENTAL
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 1 91 FIGURE VS 15 02

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

16 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.2.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation in barrel lling.

Close clearance

o
45

1" slot

4" min.

2 2
Q = 100 cfm/ ft barrel top (minimum) Q = 150 cfm/ ft of open face area
Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm
he = 1 . 7 8 V Ps + 0 . 2 5 V P d h e = 0.25 VP (45 o taper)
d

o
45

Feed spout
4" min. dia. Exhaust duct
o
45

Flex duct

Q = 50 cfm x drum diam. ( ft ) Q = 300 400 cfm


Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm
h e = 0.25 VP h e = 0.25 VP
d d

Note 1: Air displaced by material feed rate may require higher exhaust flow rates.

Note 2: Excessive air flow can cause loss of product.

Reference : 10.15.1

AMERICAN CONFERENCE
BARREL FILLING
OF GOVERNMENTAL
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 1 91 FIGURE VS 15 01

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 17


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.3.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation in bins and hoppers.

Q
Enclosed loading point

o
Q
45

Closed top
Belt Belt

Bin
or

Locate remote from


loading point

Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm


2
Q = 200 cfm / ft of all open area
h e = 0 . 2 5 V Pd
MECHANICAL LOADING

Belt speed Flow rate


Less than 200 fpm ---- 350 cfm/ft of belt width.
Not less than 150 cfm/ft 2 of opening.

Over 200 fpm ---- 500 cfm/ft of belt width.


2
Not less than 200 cfm/ft of opening.

Booth to accomadate barrel, bag, etc.

Booth to cover as much


of hopper as possible

o
45

Grate bars Q

Hopper Hopper

Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm


2
Q = 150 cfm / ft face
h e = 0 . 2 5 V Pd
MANUAL LOADING

AMERICAN CONFERENCE
BIN & HOPPER VENTILATION
OF GOVERNMENTAL
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 1 91 FIGURE VS 50 10

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

18 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.4.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation in a bucket elevator.

Alternate exhaust point

Preferred exhaust
point

Additional ventilation for


hopper, bin, or screen
o o
see VS- 50 -10 and 45 60
VS-99-01
Take - off detail

Tight casing

For casing only


2
Q = 100 cfm / ft casing cross section Additional ventilation
Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm for conveyor
h e = 1 . 0 V Pd o r c a l c u l a t e f r o m discharge. See below.

individual losses

Belt
o
45

Take - off at top for hot materials,


at top and bottom if elevator is over o o
45 60
30 ft high, otherwise optional.

CONVEYOR BELT DISCHARGE VENTILATION

BELT SPEED FLOW RATE

2
Less than 200 fpm 350 cfm / ft of belt width. Not less than 150 cfm / ft of opening.

2
Over 200 fpm 500 cfm / ft of belt width. Not less than 200 cfm / ft of opening.

AMERICAN CONFERENCE BUCKET ELEVATOR


OF GOVERNMENTAL VENTILATION
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 1 91 FIGURE VS 50 10

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 19


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.5.: Schematic arrangement for ventilation with conveyor belts.

o
45

o
45
24" min.

Elevator
24" min.
exhaust
(See VS - 50 - 01)
Close face to
bottom of belt

1. Conveyor transfer less As close as Tote box


than 3" fall. For greater practical
fall, provide additional
exhaust at lower belt.
2. Conveyor to elevator with
See 3 below.
magnetic separator.
he = 0.25 VPd
he = 0 . 2 5 V P d

DESIGN DATA
Transfer points:
2 x belt width
Enclose to provide 150 - 200 fpm indraft
at all openings. (Underground mining
1 /3
tunnel ventilation will interfere with
belt
width
conveyor exhaust systems.)
o
45
Chute
A 2" clearance for load
on belt
24" min

Rubber skirt
DETAIL OF BELT OPENING
Q = 350 cfm / ft belt width for belt
3. Chute to belt transfer and conveyor speeds under 200 fpm. (minimum)
transfer, greater than 3’ fall. = 500 cfm / ft belt width for belt
Use additional exhaust at A speeds over 200 fpm and for
for dusty material as follows: magnetic separators. (minimum)
Belt width 12" - 36" , Q= 1000 cfm
Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm
h = 0.25 VP
d
e h e = 0 . 2 5 V Pd
Conveyor belts:
Note : Dry, very dusty materials may Cover belt between transfer points
require exhaust flow rates 1.5 Exhaust all transfer points
to 2.0 times stated values. Exhaust additional 350 cfm/ft of belt
width at 30’ intervals. Use 45o
tapered connections.

AMERICAN CONFERENCE
CONVEYOR BELT VENTILATION
OF GOVERNMENTAL
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 1 91 FIGURE VS 50 20

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

20 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure A.6.: Schematic arrangement of dust collection chutes

o
45 min. slope

Feed Flexible connection if desired

Top take-off preffered

Complete enclosure

Screen

Oversize

Hopper

FLAT DECK SCREEN

Q = 200 cfm /ft 2 through hood openings, but not less than
50 cfm/ft2 screen area. No increase for multiple decks
Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm
h e = 0.50 VP d

Complete
enclosure o
45 min. slope
Screen CYLINDRICAL SCREEN

Q = 100 cfm/ft 2 circular cross section of


screen ; at least 400 cfm/ft of
enclosure opening
Feed Minimum duct velocity = 3500 fpm
h e = 0.50 VP d
Hopper

Oversize

AMERICAN CONFERENCE
SCREENS
OF GOVERNMENTAL
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENISTS
DATE 12 90 FIGURE VS 50 01

From ACGIH® , Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition. Copyright
1992. Reprinted with permission. [6]

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 21


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

B. Appendix showing photographs

Figure B.1.: Interior of a plant with no dust control

Figure B.2.: Interior of a plant with dust control

22 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.3.: Enclosed conveyor belt system

Figure B.4.: Enclosed drop-points on conveyor systems

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 23


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.5.: Enclosure around a HTR Separator, showing inspection door

Figure B.6.: Ventilated enclosures around an airtable and a kason screen

24 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.7.: Feed distribution arrangement to HTRs  note enclosed feed hoppers, spillage collection
hoppers and inspection doors

Figure B.8.: Test rig for determining optimum ventilation parameters  enclosed, ventilated drop box

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 25


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.9.: Enclosures around bucket elevator feed points

Figure B.10.: Open mesh cable trays  minimises dust accumulation

26 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.11.: Extraction ventilation connection to bucket elevator heads

Figure B.12.: Insulation around gravity discharge pipes  assists in minimising thermal convections

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 27


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Figure B.13.: Vacuum cleaning machine prior to maintenance work

28 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

C. Appendix showing respiratory protection


The information in this appendix outlines the requirements on the development of a formal respiratory
protection program. Providing that all of the essential elements below are followed, it should be
possible for a particular operation to seek approval to use a protection factor in determining a more
realistic estimate of employee exposure to airborne radioactivity.
Compliance with exposure or dose limits via routine use of respiratory protection equipment (RPE)
is not considered acceptable and a requirement for routine use of RPE is a clear indication of the
inadequacy of existing engineering controls. There are, however, some circumstances in which the
use of RPE may be regarded as a valid protection option:
1. During certain cleaning and maintenance operations (e.g. entering closed vessels).
2. During unplanned events or emergencies (e.g. when there is a failure of ventilation or dust
control systems).
3. If airborne concentrations exceed specied action levels as determined by the appropriate au-
thority, particularly in underground workplaces.
Respiratory protection use at exploration, mining and/or processing plants is generally conned to
specic work tasks known to create or aggravate dust generation or to specic locations with elevated
dust concentrations. With appropriate scheduling of work the time spent in mandatory respiratory
protection use situations should be no more than a few hours per work shift.

C.1. Respiratory protection program (RPP)

When implementing a site RPP the following important considerations should always be considered:
1. Respiratory protection does not eliminate or rectify the conditions causing the hazard, and
RPE can become ineective without the knowledge of the wearer.
2. RPE can create a possibility of accidents and of stress by virtue of their interference with an
employee's freedom of motion, communication and vision.
3. The full eectiveness of RPE is strongly dependent upon the active co-operation of the user.
Reliance on RPE for exposure control demands that strict attention be paid to auditing, training and
written procedures to assure the correct selection, use and maintenance of RPE. Written standard
operating procedures should be prepared for the site and these procedures should be readily available
to managers, supervisors and employees. A site RPP should include documentation on the following
key elements:
1. Site application
2. Selection
3. Fitting
4. Maintenance and storage
5. Training
6. Auditing

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 29


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Specic details relating to these key RPP elements are outlined in the following sections. The
selection, use and maintenance of RPE should always be in accordance with the requirements of
Australian Standard [5]. The specication for the design, performance and testing of RPE is set out
in Australian Standard [5].

C.1.1. Site application


A summary of work tasks and/or locations where employees must wear RPE and under what condi-
tions (normal or emergency) should be prepared for each site. Particular work activities, processes
or environments should be designated as requiring the use of RPE based on measured air contami-
nation levels. In certain situations, where the air contamination level may not be precisely known,
the site Radiation Safety Ocer (RSO) will need to use his/her professional judgement. Manda-
tory respiratory protection use situations must be clearly identied and separated from optional use
situations.

C.1.2. Selection
The selection of respiratory protection requires a thorough knowledge of all factors involved, including
the nature and concentrations of contaminants, the types of duties to be performed by the worker, and
an understanding of the design, scope and performance of the various types of respirators available.
There are four broad categories of respirators:
1. Filtered or puried air respirators (PAR) (e.g. common dust mask).
2. Hose-type supplied air (airline) respirators (SAR).
3. Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
4. Helmettype respirators with ltered air supplied to the breathing zone through the helmet
and between the face shield and the face (e.g. `Airstream' helmet).
The PAR is the most common type of personal RPE used in mining and minerals processing. With the
proper selection of the lter medium, these respirators provide eective protection against commonly
encountered mineral dusts containing NORM. PARs are available in both half-face and full-face
models, the former providing less protection than the latter but being more acceptable to workers
because of greater comfort. A good t between face and respirator is vital in achieving adequate
protection.
Only approved certied RPE (as per [5]) should be used and the selection should be based on the
potential exposure hazards. The types of lters, canisters and cartridges to be used in each mandatory
RPE situation should be well documented. Where practical, individual respirator assignment should
be undertaken. With regard to supply of RPE, it is essential that an operation has an adequate
number of respirators and, where relevant, unexpired cartridges and canisters.

C.1.3. Fitting
Respirators should be selected with regard to the individual worker. Where practicable, respirators
should be assigned to individual workers for their exclusive use. Correct tting of the respirator to
the worker is essential; in exceptional circumstances, special actions may be necessary to ensure that
workers are adequately protected by RPE. For example, a worker with spectacles, a beard, dentures,
or an unusually bony facial structure may not be able to obtain adequate protection from certain
designs of RPE and special arrangements may need to be made. Such workers should be issued with

30 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

RPE on a personal basis. Workers with bronchial problems may not be able to wear those respirators
that present a resistance to breathing.
Qualitative t-testing using either saccharine or isoamyl acetate is recommended and such testing
conrms that a good t is obtained between the respirator face-piece and the face. A comprehensive
training program and detailed procedures for performing qualitative t tests are available in Appendix
D of the Australian Standard [5]. Methods for t-testing respirators should form part of the written
standard operating procedures.
Respirator t testing records must be kept until replaced by a more recent record. Records must
include name, an identifying number, model(s) of respirators for which successfully tted, appropriate
remarks, and dates.
Type and extent of training should be indicated for each respirator user. Repeat t-testing should
be conducted at least annually, whenever the type/size of respirator is changed, and whenever there
is a signicant change in any facial characteristics, e.g. dentures, facial hair, etc, that might eect the
respirator t. The worker should be given a record of the respirator size or brand that ts him/her,
unless the respirator is issued personally.

C.1.4. Maintenance and storage


Each employee individually assigned a respirator should maintain it in a clean and sanitary condition.
In some cases, periodically wiping the interior surface with a sanitising tissue or solution may be
sucient. At least monthly (more often where conditions warrant), individually assigned masks
that have been used during this month should be disassembled, inspected, repaired (if necessary),
thoroughly washed and disinfected by a trained individual. Where more than a few masks are
involved, it is advisable to have personnel at a centralised facility perform this function to limit the
training program.
Respirators used by more than one worker should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use.
A suitably equipped station (preferably centralised for a plant or an area) should be provided. The use
of an alcohol-base sanitiser is not recommended as it may cause premature deterioration of respirator
rubber components. If an alcohol-based sanitiser is used, saturating the respirator, i.e. dipping or
spraying, should be avoided. Procedures for cleaning, sanitising, inspecting and repairing respirators
should also be documented. Such procedures should generally be in accordance with Australian
Standard [5].
When respirators are not in use, they should be stored so they are kept clean and protected from
heat, direct sunlight, dust, chemicals and other agents that may cause deformation. Respirators
should not be left in the work zone where they might become contaminated with dust and other
substances. Preferably, they should be stored so they can be readily inspected  in a clear, plastic
dedicated container, rather than stored loose in the worker's personal locker. Respirator storage
locations should be clearly identied and brought to the attention of employees.

C.1.5. Training
A qualied person should give all employees expected to wear RPE initial training in its correct use.
This training should cover the following points:
1. Mandatory site respiratory protection tasks/locations.
2. Description of the equipment, its mode of operation, function and limitations.
3. Proper care, cleaning, sanitising and storage.
4. Instruction on how to put on the equipment and adjust the face piece.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 31


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

5. Explanation of when and how to replace lters, cartridges, canisters and cylinders.
6. Details on location of RPE and RPE requisition procedures.
The training program and the training and retraining schedules for new and experienced employees
should be documented. Refresher training on at least an annual basis is recommended. People
with responsibility for auditing the site RPP may need additional detailed instructions on individual
program elements.

C.1.6. Auditing
There should be regular (at least annual) inspections and evaluations to determine the continued
eectiveness of the site RPP. Auditing should be directed at all program elements (application,
selection, tting, maintenance and storage, and training). An important aspect of auditing is to
verify the adequacy of employee job training policies and procedures by observing work practices.
Regular monitoring of work areas for airborne radioactivity levels should be routinely carried out
to ensure correct respirator selection. Program reviews should indicate if the application of the site
RPP needs to be maintained, reduced or increased.

C.1.7. Records management


In order to maintain surveillance over, and control of the site RPP, the following sets of records are
recommended:
1. Radiation and airborne contaminant monitoring data (contained in the `Boswell' database).
2. Justication for selection of particular RPE.
3. Details of t testing of RPE for each relevant employee.
4. Job assignment and medical surveillance data.
5. Training records.
6. RPE care and maintenance records.

C.2. Protection factors (PF)

The protection factors (PF) should not be applied to exposure measurement results without the
written consent of the appropriate authority. Any proposal to invoke PF should be rst put forward
to the appropriate authority for consideration and approval if found acceptable.

C.2.1. Administrative requirements


Any proposal to use PF in the internal dose assessment should include appropriate administrative
records that indicate the schemes of work, exposure periods and RPE usage for which exposure
modication is sought. The proposal should also outline the site RPP and provide sucient informa-
tion so that the eciency of this program can be satisfactorily demonstrated (e.g. strict supervision,
proper t testing procedures, adequate respirator maintenance and audit programs, etc). If these
administrative requirements are met and the site RPP follows requirements of this guideline, the use
of program protection factors may be acceptable to the appropriate authority.
The recorded intake for the worker(s) would then be lower than that calculated on the basis of
the ambient airborne contamination assuming no use of RPE. However, because of the diculties in

32 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

ensuring that the correct RPE is used eectively for the requisite time, it should not be automatically
assumed that the nominal PF specied in a particular respirator technical data can be applied in
exposure assessment and reporting of such assessments.
The concept of Personal Protection Factor (PPF) is introduced to take into account intermittent
respirator usage by incorporating the time a respirator is worn during the work cycle compared to
the time it is not worn. The PPF is a function of exposure conditions, worker activities and RPE
use regimes and, therefore, is a measure of the eectiveness of the complete respiratory protection
program. It is prudent to use the lower limit of the nominal PF specied for the particular RPE,
with an additional safety factor, as advised by the appropriate authority. Ideally, the PPF should be
determined for a particular operation, as described below.

C.2.2. Determination of personal protection factor (PPF)


Surveys to determine PPF require the quantication of dust or activity concentrations under two
conditions while the worker is:
ˆ wearing a respirator; and
ˆ not wearing a respirator.
The following protocol may be used:
1. The worker is issued with two dust sampling heads (lter cassettes) and instructed to use one
only during respirator use periods and to the other one only during respirator non-use periods.
2. The PPF is calculated as follows:
Assuming no protection

((T 1 × D1) + (T 2 × D2))


A=
(T 1 + T 2)

Assuming protection

  h i 
D2
(T 1 × D1) + T 2 × PF
B= 
(T 1 + T 2)

A
PPF =
B
where:
T 1  Time respirator not worn
T 2  Time respirator worn
Dl  Dust or activity concentration during respirator non-use periods
D2  Dust or activity concentration during respirator use periods
P F  Protection factor of respirator

In the absence of quantitative t testing data to provide PF on an individual basis, the PF chosen
would usually correspond to the lower limit of the nominal PF specied for the particular RPE used.
It is important that any survey used to determine the PF is documented in detail and repeated at
the intervals specied by an appropriate authority.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 33


Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

C.3. Conclusion

Without a clearly dened chain of supervision, there is no assurance that the procedures and require-
ments of respiratory protection program (RPP) will be followed. The responsibility for the entire site
RPP should be assigned to one person. The person selected to head the respiratory protection pro-
gram for the exploration/mining/mineral processing site should be adequately trained in all aspects
of respiratory protection, and have the ability to administer the program in its entirety.

34 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

Bibliography
[1] Part 16  Radiation Safety, Mines Safety & Inspection Regulations, 1995.
[2] Mines Safety & Inspection Act, 1994.
[3] AS 3640: 2004. Workplace atmospheres  Method for sampling and gravimetric determination of
inhalable dust, 2004.
[4] AS 1715: 1994. Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices, 1994.
[5] AS 1716: 2003. Respiratory protective devices, 2003.
[6] Industrial Ventilation  A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition, American Conference
of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1992.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 35


Index
acceptable air quality, 2 engineering controls, 58
administrative requirements, 32 exhaust air, 2
air agitation, 4 extraction system, 8
air cleaning, 15
air displacement, 4 feed points, 11
air table, 46, 12 t-testing, 31
air tables, 12
gravity, 4, 12
air-conditioned cab, 7
grid-mesh oor, 5, 6
airborne dust, 2, 9
airborne radioactivity, 7 heavy mineral, 4
airlock, 7 high air velocities, 2
appropriate authority, 8 hood design, 15
atmospheric dust control, 5 housekeeping, 6, 7
auditing, 32 hydro-sizing, 14
Australian Standard, 30, 31
ilmenite, 8
blasting, 2 isolation, 5
Boswell dose recording database, 32
breathing zone, 30 job rotation, 8
bulk concentrate, 4
local exhaust, 5, 6
canopy type hoods, 6
magnetic separation, 11
containment, 5
maintenance, 8
contaminant, 4
manual adjustments, 5
contaminants, 30
medical surveillance, 32
control procedures, 9
mineral handling, 11
control strategy, 9
mineral processing operations, 2
controlled area, 3, 7
mineral sand, 8
conveyor, 11
monazite, 4, 8
conveyor transport, 4, 11
natural ventilation, 7
de-sliming circuits, 14 negative air pressure, 2
dilution, 5 non-radioactive dust, 2
dilution ventilation, 6
dry separation, 4 occupational hazard, 2
dry sweeping, 7 occupational hygiene, 6
dust collection systems, 12 operational areas, 9
dust control, 2, 5, 8
dust inhalation, 1 personal protection, 7
dust level, 8 personal protection factor, 33
dust re-suspension, 7 plant clean-up, 7
dust suppression, 2, 5 plant design, 8
pretreatment, 14
electrostatic separation, 11 principles of dust control, 2
enclosure, 5 process modication, 5

36
Guideline NORM4.1 Controlling NORM  Dust control strategies

process stream, 6
protection factors, 32
puried air respirator, 30

radiation exposure, 1
Radiation Safety Ocer, 30
radon ( 222 Rn), 7
rapid removal, 5
record keeping, 32
respirator, 30, 33
respiratory protection, 2, 7, 29, 31, 33
respiratory protection program, 29, 32, 34

screen decks, 6
screens, 5, 6, 11, 12
self-contained breathing apparatus, 30
spilage, 12
spillage, 5, 7
supplied air (airline) respirator, 30
surge bin, 5

thoron ( 220 Rn), 7


training, 7, 31, 32

vacuuming, 7, 9
vented enclosure, 11
ventilation systems, 15
viable control, 6
vibrating screens, 4, 12
viewing ports, 12
visual inspections, 5

water mist spray, 5


wet attritioning circuits, 14
wet magnets, 5
working area, 2

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 37


Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline
NORM4.2

Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste


Reference
The recommended reference for this publication is:
Department of Mines and Petroleum, 2010. Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in
mining and mineral processing  guideline. NORM4.2. Management of radioactive waste: Resources Safety,
Department of Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia, 21pp. <www.dmp.wa.gov.au>

Published February 2010


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

Contents
List of Figures iv

List of Tables v

1. General information 1

1.1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Guidance 2

2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Radioactive waste management plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.3. Waste management practices and radiological protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3.1. Mining and concentrating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3.2. Separation and downstream processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.3. Uranium processing tailings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3.4. Tailings storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3.5. Operating manual for tailings storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3.6. Radiation protection of employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.7. Radiation protection of the public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3.8. Contaminated Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4. Decommissioning and rehabilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.4.1. Forward planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.1.1. Baseline Environmental Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.1.2. Operational Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.2. Regulatory requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4.3. Technical considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4.3.1. Buildings and Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4.3.2. Mine and Waste Disposal Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4.3.3. Neighbouring Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4.4. Decommissioning radiation monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4.5. Post close-out radiation monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4.5.1. Environmental Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.5.2. Biological Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.5.3. Rehabilitation Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.6. Decommissioning documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.4.7. Quality assurance (QA) program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.4.8. Rehabilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

A. Appendix with guidance on NORM blending 17

Bibliography 19

Index 20

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum iii


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

List of Figures
1.1. Relationship to other NORM guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

iv Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

List of Tables
2.1. Contaminated sites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum v


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

vi Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

1. General information
1.1. Purpose

To provide recommendations on the safe management of radioactive waste that results from the
mining and processing of minerals.

1.2. Scope

This guideline applies to all exploration, mining and mineral processing operations in Western Aus-
tralia that use or handle naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and come within the
scope of Part 16 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 [1].

1.3. Relationship to other NORM guidelines

The owchart in Figure 1.1 shows how the Radiation Safety Guidelines are arranged.

Figure 1.1.: Relationship to other NORM guidelines

System of radiation protection in mines (NORM-1)

Preparation of a
radiation management plan (NORM-2)

Exploration (NORM-2.1) Mining and processing (NORM-2.2)

Monitoring Controlling Assessing Reporting and


NORM NORM doses Notifying
(NORM-3) (NORM-4) (NORM-5) (NORM-6)

Pre-operational Dust control Dose Reporting


monitoring strategies assessment requirements
(NORM-3.1) (NORM-4.1)

Operational monitoring Management of


(NORM-3.2) radioactive waste
(NORM-4.2)
Air monitoring BOSWELL
strategies Transport of NORM Assessment and reporting database
(NORM-3.3) (NORM-4.3)
(NORM-7)
Airborne radioactivity
sampling Electronic data management system
(NORM-3.4)

Measurement of
particle size
(NORM-3.5)

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Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

2. Guidance
2.1. Introduction

The radioactive waste generated in mining and minerals processing operations, especially those in-
volving naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), typically contains low concentrations of
radioactive material but is generated in very large volumes. The management methods usually in-
volve waste disposal near the surface and in the vicinity of the mining and processing sites. In
addition, the waste typically contains long-lived radionuclides, and this has important implications
for its management because of the long time periods for which control will be necessary.
The preferred option for the disposal of the radioactive waste is that, where safe and practicable,
radioactive waste is diluted with other mined material before it is nally disposed of in order to
ensure that in the long term the use of the disposal site is not restricted.
This method, however, is only applicable in the situations where the secular equilibrium of both
uranium and thorium decay chains is not disrupted (for example for tailings from heavy mineral
sands physical separation). This method cannot be used for the disposal of uranium processing
tailings and for any other waste generated in the process of chemical and/or thermal treatment of
NORM.
Radioactive waste is typically generated at most stages of mining and mineral processing and typically
includes mineral processing tailings, waste rock (or `oversize'), scales, sludges, scrap material and
process water, including leaching solutions. Rainfall runo and seepage from stockpiles and areas of
processing plants should also be managed.
Tailings storage facility typically receive the bulk of processing water, which is normally recycled, but
some of it may be released into the environment through seeping or due to unusually high rainfall.
The tailings storage facility (TSF), when dry, usually represent the main source of radon/thoron and
dust emissions to the environment. Special containment arrangements are required for the disposal
of tailings generated during chemical and/or thermal processing of uranium and thorium-bearing
minerals  to ensure that environmentally mobile radionuclides are not released into the surrounding
environment.
The disposal of contaminated equipment and materials also needs to be controlled. Where required,
decontamination methods used are typically steam and high pressure water cleaning, mechanical
cleaning, etc.
The waste from mining and minerals processing operations is often re-used in other industries.
Examples include use of dierent slags in road construction, sands and ash in building materials
such as cement, and gypsum in agricultural use as a soil conditioner. It is important to ensure that
no material that is considered as radioactive waste is released from mining and mineral processing
operations without sucient dilution with non-radioactive constituents and only after the approval
by the appropriate authority.
Certain types of waste material can be re-utilised for other applications after appropriate blending
and a general guidance on the possibilities of the blending of radioactive waste for the re-use is
provided in Appendix A on page 17.
The hazards posed by mining and mineral processing waste are often not limited to its radioactivity.
The presence of other potentially toxic chemicals must be taken into account and often measures

2 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

taken to protect the environment from other contaminants are sucient for radiation protection as
well.
Where appropriate, an institutional control over the waste disposal sites should be established to
maintain control and/or knowledge of the site after closure. This may be achieved via the registration
of the site in accordance with the Contaminated Sites Ac t [5].

2.2. Radioactive waste management plan

The Code of Practice [3] requires that in conjunction with the Radiation Management Plan (Gui-
deline NORM2.2 Preparation of a radiation management plan  Mining and processing), a specic
Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP) should be developed.
In developing the RWMP, all relevant pathways for dispersion of radionuclides and for radiation
exposure of both employees and members of the general public should be considered.
The essential elements of the RWMP are:
1. An outline of the processes generating waste.
2. A description of waste including nature of material (chemical, physical and radiological), conta-
minants, and quantities and rate of production.
3. A description of the environment into which the waste will be discharged or disposed (climate,
terrain, soils, vegetation, hydrology), including the baseline radiological characteristics.
4. Heritage (social and cultural) and land use (present and potential).
5. A description of the proposed system for waste management including the facilities and proce-
dures involved in the handling, treatment, storage and disposal of radioactive waste.
6. Predictions of environmental concentrations of radionuclides and radiation doses to the public
from the proposed waste management practice, including demonstration that the statutory
radiation protection requirements will be met both now and in the future.
7. A program for monitoring the concentration of radionuclides in the environment and assessment
of radiation doses to members of the public arising from the waste management practices.
8. Contingency plans for dealing with accidental releases and the circumstances which might lead
to uncontrolled releases of radioactive waste in the environment.
9. Contingency plan to cover cases of early shutdown or temporary suspension of operations.
10. A schedule for reporting on the waste disposal operation and results of monitoring and assess-
ments.
11. A plan for the decommissioning of the operation and associated waste management facilities,
and for the rehabilitation of the site.
12. A system of periodic assessment and review of the adequacy and eectiveness of the RWMP
to take account of potential improvements consistent with best practicable technology.
The RWMP should be further developed throughout the operational stage and should be reviewed
whenever there is a signicant change in the operation or of the waste management system, and at
intervals similar to the Radiation Management Plan.
The following factors should be considered in the development of the RWMP:
1. The level of euent control achieved and the extent to which environmental pollution and
degradation are prevented in similar mining and mineral processing operations elsewhere in the
world.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 3


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

2. The total cost of the application or adoption of the technology relative to the environmental
protection to be achieved by its application or adoption.
3. Evidence of detriment, or lack of detriment, to the environment after the commencement of
the waste management/disposal operation.
4. The physical location of the operation.
5. The age of equipment and facilities and their relative eectiveness in reducing environmental
pollution and degradation.
During the operational stage, the appropriate authority must be notied of:
ˆ any changes to the operation which may alter the nature or quantity of waste generated;
ˆ any proposal to change the waste containment system; and
ˆ any unanticipated circumstances that may lead to a variation in performance of the approved
RWMP.
These changes would not normally be put into eect until a required statutory approval has been
issued.

2.3. Waste management practices and radiological protection

2.3.1. Mining and concentrating

Typically, the tailings from the mining and initial separation phase of the operation are of no radiolo-
gical concern as most of the mineral would have been removed for downstream separation/processing.
In most cases, the tailings can be returned to the mined out areas and the sites rehabilitated in ac-
cordance with the requirements of the appropriate authority.
Some waste rock (oversize) may, however, contain elevated concentrations of radionuclides and may
need to be disposed of appropriately, typically by lling out the mining pit and/or underground
workings.
The mineral is sometimes stockpiled on mine sites prior to transport to the processing sites, and
these stockpiles may contain radioactive minerals in concentrations sucient to produce elevated
radiation levels. The stockpiles therefore need to be protected against unauthorised access and also
against the possibility of the material spreading through wind saltation.
Since the mineral in the stockpile is usually dense, the saltation process will normally occur only at
a high wind velocity. Where wind drift occurs, mineral grains and particles commonly accumulate in
places where vegetation or other obstruction is located or where the wind velocity drops. Therefore,
re-deposition usually takes place at fence lines or in grassed or vegetated areas. Where the wind
velocity is high enough wind blown particles can destroy grass cover and denude lightly vegetated
areas and appropriate precautions will be needed at stockpiles. Typically, simple shade-cloth fencing
is sucient to restrict the spread of the material. Ideally, stockpiles containing radionuclides in
concentrations that require signposting of areas as `supervised' and/or `controlled' should be located
on a concrete slab to simplify the clean-up operations.
For the disposal of underground tailings, provided that the probabilities of geological disturbance to
the site and of human intrusion into the site are suciently low, no further controls may be necessary
beyond recording details of the location and characteristics of the waste and monitoring the site for
a limited period.

4 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

2.3.2. Separation and downstream processing

The tailings from the separation and downstream processing of minerals require appropriate ma-
nagement as they may contain radionuclides in concentrations that could give rise to unacceptable
radiation levels. The disposal of such waste will depend on the method used to process the mineral
and on the respective levels of radiation.
If the tailings are categorised as radioactive waste, disposal may be undertaken by returning the
tailings to the mine pit (dispersed in the initial mine tailings, if possible, or stored with appropriate
safeguards where future economic use is foreseen).
If no chemical/thermal treatment of the mineral takes place (e.g. in the case of separating the heavy
mineral sands), the radionuclides in the tailings could be considered as remaining bound in the
individual mineral grains, and the possibility of the contamination of groundwater by radionuclides
from tailings is therefore not considered to be signicant. In some cases however, small amounts of
radium may be present in water and their removal may therefore be required.
Where any grinding, chemical and/or thermal treatment of minerals containing radionuclides takes
place, additional safeguards must be implemented due to the fact that secular equilibrium in both
uranium and thorium decay chains may be disrupted, resulting in an increased environmental mobility
of radionuclides such as radium.
Cleaning of certain minerals prior to processing (such as, for example, cleaning of the heavy mineral
sand grains) may produce nely powdered waste (slimes). The disposal of these slimes may require
consideration from the radiation protection point of view, as they may have a signicant uranium or
thorium content. Collection in a specically designated slimes pit and disposal with other tailings
is usually suitable for those materials that are found to contain elevated uranium and thorium
concentrations.
The equipment used in downstream processing of minerals may become contaminated by NORM
(particularly with scales and sludge on the inside surfaces of pipes and vessels used in chemical and
thermal processing) and will need to be either disposed of with the approval from an appropriate
authority (typically at a mine site), or thoroughly decontaminated prior to any re-use.

2.3.3. Uranium processing tailings

Special considerations are required for the tailings generated in the processing of uranium ores.
The main characteristics of tailings from uranium processing are residual radioactivity and radon
exhalation rates. Non-radiological issues that need to be taken into account include the geochemistry
of the ore, any chemical contaminants added as part of the uranium extraction process and the acid
generation potential of the material (which is related to the content of pyrites in the ore). Typically,
the most important contaminants of concern are not the radionuclides but the chemical elements
such as arsenic, nickel and other heavy metals, as well as organic residues from uranium extraction.
Presence of non-radiological contaminants in uranium processing tailings may require much more
comprehensive management than the control of the release of radionuclides. Another important
factor is the particle size of tailings, as the lower grade ores require grinding to a very ne (510 µm)
material prior to processing.
The most important radiological issue of uranium processing tailings is associated with the fact that
they typically contain about 85% of the radioactivity contained in the original ore, as the long-lived
decay products of uranium, thorium230 and radium226 are not removed during the extraction
process. Also, all uranium is not recovered during processing and the tailings may also contain from
1 to 10% of uranium238 initially present in the ore.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 5


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

The solubility of thorium is very sensitive to a pH around 4 and neutralising acidic tailings to pH
4.5 will result in a very substantial reduction in the concentration of thorium in water. Unless the
tailings are neutralised to above pH 4 prior to the disposal, the bulk of the thorium will remain in
solution, and will contribute substantially to the total radioactivity of the process residue liquor.
Radium226 is considered to be the most important contaminant of concern in the uranium decay
chain, as it is the most serious potential health hazard resulting from uranium tailings, particularly
if the tailings are misused as building material or construction ll.
Radium226 present in tailings decays to the radioactive gas radon222 and a fraction of this radon
escapes from the tailings deposit into the atmosphere. Despite the fact that radon222 has a com-
paratively short half-life of 3.8 days, it presents a long-term hazard, since the decay of radium226
(half-life of 1,600 years) constantly produces new radon. In addition, the tailings also contain the
predecessors of radium226 in the decay chain including thorium230, which decays with a half-life
of 75,400 years, again constantly producing radium226. The health hazard is associated with the
fact that radon and its decay products can accumulate to substantial levels inside structures built
on a radium-containing ll or built from material with relatively high radium226 concentrations.
The level of radon exhalation from tailings depends on many factors, such as the method of waste
management, the amount of waste, the concentration of radium226, the rate of diusion of the
radon through the bulk solids, moisture content, temperature and atmospheric pressure. Therefore,
a comprehensive assessment of each individual tailings storage facility is required in order to develop
an appropriate management strategy.
For the purposes of dose assessments it is important to determine radium226 and thorium230
concentrations in the airborne dust and water; with thorium230 concentrations being of more im-
portance in dust due to the fact that the inhalation dose conversion factor for thorium230 is over
three times higher than the same factor for radium226; and radium226 concentrations being of
more importance in water as the ingestion dose coecient for radium226 is over two times higher
than the same factor for thorium230 (please refer to the guideline NORM5 Dose assessment for
additional information).
An important non-radiological issue in the management of uranium processing tailings is the potential
generation of acid. This process occurs when sulphide-containing minerals that are susceptible to
oxidation in the presence of moisture and oxygen (such as pyrite) are present in the ore, waste rock
and tailings. The oxidation and hydrolysis results in the formation of sulphuric acid, which then
attacks the rock matrix and liberate metals and radionuclides. Once acidic seepage has commenced,
the process can continue for decades, and even centuries, as the oxidation `front' progresses through
the tailings mass.
There are several ways of preventing and controlling acid generation, with the most common technique
being the inhibition of oxidation by the use of saturated clay or wet covers as oxygen barriers. A
very detailed and complicated modelling is required to design a cover which will be eective for each
particular location, as the eectiveness of a particular cover depends on climate regime and net water
balance in the area, and on the reactivity of the tailings material.

2.3.4. Tailings storage

The prime functions of a tailings storage facility (TSF) are the safe, long term storage of tailings
with minimal environmental impact. Tailoring the design of a TSF to the site conditions, to ensure
safety and minimise the environmental impacts, can lead to a reduction in total project costs.
`Guidelines on the Safe Design and Operating Standards for Tailings Storage' [9] have been prepared
by the Department of Minerals and Petroleum to assist in the design, construction, management
and decommissioning of TSFs in Western Australia so as to achieve ecient, cost eective, safe and

6 Managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in mining and mineral processing
Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

environmentally acceptable outcomes. The guidelines are intended to provide a common approach
to the safe design, construction, operation and rehabilitation of TSFs, and to provide a systematic
method of classifying their adequacy under normal and worst case operating conditions.
The approach adopted in these Guidelines recognises the desire of the mining industry to move
towards self management by the use of a certicate of compliance for TSF design and a certicate
of compliance for TSF construction.
The following Acts of Parliament currently govern safety and environmental issues of TSFs in Western
Australia:
1. Mines Safety and Inspection Act.
2. Mining Act.
3. Environmental Protection Act :
a) Part IV, Environmental Impact Assessment.
b) Part V, Approval and License for prescribed premises.

4. Rights in Water and Irrigation Act.


a) Part III, Control of Waters.

In some circumstances, TSFs may also be subject to additional legislation under the following:
1. Aboriginal Heritage Act.
2. Soil and Land Conservation Act.
3. Conservation and Land Management Act.
4. Wildlife Conservation Act.
5. Land Administration Act.
6. Native Title Act.
7. Local Government Act.
Among the aims of these guidelines is encouragement of the mining industry to take a longer term
approach to the planning of TSFs. One of the factors critical to the nal rehabilitation of a TSF is
the management of the tailings deposition during the TSF operation. Without systematic tailings
deposition and careful water management, the nal rehabilitation could be very costly, and be re-
quired at a time when cash ow is limited or non-existent. Much of this challenge can be overcome
by adequate planning, associated with good tailings management and the use of sound technical
approaches early in the life of the facility.
It is recognised that not all of these guidelines may necessarily be applicable to all forms of tailings
storage. A notable example is below ground storage of mineral sands tailings within mined out
dredge ponds. In such circumstances the management of the operation should recognise and address
the issues that are applicable to a particular tailings storage system.

2.3.5. Operating manual for tailings storage

Tailings management plans are an essential prerequisite for sound storage practice as most failures of
tailings storage around the world result from inadequate management of the storage. The eective
implementation of a management plan will not only result in a safer tailings storage facility (TSF),
but will frequently reduce the overall costs associated with operation and closure of the facility.

Resources Safety, Department of Mines and Petroleum 7


Guideline NORM4.2 Controlling NORM  management of radioactive waste

`Guidelines on the Development of an Operation Manual for Tailings Storage' [10] have been prepared
by the Department of Minerals and Petroleum to provide a consistent basis for the preparation
of Operating Manuals for TSF in Western Australia. They provide both the technical basis for
site-specic Operating Manuals and an administrative framework which meets the requirements of
regulations currently covering the mining industry in Western Australia.
These Guidelines assume that a design has been carried out for the TSF in accordance with the
`Guidelines on the Safe Design and Operating Standards for Tailings Storage' [9]. For pre-existing
facilities where a formal design has not been carried out, it may be necessary to conduct additional
investigation work to provide the necessary information for inclusion in the Operating Manual. The
preparation of an Operating Manual should take into account the provisions that relate to TSF in
the Acts of Parliament listed in Section 2.3.4 on page 6.
The Operating Manual should identify all areas of TSF management requiring consideration during
the operating phase of the facility and outline a course of action if performance is inadequate. One
of the aims of the Guidelines is to encourage the mining industry to take a longer term view of the
storage of tailings, so each Operating Manual should also address the rehabilitation, closure and
post-closure monitoring requirements of the TSF. A carefully prepared Operating Manual will form
part of an overall management plan that encompasses all of these aspects while ensuring that TSF
are rehabilitated and closed cost eectively so meeting public expectations relating to environmental
performance.

2.3.6. Radiation protection of employees

A comprehensive radiation protection program should be in place to address all sources of occu-
pational radiation exposure at the exploration, mining and/or mineral processing site, including
radioactive waste management.
The following exposure pathways should be taken into account for the protection of employees:
1. External gamma and beta irradiation, including skin contamination.
2. Inhalation of dust and gases such as radon and/or thoron.
3. Ingestion.

2.3.7. Radiation protection of the public

Releases of radionuclides from radioactive waste to the environment during mining and processing
operations and subsequent waste manage