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The role of industry in policy and decision making related to Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) – a practical perspective

18 June 2019

Recorded broadcast →

Presenter: Jim Hondros, Philip Egidi 
Date of broadcast: 18 June 2019, 4 pm CET

About the webinar

With awareness of naturally occurring radionuclides and radiation levels increasing, more attention is being paid to the safe management of NORM and the protection of workers. Many countries are in the process of strengthening their regulations.

The IAEA General Safety Requirements Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards (GSR Part 3) establishes requirements for industrial operations involving NORM under planned and existing exposure situations. Regulatory bodies and operators must ensure radiation safety, and industries must devote resources to control actual radiation risks.

GSR Part 3 advocates a graded approach to regulation, meaning that application of regulatory requirements should be commensurate with the radiation risks  associated with the exposure situation. However, jurisdictions often make conservative interpretations of the IAEA safety requirements applicable to NORM, which can lead to overregulation. That, in turn, can lead to an unnecessary diversion of resources available for the control of hazards and risk generally to the control of the radiation risk – so-called “risk prioritisation”.

Industry representatives have extensive experience in understanding and managing broader hazards and risks, and they are therefore well-placed to provide input to policy makers. The advice from industry representatives can help authorities develop a regulatory system that ensures that the correct amount of resources are apportioned so that appropriate levels of control are applied to actual risks.

In many cases, industry representative groups such as the World Nuclear Association’ Radiation Protection Working Group and the International Radiation Protection Association’s recently formed the NORM Task Group, are available to provide practical input to policy and decision making. 

A key to success is open communications and discussion on NORM issues. By learning from each other, policy makers, regulators and industry can ensure that resources are appropriately allocated and risks adequately controlled.

This webinar will provide examples of the role of industry in NORM decision making.

Learning objectives

Participants of the webinar will learn about:

About the presenters

Jim Hondros is a Vice President of the Australasian Radiation Protection Society. He has 35 years of experience of the mining industry in operational, management and consulting roles. Recently, Jim has been working with the IAEA, conducting NORM training in Austria, Pakistan, Jordan and Mongolia. His voluntary activities include previous work for the Environmental Defenders Office and providing advice to various Indigenous groups. 

Philip Egidi is an Environmental Scientist/Health Physicist in the Radiation Protection Division in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Washington DC headquarters. Phil has over 30 years’ experience in radiation safety and environmental protection. He joined EPA in late 2011. He focuses on uranium recovery and NORM. His career also includes 11 years with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and 11 years with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He started his radiological career in 1983 at some of the earliest mill tailings remediation projects in Monticello, Utah. He was project manager for the licensing of the United States’ first conventional uranium mill in over 25 years. Over the years, he has been on numerous committees relative to NORM, and is currently serving on the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, the Council of Radiation Control Program Directors and Health Physics Society committees. He is organizing the Scientific Program for the upcoming NORM IX Symposium.

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