Radioactive isotopes used for dating

Long-lived radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium and any of their decay products, such as radium and radon are examples of NORM.These elements have always been present in the Earth's crust and atmosphere, and are concentrated in some places, such as uranium orebodies which may be mined.For most human activities involving minerals and raw materials, the levels of exposure to these radionuclides are not significantly greater than normal background levels and are not of concern for radiation protection.However, certain work activities can give rise to significantly enhanced exposures that may need to be controlled by regulation.The two most important chains providing nuclides of significance in NORM are the thorium series and the uranium series: Another major source of terrestrial NORM is potassium 40 (K-40).

An integrated approach that includes a new rice variety, biofertilizer and plant growth promoter has made all the difference to rice farmer, Muhammad Helmi Mohd Noor and his neighbours in this northern Malaysian village.Terrestrial NORM consists of radioactive material that comes out of the Earth’s crust and mantle, and where human activity results in increased radiological exposure.The materials may be original (such as uranium and thorium) or decay products thereof, forming part of characteristic decay chain series, or potassium-40.Excluding uranium mining and all associated fuel cycle activities, industries known to have NORM issues include: Another NORM issue relates to radon exposure in homes, particularly those built on granitic ground.Occupational health issues include the exposure of flight crew to higher levels of cosmic radiation, the exposure of tour guides to radon in caves, exposure of miners to radon underground, and exposure of workers in the oil & gas and mineral sands industries to elevated radiation levels in the materials they handle.However, the term is used more specifically for all naturally occurring radioactive materials where human activities have increased the potential for exposure compared with the unaltered situation.Concentrations of actual radionuclides may or may not have been increased; if they have, the term Technologically-Enhanced (TENORM) may be used.Over time, as potential NORM hazards have been identified, these industries have increasingly become subject to monitoring and regulation.However, there is as yet little consistency in NORM regulations among industries and countries.Read More » 0k OPEC-Fund Grant to Promote Use of Nuclear Techniques for Improved Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture.Improved farming practices, healthier animals and – ultimately – increased food security will be the outcomes of projects supported by a US$ 600 000 grant by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID) under a partnership with the IAEA signed last week.

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