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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 May 15;37(10):2060-6.

Assessment of the disposal of radioactive petroleum industry waste in nonhazardous landfills using risk-based modeling.

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Argonne National Laboratory, Environmental Assessment Division, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.


Certain petroleum production activities cause naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) to accumulate in concentrations above natural background levels, making safe and cost-effective management of such technologically enhanced NORM (TENORM) a key issue for the petroleum industry. As a result, both industry and regulators are interested in identifying cost-effective disposal alternatives that provide adequate protection of human health and the environment One such alternative, currently allowed in Michigan with restrictions, is the disposal of TENORM wastes in nonhazardous waste landfills. The disposal of petroleum industry wastes containing radium-226 (Ra-226) in nonhazardous landfills was modeled to evaluate the potential radiological doses and health risks to workers and the public. Multiple scenarios were considered in evaluating the potential risks associated with landfill operations and the future use of the property. The scenarios were defined, in part, to evaluate the Michigan policy; sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the impact of key parameters on potential risks. The results indicate that the disposal of petroleum industry TENORM wastes in nonhazardous landfills in accordance with the Michigan policy and existing landfill regulations presents a negligible risk to most of the potential receptors considered in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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