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Measurements for the Development of Simulated Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials



Leticia S. Pibida


Nineteen different commercially available samples containing naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) (i.e., natural uranium, thorium, radium and potassium) were investigated, including zircon sand, cat litter, roofing tiles, ice melt and fertilizer among others. A large variation in isotopic composition was observed across the measured samples. As a result of this observation, a need was identified to develop and implement the use of a simulated NORM sample to serve as a reference standard sample containing naturally occurring radioactive elements. The purpose of the simulated NORM sample would be to simulate typical samples containing NORM to be used for testing radiation detection instruments against ANSI/IEEE and IEC document standards requirements. The design and construction of the proposed new simulated NORM sample and the subsequent energy spectra characterization measurements are presented as part of this work.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) - 117.008r2012
Report Number


gamma-ray spectra of NORM, naturally occurring radioactive materials, simulated NORM


Pibida, L. (2012), Measurements for the Development of Simulated Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created April 3, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018