[PAPER] Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material Waste Management in the ASEAN Oil and Gas Industry: A Review

Author[s]: Huyen Thi Le, Wonsiri Punurai, Klitsadee Yubonmhat, Evin Yuliati, Jing-Shuo Leow, Hooi-Siang Kang, Sari Amelia, Omar Bin Yaakob, Noor Amila Wan Zawawi, Jin Wang, and Sy Van Le


Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) waste that is generated from oil and gas production and decommissioning activities could have radiological effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, safe and sustainable management of NORM is crucial. In this paper, a review of the NORM waste management systems, particularly for oil and gas operations in four Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries (i.e., Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam), is carried out. Through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of such systems, this paper finds that among the four countries, Malaysia has the most comprehensive legal framework for NORM waste management, which includes specific guidelines for managing NORM waste from the oil and gas industry. Since proper NORM waste disposal facilities are currently unavailable in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, they should be developed. However, this task is not easy, particularly finding an appropriate site. Despite having disposal facilities specialized for NORM waste, Malaysia should build more facilities that are designed following the newly published guidance. Although some legal and guiding documents on radioactive or NORM waste have been drafted in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, specific ones should be established to manage NORM waste from oil and gas activities. In Indonesia, the enhancement of local capacity building and construction of laboratories that are capable of NORM concentration analysis will help strengthen the implementation of NORM-related regulations. Meanwhile, more storage facilities for NORM waste should be built in Thailand, and NORM waste from the oil and gas industry should be managed as radioactive waste in Vietnam.

Publication in American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste, Volume 28, Issue 1

Please visit https://doi.org/10.1061/JHTRBP.HZENG-1247 for full article access.

For more information on the publication, please contact Huyen Thi Le ([email protected])

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