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TENORM
Naturally-Occurring Radiation: 

Zircon Mining Wastes

TENORM

Production of zirconium in the United States was 300,000 MT in 1989. In 1984, there were 39 locations where zirconium materials were produced, primarily in the East. Zircon or zircon ores were processed in Cleveland, Ohio; Wilmington, Delaware; and Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Zirconium oxide is produced directly from zircon by:

Zirconium, in the form of zircon, is widely used in:

World resources are large compared to current demands. The ores are primarily produced in Australia and the Republic of South Africa, which presently have over 40 percent of the worlds' zirconium mining capacity (DOI85). U.S. production of zirconium was 300,000 MT in 1989 (EPA90). In 1984, there were 39 locations in the U.S. where zirconium materials were produced, primarily in the East. Zircon or zircon ores were processed in Cleveland, Ohio; Wilmington, Delaware; and Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Uranium, thorium, and radium commonly occur in titanium ore and monazite occurs in sands from which the titanium is extracted. As a result, the mineral sludges, dusts, and sands from the extraction process may be radioactive.

Materials Radiation Level [pCi/g]
  low average high
Titanium Ores   8.0 24.5
Rutile
3.9
19.7

NA

Ilmenite NA 5.7  
Wastes 3.9 12 45

The Radiation in TENORM Summary Table provides a range of reported concentrations, and average concentration measurements of NORM associated with various waste types and materials.

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