Societal aspects of NORM: An overlooked research field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • DSA - Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
  • UA - Universiteit Antwerpen
  • EIMV - Milan Vidmar Electric Power Research Institute

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While technical aspects of exposures to the naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) are well explored, social science research on NORM is scarce, poorly indexed and dispersed across peer-reviewed literature, as well as various academic disciplines. Through an exploratory review of grey literature and a systematic review of scientific peer-reviewed articles published until December 2020, this paper addresses the following questions: (a)What are the societal challenges related to NORM (b) What type of scientific research is being conducted on the societal aspects of NORM and (c) To what extent do the findings answer the identified challenges Unfortunately, results of this study demonstrate a research gap related to the social, economic and cultural aspects of NORM management. Although the few existing studies offer some insights, for instance in relation to risk perception and risk communication, most of the societal challenges identified have not been addressed yet. This demonstrates the strong need for evidence based social science studies in order to improve the management of NORM.


Original languageEnglish
Article number106827
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022


  • Naturally occurring radioactive material, Social studies, Stakeholders, Ethics, Risk perception, Health behaviors

ID: 7368423