NEWMDB - The IAEA Nuclear Waste Management Database IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Glossary of Terms


materials in which the activity concentrations of the naturally occurring radionuclides have been changed by human made processes are referred to as technically enhanced NORM or TE-NORM
thermal desorption
a thermally induced physical separation process

Thermal desorption is a term applied to many different types of soil treatment technologies. All of these technologies consist fundamentally of a two-step process. In Step 1, heat is applied to a contaminated material, such as soil, sediment, sludge, or filter cake, to vaporize the contaminants into a gas stream that, in Step 2, is treated to prior to discharge. A variety of gas treatment technologies are used to collect, condense, or destroy these volatized gases.
thermal treatment
a broad term used to describe a range of heating or combustion technologies used for the treatment of waste

Various technologies have been developed that differ significantly depending on process temperature, amount of oxygen used and the specific wastes treated. The most common types of thermal treatment are incineration, pyrolysis and gasification.
operations intended to benefit safety and/or economy by changing the characteristics of waste. Three basic treatment objectives are:
- volume reduction;
- removal of radionuclides from the waste; and
- change of composition.