Dutch Association of Geothermal Operators (DAGO) and Energie Combinatie Wieringermeer (ECW), Middenmeer

Non-Nuclear Industry

Unwillingly produced natural radioactivity, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)

No special demands.

Bus leaves 09.00 hrs and returns approx. 18.30 hrs

Nota Bene:
There is no option to attend Wednesday morning refresher courses.

Offered by DAGO

Schematic program:

  • Reception Coffee/Tea
  • Presentation: General Overview of Dutch Geothermal Projects by: Martin van der Hout
  • Lunch offered by DAGO
  • Visit ECW Geothermal Wells and Greenhouse Heating
  • Coffee/Tea pause
  • Refresher Course: Natural Radioactivity in Geothermal Projects by: Lonneke van Bochove




Agriport A7 is the most modern Agropark in the world for large-scale greenhouse horticulture. “Energy Combination Wieringermeer” (ECW) is a multi-utility energy company in the Agriport A7 area. ECW‘s objective is to contribute optimally to the most sustainable energy supply in the area. Through cooperation within the supply chain, supply chain integration and cross-overs between different chains creates good opportunities for the use of waste products (heat, process water, CO2) of businesses in the area. This is not only good for the environment, but also an excellent opportunity to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness.

To make the production of greenhouse products (e.g. tomatoes, bell peppers) even more sustainable, ECW started exploring and exploiting geothermal energy. After well completion hot water is pumped up, the heat is exchanged and transported via an independent secondary system of heating pipes to the greenhouses, while the cooled-down water is reinjected to the same geological stratum from which the hot water has originally been pumped up.

Unfortunately, with the pumping up, cooling and degasification of the hot water in combination with construction materials applied chemical processes occur leading to deposition of chemical substances one way or the other contaminated with naturally occurring radionuclides. Such contaminated deposits are generally known as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material. The occurrence of NORM was a “surprise” to the first geothermal operators in the Netherlands in 2010.

Dutch geothermal operators set up an association to promote the collective interest and to contribute to the safety and effectivity of geothermal energy, viz. Dutch Association of Geothermal Operators (DAGO). DAGO members share their experiences and knowledge of geothermal in an open and equal manner, particularly to new projects. Through pooling and sharing of these experiences, DAGO improves and accelerates the opportunities in creating a standardization policy, a higher efficiency and the accessibility of information within the geothermal industry. In this respect DAGO developed NORM guidelines and standardised NORM operating procedures. Together with NOGEPA (North sea Oil & Gas Production Association), DAGO develops specific geothermal standards and policies implementing Dutch and European Union regulations.