samples are used to establish background levels of
radionuclides (both natural and those resulting from fallout
from nuclear weapons-testing) and to detect any long-term
buildup of radionuclides from the INL Site in offsite soils. Soil
is taken from 12 offsite locations in even-numbered years.
Each soil sample consists of a composite of five cylindrical
cores of soil. One is taken at the center and four at the
corners of a 1076-square foot square. Samples are taken at
each of two depths, 0-2 inches and 2-4 inches, at each
location. Sampling locations are undisturbed areas, as
evidenced by the presence of mature native vegetation and
Soil is sampled at Atomic City, Butte City, FAA Tower, Frenchman's Cabin, Howe, Monteview, Mud Lake (two locations), Reno Ranch, Blackfoot, Carey and St. Anthony.
Crystal Ice Caves was removed from the sampling schedule in 2016 because it became part of the Craters of the Moon Monument and could no longer be sampled. Two recent additions are Frenchman's Cabin and Monteview, which were added because they are areas of higher modeled air concentrations.
The objectives of ESER's Offsite
Environmental Surveillance Program are:
Sample media representing pathways of contaminants from the INL to
people near the site
Obtain radiological analyses for
Report and interpret the results
of these analyses for the public.