Idaho National Laboratory environmental monitoring is conducted in accordance with DOE Order 458.1, “Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment.” The order establishes requirements to protect the public and the environment against undue risk from radiation associated with radiological activities conducted under the control of DOE pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. INL conducts a variety of environmental monitoring on and off the INL Site through various environmental medias to ensure that lab operations protect the public and environmental health.
In total, over 2,000 samples of a variety of media are collected each year. The medias sampled include air, water, milk, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, direct radiation, lettuce, grain, soil, potatoes, alfalfa, waterfowl and big game. The samples are collected over more than 9,000 square miles in southeastern Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. The samples are sent to an external laboratory for analysis and published in quarterly reports and in the INL Annual Site Environmental Report.
Environmental Monitoring Guidelines
Technical Basis for Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance at the INL Site
The document explains the technical basis for the design and implementation of INL’s environmental monitoring program. This consists of effluent monitoring and environmental surveillance, which effectively evaluate planned and unplanned releases at INL to protect workers, the public and the environment. The document also identifies the critical pathways for radionuclides for the INL Site and discusses the monitoring design criteria and rationale for monitoring locations, sampling methods and target analysis.
INL Site Environmental Monitoring Plan
The INL Site Environmental Monitoring Plan provides a high-level summary of environmental monitoring performed by various organizations within and around the INL Site. The document describes the organizations responsible for conducting environmental monitoring across the INL Site, the rationale for monitoring, the types of media being monitored, where the monitoring is conducted, and where monitoring results can be obtained.
The INL environmental surveillance program documents the monitoring results for the public in quarterly reports. These reports document the results for the environmental media sampled on the INL Site, boundary and off-site locations. Quarterly reports were developed to provide early notice to the public of radioactive and nonradioactive hazardous constituents in amounts above regulatory limits. The quarterly reports are then combined and into the Annual Site Environmental Report. The surveillance quarterly reports date back to the early 1960s.