INL Oversight Program Monitoring Activities
The INL Oversight Program maintains an environmental monitoring program on and around the INL to verify and supplement monitoring activities carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Air, water, terrestrial (soil and milk) and external radiation samples are taken at locations chosen to best monitor the environment from potential impacts from the INL.
A database of monitoring results covering two decades has been developed by the INL Oversight Program. This information allows the INL Oversight Program to better understand radiation, track emissions from INL facilities, and track contamination in the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer. Environmental monitoring data are analyzed annually to determine changes over time.
The INL Oversight Program conducts monitoring within and near the INL boundary as well as at distant or background locations for data comparisons. Monitors equipped with particulate air samplers, radioactive gas collectors, and water vapor collectors are operated at 10 locations. Water monitoring samples are taken at various locations along the path of ground water flowing beneath the INL to aid in identifying INL impacts on the Eastern Snake River River Plain Aquifer. Terrestrial monitoring is performed at selected soil sampling sites on and around the INL. Raw milk samples are collected and analyzed from distribution centers where milk is received and from individual dairies in southern and southeastern Idaho. Learn more.
View a list and explanation of contaminants monitored by the INL Oversight Program here.
Current Gamma Radiation Measurements
DEQ performs “real-time” radiation measurements to monitor and gauge exposure rates in the environment on and around the INL. Real-time measurements are collected using a Reuter-Stokes RSS-112 High-Pressure Ion Chamber (HPIC) Environmental Monitor, that transmits five-minute average exposure rates to a personal computer used for polling data in DEQ's Idaho Falls office. Data are stored in a database with average exposure rates determined for five-minute periods, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Current data may be accessed here.
Reports are compiled quarterly and annually to track monitoring results. Quarterly reports are designed to provide detailed data while annual reports primarily focus on trends. Also available on this page are various technical monitoring reports. View the reports here.