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Soil Sampling

Soil 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 sagebrush.

Soil samples are analyzed for gamma-emitting radionuclides, 241Am, 238Pu, 239/240Pu, and 90Sr.

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