ESOPcollects quarterly soil samples to determine if SRS activities might have had an impact on areas outside of the site boundary ( Surface Soil Monitoring locations ).
When surface soil is contaminated by radionuclides or metals, the contamination can be transported to other ecological systems, absorbed by plants and introduced to the food chain. It can leach into groundwater and possibly emerge in surface water.
Radionuclide detections in soil are the result of accumulation over many years and do not represent yearly depositions.
Radiological and Non-Radiological Monitoring of Sediments
We collect annual sediment samples from SRS streams, the Savannah River, and storm water basins to determine if radiological and nonradiological contaminants in sediment have impacted water bodies that could result in human exposure.
For both soil and sediment, we collect samples from perimeter locations within a 50-mile radius of the site boundary and from background locations outside the 50-mile radius ( Sediment Monitoring locations ). We have the samples analyzed for specific radioisotopes such as gamma-emitting radionuclides and alpha/beta particles, and for selected metals from the specified Target Analyte List (TAL).