Monitoring Phases information
The purpose of the mandated environmental monitoring
programs is to assess the environmental impact from operating nuclear
power plants and to determine if there is any public heath concerns due
to the operation of the nuclear power plants. In order to determine the
environmental and public health concerns the environmental monitoring
programs consist of the collection of environmental samples from the
air, water and terrestrial exposure pathways.
Preoperational environmental samples were collected and analyzed for
radioactivity. This data provides background information on natural and
man-made sources of radiation that are present prior to the construction
and operation of the considered nuclear power plants.
data is baseline data for comparison of data collected during the
operational phase of the nuclear power plant. Preoperational data should
be collected for at least one year prior to the operation of the
monitored nuclear power plant. Preoperational data was collected
for all plants for at least one year except for Zion where
preoperational data was not obtained.
The operational phase of the radiological
environmental monitoring program is the ongoing continuation of the
The collection of environmental samples is
continued from preexisting sampling sites from the preoperational
sampling phase. The radiological data is compared to preoperational data
in order to assess the environmental and public health concerns due to
the operation of the nuclear power plants and to follow and be aware of
any trends in that would indicate increases in radioactivity levels due
to the operation of the nuclear power plant.
Kewaunee, Point Beach and
Prairie Island are in this phase of environmental monitoring. The La
Crosse Boiling Water Reactor ceased operation in August, 1987 and the
Zion nuclear power plant ceased operation in February, 1998.
The post-operational phase of the radiological
environmental monitoring program begins when the nuclear power plant
When the nuclear power plant ceases operation and is
shut down for decommissioning, environmental sampling is continued at
the preexisting sites used in the preoperational and the operational
phases of the environmental monitoring program. The environmental data
continues to be compared to the baseline data from the preoperational
phase and the data from the operational phase. This continues the
assessment of any environmental or public health concerns during this
final phase of the nuclear power plant.
During the post-operational
phase of the environmental monitoring program the number of sampling
sites and the frequency of sample collection are often reduced.
Crosse Boiling Water Reactor and Zion are presently in this phase of
monitoring and the number of sampling sites and the frequency of sample
collection have been reduced.
Last Revised: December 28, 2011