Air quality monitors have been at work for many years in Jackson and have discovered some interesting things. Now they are moving to a new home.
In 2000, after concern was expressed about radioactive particulates potentially emanating from nuclear operations at Idaho National Laboratory, the US Department of Energy went about installing a set of air monitoring samplers on the roof of Fire Station #1 in downtown Jackson.
As part of a network of sampling devices covering 8,000 square miles around INL, the units have measured the air for different types of particles like plutonium, cesium, and other radionuclides. While DOE says all levels of results are below standards and consistent with other monitoring sites in the area, the samplers have seen Cesium-137 and Iodine-131, both in 2011 as fallout from the Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan in 2011.
DOE says concentrations and types of radionuclides detected are consistent with and indicative of those found in soils throughout the world as a result of historic aboveground nuclear weapons testing by several nations.
When construction was announced at the fire station, DOE and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality went looking for a new site and found it along High School Road at the septic transfer station.
The new location is considered superior because the monitors will not be obstructed.