Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is a federally funded research and development center located in the southeastern Idaho desert. At 890 square miles (569,135 acres), INL is roughly 85 percent the size of Rhode Island. It was established in 1949 as the National Reactor Testing Station and for many years was the site of the largest concentration of nuclear reactors in the world. Fifty-two nuclear reactors were designed and built at the site, including the U.S. Navy's first prototype nuclear propulsion plant.
The INL we know today was created in February 2005 by combining INL’s predecessors, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory-West. INL now stands as the U.S. Department of Energy’s leading center of nuclear energy research and development where thousands of researchers and support staff work with national and international governments, universities and industry partners to deliver energy and national security solutions and expand the frontiers of science and technology.
Due to continuing uncertainty in the electricity sector and our nation’s difficulty in ending its reliance on foreign sources of energy, I am convinced now more than ever that a renewed commitment to nuclear power is vital to our nation’s energy and national security. INL, as the nation’s lead nuclear energy research laboratory, is leading our nation’s research into new reactor designs, including the Generation IV Energy Systems initiative and the Next Generation Nuclear Plant, and the nuclear fuel cycle.
INL has the history, facilities and expertise to lead our nation, and the world, toward the development of new nuclear technologies. It has the local, regional, statewide and federal support required to tackle some of the complex challenges that are inherent in moving toward energy independence.
While nuclear energy research constitutes a large portion of INL’s research budget, the Laboratory is at the forefront of efforts to improve our national security, expand our horizons in space, develop new renewable energy technologies and improve the environment. INL researchers are helping protect our nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber attacks, detect dangerous materials before they enter our ports and shores, and secure nuclear material abroad from falling into the hands of terrorists.
As Idahoans, we can be proud of the important work being done at INL to enhance our national and energy security.
For more information, please visit INL’s website.