Idaho National Laboratory (INL) consists of an 890 square-mile area in southeastern Idaho typically referred to as the “INL Site,” as well as laboratories and administrative buildings located approximately 35 miles to the east in the city of Idaho Falls.
Day-to-day operations are conducted at three primary facility areas — each hosting the complementary resources necessary to support national priority research. One area focuses on nuclear materials and processing, another on reactor technologies and the third on science, technology and education integration. To maintain and expand on its distinctive capabilities in nuclear energy research, development, demonstration and deployment, INL has begun a broadly based infrastructure revitalization effort.
Materials and Fuels Complex
The Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) located on the INL Site is a prime testing center for advanced technologies associated with nuclear power systems. This complex is the nexus of research on new reactor fuels and related materials. As such, it contributes significantly to the development of increasingly efficient reactor fuels and the important work of nonproliferation.
The 8,200-square-foot Radiochemistry Laboratory was recently brought on line at MFC to help facilitate partnering with the nuclear power industry and other laboratories, universities and international organizations. The Materials and Fuels Complex is located 32 miles west of Idaho Falls on the high-desert sagebrush steppe of the Snake River Plain.
Advanced Test Reactor Complex
Also located on the INL Site, the Advanced Test Reactor Complex is dedicated to research supporting Department of Energy missions. It is the focal point for designing, testing and proving new technologies. The facility’s work scope is broad, far-reaching and encompasses multiple technological options important to coming generations of nuclear power reactors.
Recently constructed or upgraded buildings at this complex include the Test Train Assembly Facility, Technical Support Building, Radioanalytical Chemistry Laboratory and the Radiation Measurements Laboratory. The Advanced Test Reactor Complex is located in the southwestern region of the Idaho National Laboratory Site, 47 miles west of Idaho Falls.
Research and Education Campus
The Research and Education Campus is the collective name for INL’s administrative, educational, technical support and computer facilities in Idaho Falls, as well as in-town laboratories where researchers work on a wide variety of advanced scientific research and development projects. The campus name reflects the lab’s connection to university and energy research.
INL is transforming infrastructure at the R&E Campus to support its mission by providing robust science and engineering capabilities.
The landscape of this Idaho Falls-based campus has already evolved markedly with the completion of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, new National and Homeland Security office and engineering facilities, and a new business office. Ground was broken in early 2011 on an expansive new 92,000-square-foot Energy Systems Laboratory.
Facilities already in place and those planned for the future are accelerating INL’s development into a distinctively capable research laboratory. With forefront research facilities, support infrastructure and management systems, INL will be better positioned than ever to deliver world-class research, while operating to the highest standards of safety, environmental protection and efficiency.
Idaho National Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle Energy Alliance. Also operating on the INL Site are research, environmental and cleanup projects at other facility areas. Those operations are managed by separate contractors.
Three other INL Site facility areas provide specialized technology testing and development, manufacturing and support services. The Specific Manufacturing Capability is the facility complex responsible for the production of heavy armor that helps make U.S. Army Abrams Tanks the world’s best armored vehicles. Central Facilities Area, located centrally on the INL Site, is the main service and support center for INL’s desert facilities. And the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex offers an isolable electrical transmission and distribution system, and a comprehensive communications test bed.