Celebrating 50 years of operation at the Advanced Test Reactor

The Advanced Test Reactor is the only U.S. research reactor capable of providing large-volume, high-flux neutron irradiation in a prototype environment. The reactor makes it possible, in weeks to months, to study the results of years of intense neutron and gamma radiation on reactor materials and fuels for the U.S. Navy, research and power reactors. ATR has many uses, supporting a variety of government and privately sponsored research.

The reactor was designed by Deslonde de Boisblanc in 1959. At its groundbreaking ceremony in 1961, Idaho Gov. Robert E. Smylie said the $40 million project was the largest construction project in the history of the state. It began operating in 1967.

A celebration to honor the reactor’s 50-year anniversary is being held June 29, 2017.

“ The Advanced Test Reactor truly is one of the crown jewels of this laboratory. Capabilities at ATR and the Materials and Fuels Complex allow INL, working with industry and academia, to ensure the competitiveness of nuclear energy for decades to come.”

-Dr. Mark Peters, Idaho National Laboratory Director