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Nuclear Energy Research & Capabilities

Advanced Nuclear Fuels

INL is leading a fundamental shift in the approach to advanced nuclear energy research and development for next-generation advanced reactor fuels and technologies.

Nuclear Reactor Systems

INL engineers are supporting safe operation of nuclear power plants – both for today and tomorrow. In addition to helping the U.S. nuclear industry safely extend the operating licenses of current reactors, INL engineers work with the world’s nuclear experts to evaluate advanced nuclear reactor designs.

Molten Salt Reactors

Molten salts are a diverse group of fluids that can be used for a variety of applications, including nuclear fuels and coolants, purification and separation of chemical species, and energy storage. INL is studying and solving complex issues associated with advanced energy production and used fuel management for effectively and safely deploying future energy solutions.  

Safety and Risk Assessment

INL engineers provide advanced risk and reliability analyses to help the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversee the safety of America’s nuclear power plants.

Fuel Cycle Technologies

INL scientists work with colleagues throughout the national laboratory system to study long-term nuclear fuel handling, recycling and waste disposal options.

Advanced Instrumentation and Sensors

A critical part of nuclear energy research is the ability to precisely measure the extreme conditions inside a nuclear reactor, and INL has the capabilities to do just that.

Advanced Scientific Computing

INL researchers use modeling and simulation to support nuclear energy innovation, as well as the continued safe, secure and efficient operation of existing nuclear systems.

Space Power Systems

INL researchers fuel and test nuclear power sources for deep-space missions. Most recently, INL assembled, tested and delivered the power source for NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover.

Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program

The Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program conducts research to develop technologies and other solutions to improve economics and reliability, sustain safety, and extend the operation of the nation’s fleet of nuclear power plants.

Advanced Test Reactor

The Advanced Test Reactor provides unmatched, national priority nuclear fuel and materials testing capabilities for military, federal, university and industry partners and customers.

Materials and Fuels Complex

Researchers at the Materials and Fuels Complex are leading the charge to keep current commercial reactors performing and to create an even safer, less expensive and more reliable next generation of nuclear power plants.

Nuclear Science User Facilities

The Nuclear Science User Facilities offers unparalleled research opportunities for nuclear energy researchers by providing access to world-class nuclear research facilities, technical expertise from experienced scientists and engineers, and assistance with experiment design, assembly, safety analysis and examination.

Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear provides the nuclear community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet.​

National Reactor Innovation Center

The National Reactor Innovation Center accelerates the demonstration and deployment of advanced nuclear energy through its mission that allows collaborators to harness the world-class capabilities of the U.S. national laboratory System.

Nuclear Energy University Program

The Nuclear Energy University Program engages U.S. colleges and universities to conduct research and development, enhance infrastructure and support student education thereby helping to sustain a world class nuclear energy and workforce capability.

Idaho National Laboratory