In honor of Nuclear Science Week on Oct. 18-22, Idaho National Laboratory is planning several activities to celebrate the nuclear science industry, to recognize those who work in this field every day, and to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

During the week, educators, students and community members are invited to learn more about how nuclear science plays a vital role in the lives of Americans – and the world. Activities during the week are intended to build awareness of the nuclear science and innovation happening right here in Idaho.

Scroll through this site to learn more about INL events and activities in recognition of Nuclear Science Week.

Virtual Experimental Breeder Reactor-I (EBR-I) tour
Monday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. MST
Learn more about the facility where the first usable electricity was generated from nuclear energy in 1951. The tour lasts about an hour and offers 360-degree photos to fully experience the museum.

Virtual 52 Reactors tour
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2 p.m. MST
Longtime tour guide and INL historian Don Miley provides a glimpse of the 52 nuclear reactors that have been built at INL and their role in powering the nation.

Virtual Nuclear 101 presentation by Don Miley
Wednesday, Oct. 20, noon MST
Longtime tour guide and INL historian Don Miley shares a straightforward and easy-to-understand explanation of how nuclear power works and why radiation should be respected, not feared.

Virtual INL Overview tour
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2 p.m. MST
This one-hour tour includes an overview of 70+ years of INL history. The tour covers the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Materials and Fuels Complex and the Research and Education Campus.

All guided tours are presented in Microsoft Teams. To register for the tours or presentation, send an email to tours@inl.gov.

Learn more about a few of our nuclear researchers and their work at the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development.

Christina Appleby, Reactor Operator

Christina thumbYou’d be forgiven for never having heard of the small northern California town of Shingletown, which sits in the foothills of the Cascade Range’s Lassen Peak.

But it’s home for INL employee Christina Appleby. And although she now finds herself nearly 800 miles away in Idaho Falls, where she works as an operator at INL’s Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility, her new surroundings feel familiar.

Appleby joined INL just over a year ago and now plays a central role in conducting experiments at the TREAT facility, a research reactor designed to simulate accident conditions and help engineers develop more robust reactor fuels.

Read more


Andrea Jokisaari, Computational Scientist

Andrea thumbAndrea Jokisaari is sort of like a Sherlock Holmes of nuclear energy.

Jokisaari, a computational scientist at INL, works to unlock the mysteries of how fuel and materials change over time in nuclear power plants, information crucial for plant safety and economics.

What is a computational scientist? It is a discipline that uses mathematical models to solve scientific problems. Her research focuses on being able to predict irradiation damage and how it changes material properties from fundamental physics.

Read more


Aaron Balsmeier, Engineering Manager


Trishelle Copeland-Johnson, Glenn T. Seaborg Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow


Austin Fleming, Nuclear Material Experiment Designer

National laboratories might be known for their scientific capabilities, but it takes people with a variety of skills to change the world’s energy future. As the nation’s center for nuclear energy research, there’s a place at INL for individuals with all kinds of backgrounds, and we want your help.

Whether you’re looking for an internship or a career, if you are passionate about ensuring a clean, prosperous and secure future, there may be a place for you at INL.

For more information on internships and careers at INL, visit inl.gov/careers.

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‘Make-and-Take’ STEM kits

For elementary, middle and high school students across eastern Idaho, INL’s K-12 STEM program is offering ‘Make-and-Take’ Nuclear Science Week kits. Paired with informational videos and online games, the kits will help students learn more about STEM-centric subjects such as fission and radiation. Students will also go on a virtual field trip and have access to the largest virtual science and engineering fair in the world.

If you are a teacher, and would like to request kits for your classroom:

Click here


Explore INL with Ida and Tank

Learn about all we do at INL with the help of Ida and her best friend, Tank! “Ida Explores INL,” a fourth-grade curriculum-aligned book presented by former first lady Lori Otter, will take students on a trip around our site to learn about our research.

Join in our virtual scavenger hunt to follow along:

Click here

Ida Explores INL Cover

Want a copy? Request one:

Click here


Explore careers in nuclear in Idaho

View this interactive presentation to see a picture of Idaho’s nuclear industry from a workforce perspective. Everything from occupation information to education pathways is captured: the pipeline to Idaho’s nuclear industry starts here!

My Brothers Keeper  scaled

Click here


Take a virtual field trip of INL and explore high school and middle school nuclear curriculum

The American Nuclear Society and Discovery Education are providing the highest standard in nuclear science education with Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World. This new, dynamic, standards-aligned program invites students to explore the many applications of nuclear science and its impact on energy, health care, food, and the environment through an interactive suite of FREE classroom resources. Find classroom resources, take a virtual field trip to INL, explore career profiles, and much more!

Navigating Nuclear

Click here

For more educational activities and information on INL’s support of K-12 STEM education, visit the lab’s Pinterest page, or the K-12 STEM webpage.

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Rounding out the festivities of Nuclear Science Week is a four-part TV show that will highlight the past, present and future of nuclear energy. “Tomorrow’s World Today” is an Emmy-nominated series that focuses on finding a better way for us to live more sustainable lives.

INL, along with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several industry partners, is featured in the documentary to explore nuclear energy’s role in today’s world and how it might be used in the future.

Episode 1: Nuclear Power and Zero Carbon – Oct. 23, 2021
 This episode aims to discover how nuclear energy is helping us reach our goal of a zero-carbon footprint by 2050.

Episode 2: The Past, Present and Future of Nuclear Energy – Oct. 30, 2021
Discover the history of nuclear energy, how nuclear energy is being used in today’s world and what tomorrow’s nuclear reactors might look like.

Episode 3: Big Power in Small Packages – Nov. 6, 2021
Explore how small modular reactors and microreactors can help provide power to remote locations or during outages.

Episode 4: Nuclear Does What, Now? – Nov. 13, 2021
Learn how fission technologies are used for space exploration and sit in on a roundtable talk with some of nuclear energy’s top minds to discuss what nuclear energy looks like in tomorrow’s world.

The series airs on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. MST on the Science Channel and on Sundays at 4:30 a.m. MST on the Discovery Channel.

For more information on “Tomorrow’s World Today” and how to watch it, click here.