Nuclear Science Week

Nuclear Science Week 2023

In honor of Nuclear Science Week on Oct. 16-20, 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.

Nuclear Science Week National Event

Nuclear Industry partners will interact with an audience of over 1,000 museum visitors and community members, promoting their organizations through engaging activities at their designated booth(s) at the Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park’s most highly visited science center.

When: Thursday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park, San Diego

Family Nuclear Science Night

Idaho National Laboratory invites local students and their families to attend Family Nuclear Science Night, a STEM event that introduces visitors to nuclear science, engineering and more.

When: Thursday, Oct. 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: University Place, Bennion Student Union Building, 1784 Science Center Drive, Idaho Falls  

Families will be able to meet scientists and engineers, engage in hands-on activities and demonstrations, and learn more about the science happening right here in eastern Idaho. Spots are limited to attend this event. 

Each student will be given a passport book of activities to complete to earn a stamp, pins for their lanyard, and other freebies they can gather throughout the evening.

STEM Science Show

Calling all young scientists! Join us for an exciting STEM Science Show hosted by Cathy Riddle, a member of the American Nuclear Society Idaho Local Section. Future innovators should prepare for an afternoon filled with captivating experiments and scientific discovery.

When: Thursday, Oct. 19, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Colonial Theater, Idaho Falls

Nuclear Now Documentary Screening

Join us for a special screening of “Nuclear Now” followed by a panel discussion with industry experts from Idaho National Laboratory. Get ready for an eye-opening journey into the world of nuclear energy and its impact on our future. Mark your calendar, invite your friends and explore the power of nuclear with us.

When: Thursday, Oct. 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Colonial Theater, Idaho Falls

EBR-I Open House

In honor of Nuclear Science Week, we are excited to welcome you for a special Experimental Breeder Reactor-1 open house. Visit us to learn how far we’ve come since 1951, when EBR-1 powered four lightbulbs for the very first time.

When: Friday, Oct. 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: EBR-I, Arco, Idaho

Virtual Tours And Presentation

INL History tour
Monday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. MST
Join INL tour guide Shelly Norman as she discusses the rich history of INL from nuclear innovations to cutting-edge research. Learn more about the history of the lab from the end of World War II up to present day, as well as common misconceptions about nuclear energy.

Virtual 52 Reactors tour
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 11 a.m. MST
Join INL tour guide Shelly Norman and ATR communication specialist Joe Campbell as they provide a glimpse of the 52 nuclear reactors that have been built at the INL Site and their role in powering the nation. This tour spotlights the reactors INL has developed and how they have pushed forward the peaceful use of nuclear power for the U.S. and the world.

INL Facilities tour
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. MST
Join INL tour guide Shelly Norman as she discusses how INL provides innovations in nuclear research, renewable energy systems and security solutions that are changing the world. Learn more about some of the lab’s flagship facilities like the Advanced Test Reactor, the Hot Fuel Examination Facility and the Energy Systems Laboratory. 

INL Researcher Profiles

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

You’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.

Andrea Jokisaari, Computational Scientist

Andrea 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.

Aaron Balsmeier, Engineering Manager

Trishelle Copeland-Johnson, Research Materials Scientist

Austin Fleming, Nuclear Material Experiment Designer

Nuclear Careers & Internships

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

Educational Resources

Nuclear themed activities

Explore nuclear themed activities for the classroom, home or anywhere. These lessons are geared toward elementary, middle or high school students. Learn about atoms, background radiation, nuclear fission and more!

Exploding Craft Sticks – Grades 3-5

Atoms Matter – Grades 5-6

Background Radiation – Grades 9 – 12

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:

Want a copy? Request one:

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!

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!

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

Tomorrow’s World Today

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.

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

Idaho National Laboratory