Granholm makes first visit to Idaho National Laboratory

August 4, 2022, 11:55AMNuclear News
Pictured during a tour of the EBR-II site are, from left, Robert Boston, DOE-ID manager; Rep. Mike Simpson (R., Idaho); Secretary Granholm; Director Wagner; and Marianne Walck, INL deputy laboratory director for science and technology. (Photo: INL)

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Idaho National Laboratory on August 3 to meet with INL staff, including director John Wagner, as she toured key research facilities on INL’s 890-square-mile site and the lab’s campus in Idaho Falls.

“INL’s clean energy and national security research will be critical to delivering on this administration’s promise to make energy more secure, affordable, reliable, and resilient for all Americans,” Granholm said. “INL is pioneering emerging technologies, like advanced nuclear reactors, to harness the carbon-free nuclear power that will be essential to meeting President Biden’s climate goals. After my first in-person visit to INL, I’m confident that the bright minds here are securing our clean energy future and cementing our nation’s spot as a global leader in science and innovation.”

On the agenda: Granholm toured several facilities at INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC), including the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II site, where EBR-II’s iconic dome, now known as the National Reactor Innovation Center’s Demonstration of Operational Microreactor Experiments (DOME), is being prepared to test a new generation of reactors, including the Department of Defense’s Project Pele. Granholm was briefed on that project and other advanced reactor demonstrations being developed on the INL site.

“As the nation’s nuclear energy research and development laboratory, we were especially excited to share our progress with the secretary as we work toward the first three advanced reactor demonstration projects being operational on our site in the next three years,” Wagner said.

Granholm was also briefed on clean energy research being conducted at INL’s Energy Systems Laboratory, including integration of nuclear and intermittent renewable energy sources. She also toured the Cybercore Integration Center, which supports cybersecurity collaboration between INL experts and students and faculty from Idaho universities to help educate and train the future cybersecurity workforce.

Check out a virtual tour: Readers who haven’t been offered their own guided tour of INL’s nuclear facilities might enjoy a series of 360° navigable photo tours of key MFC facilities, including the EBR-II dome.

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