The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is resuming operations at its Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility. TREAT, which was designed to test nuclear reactor fuels and materials under extreme conditions, has been on standby status since 1994 due to lack of customers. The Energy Department proposed resumption of testing in 2013 to explore more sustainable nuclear energy production. The facility can produce sudden bursts of energy that are over five times more powerful than a commercial power plant — allowing scientists to examine fuel performance. “The successful resumption of TREAT operations was the result of the effort of many people within INL and DOE,” said INL Laboratory Director Mark Peters. “This teamwork resulted in resumption of operations being accomplished 12 months ahead of schedule and for nearly $20 million less than originally estimated.” Over the next several months, INL will prepare for reactor transient operations and performance of the first new transient experiments in 2018.
Lab resumes nuclear reactor testing after 24-year break