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Today, on the 70th anniversary of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo stood alongside Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Manager Bob Boston and INL Director Dr. Mark Peters to announce the launch of the new National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) at the INL in Idaho Falls. The NRIC is the result of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) that was shepherded through Congress by Crapo, Risch, and Congressman Mike Simpson, and was signed into law in 2018.

“The INL is our nation’s flagship nuclear laboratory, and today’s launch of the National Reactor Innovation Center is just another example of the lab’s world-class leadership in developing advanced nuclear technologies," said Risch. “It’s particularly fortuitous that today’s announcement of the NRIC comes on the Lab’s 70th anniversary, and this new center will soon become a part of the INL’s extraordinary history. Congratulations to the INL, and I look forward to seeing the Lab’s continued innovation, leadership, and progress.”

“This is the ultimate public-private sector partnership that will take the next step to grow clean nuclear power across the nation,” Crapo said.  “It makes sense that the INL is the place where private developers will now work with the Department of Defense and NASA to come and demonstrate new nuclear technologies.  I look forward to seeing micro-reactors and small modular reactors being built here.  The best is yet to come!”

Background: The original NEICA legislation created a cost-share grant program to help defray some of the costs for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in licensing advanced reactors. It directed DOE and its national laboratory system to increase coordination with the private sector to pursue new scientific discoveries in the area of nuclear energy. The new National Reactor Innovation Center will help to coordinate these efforts.

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