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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) today welcomed Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz for National Lab Day on Capitol Hill. Through demonstrations and exhibits, energy industry leaders from across the country highlighted best practices for environmental management and stewardship - the theme of today’s lab day. Risch, co-founder and co-chair of the Senate National Laboratory Caucus, toured the national lab exhibits and spoke about the innovative work being performed at the Idaho National Laboratory, such as developing accident tolerant fuels, re-designing nuclear fuel transportation casks, and exploring industrial water treatment technologies. Further, he discussed the importance of collaboration between all national labs to ensure a secure and sustainable energy future for generations to come.

Idaho National Lab Director Dr. Mark Peters joined Risch at National Lab Day to showcase demonstration projects across four theme areas - advancing the science of safety for cleanup, enabling a sustainable future and understanding Earth systems, coping with emergencies, and national labs as a network.

The full text of Risch’s remarks at National Lab Day is available below. Click here to view the video or here to view more photos.

“In 2014, Senator Durbin and I joined together to kick off National Lab Day on Capitol Hill, and on that same day announced the formation of the Senate National Laboratory Caucus. Secretary Moniz, I want to thank you for attending each and every one of these [events] that we have had and for being an excellent supporter and participant.

“From a personal standpoint … I want to thank you for what you have done as Secretary. Particularly, on behalf of the State of Idaho, I have found you to be a great partner to work with through the challenges as well as the great progress that we have had in Idaho and at the rest of the laboratories – so thank you.

“Today we are highlighting as the theme for this particular lab day environmental management and stewardship. … I think it is really appropriate that we have focused on this today. Certainly, every single one of the national laboratories has bragging rights when it comes to environmental management and stewardship. … But I can’t help but brag on the Idaho National Lab, which is heavily engaged in what our focus is today as they deal with water treatment technologies and re-configuring nuclear fuel transportation casks to safely transport fuel to a future repository - among many other things. I look forward to many more of these National Lab Days. It’s also great to see so many students involved. They [young Americans] are 20% of our population, but they are 100% of our future. Without them we won’t be able to carry on the legacy that each of you – the great scientists who operate the laboratories – have done over the years.

“Secretary Moniz, thank you so much for participating today and thank each of you for all you do for the advancement of science in America.”