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U.S. restarts nuclear TREAT Facility

Staff Writer |
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) achieved an important step towards restoring U.S. nuclear energy transient testing capability with the resumption of operations at the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility.

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The TREAT facility has been shut down and maintained in standby status since 1994.

TREAT is designed specifically to test nuclear reactor fuels and materials under extreme conditions. It can produce sudden bursts of energy that are more than five times more powerful than a commercial power plant—allowing scientists to examine fuel performance.

This capability is an important asset to nuclear scientists and engineers as they work to increase the safety and performance of current and future nuclear reactors.

INL restored the TREAT reactor to operational status after the successful completion of extensive inspection and refurbishment activities over the last few years, thorough evaluation and assessment of reactor systems, and the low-power run conducted today.

Over the next several months, INL will prepare for reactor transient operations and performance of the first new transient experiments in 2018.

INL is one of the Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories, and is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

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