The INL is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory
dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's missions in
nuclear and energy research, science, and national defense.
The INL is operated for the Department of Energy (DOE) by Battelle Energy
Alliance (BEA) and partners, each providing unique educational,
management, research and scientific assets into a world-class national
Our mission today. We continue to tackle complex missions for the nation
in a safe and cost-effective manner, including:
Delivering science-based engineered solutions to challenges in the
Department of Energy's mission areas
And enhancing the INL's scientific and technical talent, facilities and
equipment to best serve the nation.
Understanding factors that drive nuclear fuel swelling will help engineers develop higher performance fuels, which could be even safer and more efficient than those used in current nuclear energy plants. As uranium atoms split to produce energy, fission products build up within fuel rods, which impacts nuclear fuel performance inside a reactor. But, a clear picture of the size and location of these solid fission products has been elusive until now.
Two early-career Idaho National Laboratory researchers are earning international attention for their groundbreaking work. They're getting a long-sought look into the 3-D microstructure of irradiated nuclear fuel, then feeding that data into cutting-edge fuel behavior models. Their work will make the design and testing of even safer nuclear fuels more informed and efficient.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.