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Idaho National Laboratory
850 Energy Place,
Idaho Falls, ID 83415
Latitude: 43.5179615 Longitude: -112.0433139
Email Address: [email protected]
This tour is free
In operation since 1949, the Idaho National Laboratory is a government reservation located in the southeastern Idaho desert. At 890 square miles (569,135 acres), the INL Site is roughly 85 percent the size of Rhode Island. It was established in 1949 as the National Reactor Testing Station, and for many years was the site of the largest concentration of nuclear reactors in the world. Fifty-two nuclear reactors were built, including the U.S. Navy's first prototype nuclear propulsion plant. During the 1970s, the laboratory's mission broadened into other areas, such as biotechnology, energy and materials research, and conservation and renewable energy.
INL consists of several primary facilities situated on an expanse of otherwise undeveloped terrain. Buildings and structures at INL are clustered within these facilities, which are typically less than a few square miles in size and separated from each other by miles of undeveloped land. In addition, DOE owns or leases laboratories and administrative offices in the city of Idaho Falls, some 25 miles east of the INL Site border. About 30 percent of INL's employees work in administrative, scientific support and non nuclear laboratory programs and have offices in Idaho Falls. These include engineers; scientists; and administrative, financial, technical and laboratory employees.
This is not your ordinary tour. Take a guided or self-guided tour of EBR1 (Experimental Breeder Reactor 1), the first nuclear reactor in the world to generate electricity, and now a registered National Historic Landmark. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9am to 5pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. The scheduling process is lengthy and clearance is required, so plan ahead. Group tours of operating research facilities are also available; (208) 526-0050.
The INL Tours Program offers guided excursions to the site and some in-town facilities where visitors have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of INL facilities, operations, history, ecology and many other topics. Tours can be tailored to your group's interests and can cover a wide variety of interests, including science and engineering research, archeological and cultural topics, the historic impacts of INL as a nuclear research facility, and wildlife and ecosystem management.
From school groups to civic and professional organizations, more than 3,000 people tour INL every year. INL tours provide public access to what's happening at the lab. The new Idaho National Laboratory is involved in challenging and exciting activities that will have an impact on the U.S. energy policy and national security, as well as countless new technologies designed to improve nearly every aspect of daily life.
The INL Tours automated process consists of three steps. The first step is to review the tour guidelines. The guidelines provide the up front information you will need to plan and schedule your tour. In step two, you will be asked to provide your contact information and the interests of your particular group. This will set the scheduling process in motion.
After we receive your request form, we will send you a confirmation of your request and schedule your tour. You will be provided a tour number. The tour number is necessary to access your individual tour data, so that you may proceed to step three. In step three, you will be asked to provide us with the names and social security numbers of the visitors in your group.
We recommend groups of at least 10 participants with a maximum of 30 participants, ages 12 years or older to enter INL. All visitors to most operating areas must be at least 16 years old. Tours of INL are available for scheduled groups during regular business hours (Tuesday through Thursday) throughout the year. Please complete the tours request form at least 30 days in advance of your desired tour date.