Idaho test reactor is pivotal in US nuclear power strategy

In this Nov. 29, 2018 photo, hot cell operators Dawnette Hunter, left, and Scot White manipulate radioactive material from behind 4-foot-thick leaded glass at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Photo: AP Photo/Keith Riddler
In this Nov. 29, 2018 photo, hot cell operators Dawnette Hunter, left, and Scot White manipulate radioactive material from behind 4-foot-thick leaded glass at the Hot Fuel Examination Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

December 15, 2018 10:11 AM

A nuclear test reactor that can melt uranium fuel rods in seconds is running again after a near quarter-century shutdown as U.S. officials try to revamp a fading nuclear power industry with safer fuel designs and a new generation of power plants.

Officials say 10 nuclear fuel tests have gone smoothly at the Transient Reactor Test Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho since its restart late last year.

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It's part of a strategy to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by increasing nuclear power initiated under the Obama administration and continuing under the Trump administration.

Officials say the Idaho test reactor could help develop accident-tolerant fuels and more efficient nuclear plants needed to replace aging plants that produce 20 percent of the nation's energy.

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Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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