Tour the Idaho National Laboratory, A Place that is a National Historic Landmark


IDAHO FALLS (AP).- The Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nation’s first nuclear research labs, was built deep in a vast desert for a reason. Its founders wanted isolation as they experimented with the new technology of splitting atoms. Sixty years later, civilization hasn’t crept much closer. The INL is a full hour from Idaho Falls, the nearest good-size town, and desert stretches in every direction. The site is home to a National Historic Landmark called Experimental Breeder Reactor I or EBR-I, which in 1951 became the first nuclear reactor in the world to generate electricity from atomic energy. The INL’s sophisticated nuclear research draws scientific visitors from all over the world, but the facility also offers a tour of the EBR-I reactor building to the general public. The INL was established in 1949 as the National Reactor Testing Station on 890 square miles — about 85 percent the size of Rhode Island. For many years, the site was home to the