IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) — In coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and three other national laboratories will lead the nation to net-zero carbon emissions by demonstrating clean energy solutions.
The three other laboratories are National Energy Technology Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
These four labs have been selected as pilot laboratories because they conduct advanced energy research that can help the nation meet its decarbonization commitments. Partnerships between labs are critical for success because they spur the innovation necessary to achieve this ambitious goal.
“INL is energy-intense and complex, with approximately 900 square miles of facilities, 600 vehicles, 320 buildings, and 5,300 employees,” INL Director John Wagner said. “Achieving net-zero by 2031 will be an enormous challenge that requires tremendous innovation, changes to how we conduct operations, and collaboration with local, state, and national partners. By proving it can be accomplished, we will be able to inspire and help others.”
To achieve this ambitious goal, the laboratory will use its decades of research and experience to develop and deploy advanced nuclear reactors among other technological advancements. As the national nuclear energy laboratory, INL is taking an integrated approach that centers net-zero as a core component of INL’s mission to discover, demonstrate and secure innovative nuclear clean energy solutions.
Nuclear is a proven 24/7 low-carbon source of energy and can greatly reduce current reliance on fossil fuel sources, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. INL plans to use nuclear innovations such as advanced reactor technologies — including micro and small modular reactors — to demonstrate a microgrid capable of powering its site when integrated with other renewable forms of energy such as solar, wind and geothermal.
In addition, INL plans to reduce emissions from its operations by decarbonizing the lab’s bus and vehicle fleet. The laboratory is also working with power providers and those who supply it with goods and services.
“Our staff are motivated by our clean energy and national security missions, and have a strong desire to contribute solutions to the most pressing technical challenges our nation faces,” Wagner said.
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