The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Ten-Year Site Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 outlines the vision, strategy, and progress toward delivering and sustaining world-leading capabilities needed for the core mission of the laboratory - nuclear energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) and multi-program missions in energy security and national and homeland security. With the largest concentration of operating reactor and fuel cycle research facilities in the country, INL is the only national laboratory dedicated to civilian nuclear energy and the only national laboratory owned by the Department of energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE)
When INL was launched in 2005, the first priority was to stabilize the existing infrastructure and jump start the revitalization of the Advanced Test Reactor, accomplished by enhancing experimental capabilities, transitioning to a user facility, and by investment in continued safe and reliable operation. This was enabled by DOE investment and Battelle Energy Alliance partner commitments. The next priority was to create a world-leading research complex at the Materials and Fuels Complex where researchers and engineers could develop and test new fuels and materials, demonstrate advanced separations technologies, and assemble and test radioisotope power systems. Moving forward with a science-based approach to RD&D, which combines modeling and simulation with small-scale experimentation, is another significant step forward for the laboratory. This requires near-term investment in new tools and instruments and a few new facilities for long-term gain in the way research is performed, reducing the total cost of developing new technologies and the time that it takes for development.
While we are well on the road to achieving the vision established in 2005, there is still more to do. Even with revitalization efforts completed, there is a continuing need to repair, replace, revitalize, or enhance capabilities for mission support.
While the vision and strategy remain the same, the details on implementation (i.e., priority, schedule, and approach) will evolve as progress is made and as we balance the needs of the DOE-NE research programs against annual budgets. We will apply the full range of investment tools and approaches to achieve the vision, including the Idaho Facilities Management Program, which is used to further the mission of DOE-NE by ensuring the availability of facilities, including strategic investments in capabilities that cross all nuclear energy research programs, direct investments by research programs to meet their specific needs, and indirect investment. We will continue to invest in multiprogram capabilities as opportunities arise to do so. The challenge ahead is to achieve the vision in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, ensuring that the capabilities required are in place and operational to support the research needs of DOE-NE and the broader nuclear energy enterprise.