Powerful US nuclear test reactor getting rare major overhaul

Advanced Test Reactor Overhaul
Posted at 4:17 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 18:17:24-04

BOISE, Idaho — Scientists in Idaho this summer plan to remove the 62,000-pound stainless steel lid on one of the world’s most powerful nuclear test reactors for a rare internal overhaul.

The scientists said this week that the Advanced Test Reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory is being refurbished and improved with new components and experimental capacity. The reactor's experiments help the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered war fleet stay at sea longer, bolster NASA's space exploration and advance life-saving medical treatments.

The reactor also plays a key role in keeping commercial nuclear power plants running longer and in creating new and safer reactors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.