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Idaho National Laboratory

About Idaho National Laboratory

Since 1951, Idaho National Laboratory has hosted more than 50 nuclear reactors, making it home to the largest concentration of reactors in the world. Today, the lab works to sustain core technical capabilities and develop innovative solutions that advance nuclear and other clean, smart and secure energy systems.

INL researchers have long studied the subsurface characteristics of the Snake River Plain, such as seismic activity, rock structure and properties, and subsurface temperatures, and offer a full spectrum of geothermal capabilities and facilities.

INL's capabilities fall within all three voucher areas Enhanced Geothermal Systems, Low Temperature Geothermal and Geothermal Systems Analysis.

Capabilities

INL helped build U.S. Geothermal Inc.'s Raft River Plant, one of the first binary geothermal energy production facilities in the U.S., and has a proven track record of collaborating with academia and industry. As lead of the Snake River Geothermal Consortium, INL is currently participating in the first phase of DOE's Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Initiative.

  • Exploration — site assessment and technology development, advanced geothermometry and ground water evaluation and management.
  • Reservoir Characterization and Management — reactive tracer and analysis tool development, reservoir testing and evaluation, including advanced test evaluation and software for evolving permeability, permeability-strain relationships.
  • Geochemistry of Reservoir and Working Fluids — natural fluids, CO2, CO2-water mixtures.
  • Software Development and Modeling — geochemistry, hydrofracking and reservoir management; topside engineering and technology evaluation.
  • Energy Conversion and Hybrid Systems — desalination, cooling and binary systems.

Facilities

Through the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), INL provides access to the following laboratories.

Geofluids Laboratory — focused on geological systems and applications; investigating enhanced geothermal systems, carbon sequestration methods to capture and contain CO2, and improving the accuracy of geothermal reservoir temperature predictions to save on energy exploration costs.

Advanced Materials Laboratory — supports a variety of materials design and performance activities.

3D Computer Assisted Virtual Environment Laboratory — four-walled, 3D computer-assisted virtual environment that allows researchers to literally "walk" into their data to examine it.

Geothermal Research Resource Area — dedicated 40-square-miles for geothermal research, located on the track of the Yellowstone Hot Spot.

Additional Information