Idaho National Laboratory (INL)


FLC Region

Security Lab



Idaho National Laboratory
2525 North Fremont Ave.
Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3805
United States

Want more information? Contact a representative below.

Laboratory Representative


The Idaho National Laboratory ( INL) was founded in 1949 as the National Reactor Testing Station to provide an isolated location where various kinds of nuclear reactors and support facilities could be built and tested. Fifty- two test reactors were constructed at the INL over the years. In 1974, the site was renamed a national engineering laboratory to reflect its expanding application of applied science and engineering capabilities. As it responded to the realities of the post-Cold War world, the INL turned its expertise to become a leader in providing technology for environmental management and research. Today, INL's staff has a broad range of expertise in the engineering of large-scale process, detection systems, law enforcement, chemistry, nuclear security systems, sensors, communication and computing, biotechnology, and in a variety of other science and engineering areas.


The mission of the INL is to:

  • Deliver science-based, engineered solutions to the challenges of DOE's mission areas, other federal agencies, and industrial clients.
  • Complete environmental cleanup responsibly, using innovative science and engineering capabilities.
  • Provide leadership and support to optimize the value of EM investments and strategic partnerships throughout the DOE complex.
  • Enhance scientific and technical talent, facilities, and equipment to best serve national and regional interests.

Technology Disciplines

Displaying 1 - 10 of 44
A Method and Device for Secure, High-density Tritium Bonded with Carbon
Actinide Ion Sensor For Pyroprocess Monitoring
Active Measurement Cancellation: Isolating batteries from active circuits to measure cell impedance in-line
Advanced Electrolyte Model
Advanced Material Development, Processing and Characterization
Aluminum electroplating on steel from a fused bromide electrolyte
An Additive Resin Reaction Product, a Method of Treating a Wood Product, and a Wood Product
Battery Condition Monitor: Method for assessing State of Health, State of Charge, Remaining Useful Life
Biodiesel – SSC Process
Cermet Materials, Self-Cleaning Cermet Filters, Apparatus and Systems Employing Same


Displaying 1 - 10 of 20
Advanced Materials Lab: Automated Hardness Tester
Advanced Materials Lab: Spark Plasma Sintering System
Advanced Materials Lab: Tensile Tester- Control, Process and Sensor System
Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) National Scientific User Facility
Advanced Test Reactor Complex
Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility (ATR NSUF)
Biomass Feedstock National User Facility
Center for Advanced Energy Studies: Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE)
Center for Advanced Energy Studies: Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS)
Geocentrifuge Research Laboratory



No Equipment


No Programs


No Funds


No Publications


Connected and autonomous vehicles are expected to provide huge economic, social, and industrial benefits to the planet. As we hasten our efforts to provide energy, water, and food for over nine billion people, deployment of these advanced technologies that have access to things such as wireless Internet will be critical for the agricultural sector.

Modern agriculture is high-tech. Geographical information systems (GIS) software is used to plant farm fields, Global Positioning System (GPS) guides field operations, and auto-steer systems make tractors follow GPS guidance without human hands. For agriculture-intensive states like Idaho to remain globally competitive, it must continue to transition to full autonomy technologies and take advantage of advanced data analytics to deploy these technologies.

Understanding these factors led to a series of discussions among the Idaho Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), and several universities and private companies in the state. These discussions underscored the need to act rapidly and to develop a regional Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence (ASCE). The ASCE enables the swift development, deployment, and commercialization of technologies that advance the competitiveness of Idaho, especially in the area of agriculture technology.

The Idaho Department of Commerce and CAES launched the Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence in April 2015 with a novel funding model for public-private-government collaborations. ASCE solidified the strategic partnerships between the state and local governments and Idaho National Laboratory (one of the five members of CAES). ASCE has already generated regional economic benefits and is driving new partnerships among business, university, and government entities.

Additionally, ASCE is bringing new businesses into Idaho, developing innovative techniques for assessing plant stress as it is happening, and stimulating new research directions for universities. ASCE is intent on using unmanned aerial systems to take Idaho agriculture to the next level of high tech.

A successful technology transfer from the U.S. government to the private sector, NanoSteel was formed in 2002 as a spin-off company from DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory with a worldwide exclusive license for a new class of nano-structured steel material. This breakthrough resulted from a U.S. government funded R&D project at INL for hard-metal surface coatings for industrial applications in extreme wear environments.

The ever-changing demands of modern technologies drive a need for metal alloys with specific novel properties. Numerous industries — including those supporting automobiles, oil and gas, mining, and steel production — are creating products that require performance capabilities beyond the known boundaries of existing materials.

INL researcher Dr. Daniel Branagan discovered a new class of nanostructured steel material, which has been used to provide solutions addressing needs in a wide range of mainstream industries. After demonstrating the technology at the lab scale, funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) helped scale up the process.

Since beginning, NanoSteel has created progressive generations of iron-based alloys, including foils, powder metals, and sheet steel. Surface technology has been used in extreme-wear and corrosion environments including power generation, mining and aggregates, concrete and cement, and oil and gas.

NanoSteel has quickly become a leader in nanostructured steel materials design and the company’s most recent milestone is production of a third-generation Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) sheet design breakthrough for the automotive industry. These advances will allow automotive engineers and designers to reduce weight through the use of thinner, higher-strength gauges, while maintaining the structural integrity needed for safety.

NanoSteel has won five R&D 100 Awards, and generated more than 200 licenses, patents and patents pending. In 2011, a General Motors subsidiary invested in the company.

Developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Reactor Excursion and Leak Analysis Program (RELAP5-3D) is a multidimensional thermal hydraulic transient simulation tool that allows users to model the coupled behavior of the reactor coolant system and the core for various operational transients and postulated accidents that might occur in a nuclear reactor. RELAP5-3D can be used for reactor safety analysis, reactor design, simulator training of operators, and as an educational tool by universities.

Soon after the birth of commercial nuclear energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission identified a need for reactor safety analysis software. In 1966, Idaho scientists began developing the Reactor Excursion and Leak Analysis Program (RELAP) to model reactor coolant and core behavior in a pressurized water reactor. The NRC and DOE have supported continued development of RELAP, incorporating increasing complexity to keep modeling realistic. RELAP upgrades also have accommodated an array of reactor designs.

RELAP is used throughout the world to support reactor safety analysis, reactor design, operator training and university education.

In 1996, INL copyrighted the non-NRC-funded parts of the RELAP code, introducing the RELAP5-3D version in 1998. The DOE offices of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) and Naval Reactors (DOE-NR) have funded RELAP work since 1998. That year, the International RELAP Users Group was formed to support nongovernment users, including universities and the commercial nuclear industry.

With more than 70 active licenses today, licensing income from the international users group helps fund ongoing code development, upgrades and user support. INL develops version updates, including requested features, with beta testing from the users group.

Commercial reactor vendors use the program to support efforts to obtain NRC approval for new reactor designs. Users include AREVA NP Inc., Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems Inc., Babcock and Wilcox Co., NuScale Power LLC, TerraPower LLC, and Rolls-Royce Power Engineering Ltd.

The code has been licensed for both nuclear and non-nuclear applications, including modeling of jet aircraft engines and fossil power plant components. A new version released in fall 2013 includes a variable gravity feature of interest to the aerospace industry.

Winner the 2014 R&D 100 Award, Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) carries much of the programming burden for creating scientific simulation capabilities, making simulation tools more accessible to a wide array of researchers. It was developed by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) programming specialists and computational mathematicians.

Modeling and simulation is becoming standard practice in nearly every branch of science, but building a useful simulation capability has traditionally been a daunting task -- it required a team of software developers working for years with scientists to describe a given phenomenon.

DOE’s leadership in advanced computing and nuclear science converged to set the stage for development of a new simulation capability. INL built MOOSE on a foundation of computer code and numerical libraries from existing, proven numerical tools developed in the DOE complex and academia.

The MOOSE simulation platform makes advanced simulation quicker, adaptable and more accessible to a wide array of scientists because it carries much of the programming burden and doesn't require a supercomputer. It also enables simulation tools to be developed in a fraction of the time previously required.

The simplicity has bred a herd of 21 different modeling applications describing phenomena in nuclear physics (BISON, MARMOT), geology (FALCON), chemistry (RAT) and engineering (RAVEN, Pronghorn). The tool has revolutionized predictive modeling, especially in the field of nuclear engineering where nuclear fuels and materials scientists have developed numerous applications to predict the behavior of fuels and materials under operating and accident conditions.

MOOSE applications are being developed in collaboration with or within INL and are in various stages of development ranging from recently obtaining preliminary results to being nationally recognized as stateof-the-art. INL is continually updating MOOSE to support its growing user community.

Sophia offers Industrial Control System (ICS) managers an effective computer network fingerprinting software tool that provides a visual representation of all connections and network traffic to and from an ICS. In the past, control systems running energy sector facilities didn’t require much security because they were isolated from the outside world.

Today, control systems that run critical infrastructure such as power grids often are connected to the Internet via company computer networks. The Sophia software develops a fingerprint for a given system, then operates passively in the background to observe communications across the entire ICS network.

Administrators charged with securing these systems must maintain situational awareness of dozens or hundreds of computer systems that are constantly talking to each other. Idaho National Laboratory's (INL) cyber experts have long worked with industry to assess their control systems networks to identify and help protect against vulnerabilities.

INL’s vulnerability assessment experience revealed the need for a tool to map communication pathways for control system’s static networks — systems whose communication patterns are fairly fixed. The Sophia software develops a fingerprint for a given system, then operates passively in the background to observe communications across the entire network.

If Sophia detects something out of the ordinary, it simply alerts the operator or network administrator, who can then investigate. The software lets the human operator evaluate new activity — it doesn't attempt to decide if the novelty is threatening. Sophia flags new devices or novel communication pathways that may not be noticed by operators. Developers named the software using the Greek word for wisdom because it provides new insights and visual patterns to help network administrators watching for cybersecurity threats.

Utilities participating in initial demonstrations called Sophia “a great asset” that “adds the characteristics of a full-time employee.” Funded by DOE-OE, the alpha and beta testing of Sophia was conducted with 44 industry, academic and government entities and seven government agencies took a direct license from INL. NexDefense, Inc. of San Mateo, CA licensed the technology during 2013.


No Licenses