LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- Nuclear discussions aren't just happening internationally, talks about nuclear testing are also happening right here in Idaho.

The U.S. Department of Energy says the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho is their top choice for the testing of new nuclear fuels and materials.

They're now asking for the public's opinion on the project.

A spokesperson for department tells us it could bring 50 to 60 jobs to the area.

He says the lab was designed for this very type of research, and says it's a one of kind facility in the U.S.

That's why the DOE is proposing to resume nuclear testing that stopped back in 1994.

The research ended because they had examined all the types of nuclear fuel available at the time.

Now, spokesperson Tim Jackson says there are new options, but the materials need to go through short bursts of radiation in a nuclear reactor before scientists and engineers can look into the impact.

Safe and secure transient testing of nuclear fuel and material would help America improve current nuclear power plant performance and sustainability, and it would offer critical design input into America's next generation of reactors, said Jackson.

Then, the department will look at the feedback, as well as the environmental impact.

They will choose between either the Idaho National Laboratory, or a facility in New Mexico for the testing.

If you would like more information on the proposal, click here.

The 49-day public comment period on the draft environmental assessment will conclude on Jan. 3, 2014.

Comments can be submitted by mail to Chuck Ljungberg, 1955 Fremont Ave., mailstop 1216, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83415 or by e-mail to rttea@id.doe.gov.

Paper copies of the document are available on request.

Additional information on the resumption of transient testing can be found here.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/02/12045661/