Idaho National Laboratory received good news Thursday from the Department of Energy’s Idaho office.
In a letter to INL employees, Director Mark Peters wrote that DOE-Idaho’s annual evaluation granted the lab an “excellent” rating and final grade of “A” for its work this year.
As a result, INL earned 97 percent of its total possible fee. The fee amount was not available at press time.
Peters wrote to INL employees that it’s gratifying to see the lab’s hard work recognized.
“It’s been another great year at INL, and one that will be remembered for a number of notable accomplishments,” Peters wrote in a separate statement. “This rating and final grade confirms the laboratory’s commitment to scientific and technical excellence, and safe, secure and efficient operations. I’m proud of our employees and determined to build upon this success to make 2018 an even better year.”
DOE-Idaho’s fee determination is based on a matrix of criteria, including project timelines, budgets, specific research goals and safety milestones.
DOE-Idaho Manager Rick Provencher mentioned several specific INL accomplishments, including:
• The continued facilitation of Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear and Nuclear Science User Facilities.
• Resuming operations at the Transient Reactor Test Facility 12 months ahead of schedule and $20 million under budget.
• Performance improvements at the Materials and Fuels Complex.
• Progress in cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and advanced reactor research.
• Expansion of the INL workforce via postdoctorals, internships and joint appointments.
• Continuation of the lab’s science, technology, engineering and math educational programs.
INL spokeswoman Sarah Neumann said this marks the fourth consecutive year INL has achieved 97 percent of its total fee.
“It’s kind of unprecedented in our line of work to have such a high grade,” she said.
DOE-Idaho’s determination mentioned room for improvement in safety, as well as work planning and execution.
Reporter Kevin Trevellyan can be reached at 208-542-6762.