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The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday announced it will prepare an environmental impact statement as part of the process to build the test reactor at either Idaho National Laboratory or Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the end of 2025.

As a result of the Sheep Fire, operations for non-essential staff have been curtailed for all Idaho National Laboratory Site facilities except the Specific Manufacturing Capability and the Radioactive Waste Management Complex for Wednesday, July 24. Employees should watch for lab communications about other potential curtailments to Site facilities.

Monitoring for air quality is ongoing at all Site facilities.

Routine radiological monitoring at all Site locations is consistent with normal background levels.

Fire officials estimate more than 90,000 acres have burned. Bureau of Land Management and INL fire crews supported by other collaborating municipalities are working together to fight the fire.

Site operations will be curtailed for non-essential staff Wednesday at all Site facilities except for the Specific Manufacturing Capability and the Radioactive Waste Management Complex.

No injuries have resulted from the fire.

The Sheep Fire began following a lightning strike at approximately 6:30 p.m. on July 22, 2019.

All non-essential employees were evacuated Tuesday from several Site facilities: Central Facilities Area, Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Naval Reactors Facility, EBR-1, Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, Radioactive Waste Management Complex, Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center.

The Sheep Fire was named because it started near a dirt access road called Sheep Road.

Highway 20 and Highway 26 are currently open in all directions.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Members of the public should call the phone number below.

Public Information: 208-526-5042.