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BREAKING NEWS: Smoke seen rising from Idaho National Lab which tests advanced nuclear energy
- Social media footage appeared to show smoke coming from the ground near Idaho National Lab, which tests nuclear energy projects
- The INL was established in 1949 on a formal Naval Proving Ground used during the Second World War; since then, 52 reactors have been built on the site
- DailyMail.com has approached the site and Department of Energy for comment: there have been no publicly-reported abnormalities at the lab on Thursday
Smoke has been reportedly seen rising from the desert area above the Idaho National Lab, which carries out nuclear energy tests, according to a report.
The cause of the smoke is not yet known, but a photo was shared on social media, with a request for local news to investigate.
‘@EastIdahoNews, is something on fire at @INL?’ asked Micah Spicer.
‘I haven’t ever seen a steam plume in the middle of the desert.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to INL and to the Department of Energy for comment.
There are no reports of any abnormal activity at the 890-square-mile site.
The INL nuclear facilities are located in the remote and sparsely-populated desert about 45 miles west of Idaho Falls, near the town of Arco.
Footage shared on social media appeared to show smoke rising from the desert
The INL was founded in 1949, on the site of a former Naval base used to test Second World War munitions
The INL spans 890 square miles in the desert of eastern Idaho, 45 miles from Idaho Falls
The INL employs 5,700 people working on renewable energy, space projects and military operations
The INL is one of 17 national labs currently run by the Department of Energy, and employs 5,700 researchers and support staff ‘focused on innovations in nuclear research, renewable energy systems and security solutions that are changing the world,’ according to their website.
Before the INL was established, the site was the Arco Naval Proving Ground, in use during World War II.
Gun barrels from battleships like the U.S.S. Missouri were reconditioned at the Naval Ordnance Plant in Pocatello, 80 miles away, and then taken by train to the Naval Proving Ground.
The guns would be test-fired before being sent back to the Pacific for the war.
In 1949, the site was turned into the National Reactor Testing Station.
There have been 52 nuclear reactors built at the site since it opened.
It now is used for a wide variety of research, from recycling and renewable energy to military equipment and space.