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You’re invited to tour historic nuclear reactor

Science & Technology

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IDAHO FALLS – Fifty miles west of Idaho Falls in the Arco desert is the site of a once-active nuclear reactor. On Dec. 20, 1951, Experimental Reactor Breeder I became the first power plant to produce electricity using atomic energy.

“It’s no longer functioning as a reactor, but it’s a place where people can go and learn more about how electricity is generated from nuclear energy,” Sarah Neumann, an INL spokeswoman, tells

Experimental Breeder Reactor I was the first reactor built in Idaho at the National Reactor Testing Station, the predecessor to Idaho National Laboratory.

Today, EBR-I operates as a museum during the summer months. It’s open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. Winter is the off-season for the museum, but the INL staff is inviting you to tour the site this Friday.

“We thought it would be a fun thing for people to do on Friday,” Neumann says. “It’s definitely a unique museum that’s different from other places you see in town. We encourage people to come check it out.”

EBR-I is the only place in America where you can see four nuclear reactors — including two aircraft nuclear propulsion prototypes — according to the museum’s website.

“The museum also includes colorful, interactive displays that tell the story of EBR-I’s sibling, Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 2 (EBR-II), the reactor that once powered much of the site,” the website states.

The EBR-I museum will be open Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m for anyone who wants to come. Guided tours will start on the hour. Self-guided tours are also available. There is no cost to attend.

erb 1 map
Courtesy INL

EBR-I is near U.S. Highway 20. There is no exact address, but signs are posted along the highway.

If you have questions or want more information, send an email to or call (208) 526-0050.