Energy Department wants to build nuclear test reactor

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The federal government wants to build a nuclear test reactor as part of an effort to revamp the nation's fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday said it will prepare an environmental impact statement as part of the process to build the test reactor in Idaho or Tennessee by 2025.

Federal officials say the test reactor is needed to speed up development of accident-tolerant fuels that will be used by a new generation of nuclear power plants.

The Energy Department is considering building the test reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee.

Public comments regarding the environmental impact statement are being taken through Sept. 4.

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