IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

After a decade of collecting dust, the Idaho National Laboratory can continue with its Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT). The U.S. Department of Energy finalized its environmental assessment that determined that transient testing of nuclear fuels and materials does not have any significant impact on the environment.

The department's director of public affairs, Tim Jackson, said the reestablishment of testing is needed to develop the next generation of clean, safe and affordable nuclear power reactor fuels.

"The nation is very focused these days on developing low carbon sources of energy and nuclear power is a very low carbon source to base loads of electrical power," he said. "And that's a benefit for everyone that uses electricity in the United States."

In collaboration with the INL, the DOE plans to resume testing in the next few years.