WASHINGTON -

Sen. Jim Risch wants the Idaho National Laboratory to have more nuclear agreements with developing countries.

On Thursday, the Idaho Republican highlighted the work of the INL during a hearing on international civilian nuclear cooperation agreements.

The senator said the lab is able to help the world develop safe nuclear energy.

The federal government must approve an agreements for U.S. companies to export nuclear materials. This is meant to ensure nuclear material is only used peacefully.

Risch said passing these agreements with developing countries helps our national security.

"It allows us to have a negotiated agreement as to how the materials will be handled and also it gets us into their business," he said. "That could be very dangerous if we weren't in their business."

The hearing was held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.