BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The new director of Idaho's federal nuclear facility says he sees plenty of opportunity to make it the nation's premier energy security lab while also bolstering the region's economy.

Mark Peters has been on the job for about a week at the Idaho National Laboratory, where he's in charge of about 3,900 workers. He says the nation's energy security involves the U.S. being able to produce its own energy in a system protected from attacks, including cyber threats.

During a Thursday phone interview, he said a primary focus over the next five years will be hiring the next generation of scientists as nearly half the current staff is set to retire. Peters previously worked at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.