IDAHO (KLIX)-An Idaho nuclear testing facility will host an innovation center for private developers to test the latest nuclear technology. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the Idaho National Laboratory will be home to the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) that is designed to help with the development of advanced nuclear energy technology in the private sector.

The program will give developers the ability to test and assess reactor concepts, plus accelerate the licensing and commercialization of the possible new systems.

“NRIC will enable the demonstration and deployment of advanced reactors that will define the future of nuclear energy,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a prepared statement. “By bringing the industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation.”

The NRIC is a product of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which was helped through congress by senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo with support from Representative Mike Simpson. Sen. Crapo said in a statement the decision to locate the center in Idaho is a credit to Idaho National Laboratory.

“This is the ultimate public-private sector partnership that will take the next step to grow clean nuclear power across the nation,” said Senator Crapo in a prepared statement. “It makes sense that the INL is the place where private developers will now work with the Department of Defense and NASA to come and demonstrate new nuclear technologies. I look forward to seeing micro-reactors and small modular reactors being built here. The best is yet to come!”

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