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INL breaking ground for research microscope Thursday

Existing electron microscope at CAES

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Idaho National Laboratory is preparing to install a Spectra Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES).

A virtual groundbreaking for the $5 million project is scheduled Thursday.  The project includes INL and research and an education and innovation consortium that includes the Universities of Idaho and Wyoming, Boise State, and Idaho State University.

INL calls TEM one of the most significant additions to the CAES facility since it opened in 2009.

According to researchers, the microscope is more technologically advanced than any of current resources. 

Specifically, they say it will provide better energy resolution, improved spacial resolution for analysis of light elements, better capture the behavior of dynamic materials like those in a reactor core, and broader electron range for research on a wider range of materials.

The first phase of the project will ready the CAES facility for the new equipment beginning July 20. It will prepare a lab space that shields the microscope from vibration, electromagnetic interference, and acoustical noise.

The second phase will begin in November and calls for the installation of the TEM.   The equipment should be operational by early 2021.

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