New SRS operators forecast bright future

Change, whether large or small, a new job or a new pair of shoes, can be uncomfortable and vexing. It can also be an opportunity to put your best foot forward and celebrate.

Usually, I find the latter to be true, and that is playing out as the new management and operating contractor for Savannah River Site, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, steps forward in its 90-day transition at the site.

As the president of this new company, it was my pleasure in two town hall meetings last week to introduce our leadership team, and more importantly to listen and learn from SRS employees, their families and the citizens of the Augusta-Aiken area. We have another town hall meeting in Barnwell on Tuesday, and more to come.

In our first two weeks of transition, we have become increasingly confident that the site's work force and the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions leadership team will successfully mesh into a new company that will safely, effectively and efficiently advance the current and potential missions at SRS. I believe the Department of Energy selected us to bring a new look and new ideas to the site, and particularly to the Savannah River National Lab, making SRS a powerful engine, both governmental and private, for local, regional and national security and economic prosperity.

Led by Fluor Daniel, and with Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, Lockheed-Martin and Nuclear Fuel Services playing key roles, our team brings expertise in a broad array of DOE's nuclear security and cleanup operations, nuclear power systems and the fuel cycle, and national laboratory research, development and applications. With the long-term site knowledge and internationally recognized safety record of our soon-to-be employee team members, I see nothing but success ahead.

Of course, the ultimate marker of success is that it is achieved safely, and I ask that SRS employees continue to perform their work as they have for years, with that marker at the forefront It is a heavy responsibility, but the SRS work force has risen to and accepted that challenge. In keeping one another safe, they have assured the safety of our neighbors and our environment. We all owe them our thanks.

Over the years and, yes, decades, they helped to protect all of us, to win the Cold War, and now serve to maintain our strategic defense and to clean our environment on a local, national and global level. We should also thank their families, friends and neighbors for their support.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the site work force, the new leadership and our parent companies will all put our best foot forward, and grab the opportunity that this change presents.

Chuck Munns is the President of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC.