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SRS cooling tower is turned to rubble

Four views of the implosion of an unused cooling tower at SRS.
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There was a pop, a low rumble and -- in just a few seconds -- Savannah River Site's K-reactor cooling tower was reduced to 52 million pounds of concrete rubble.

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Topic: Savannah River Site
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"It's down, and it went quick," said U.S. Energy Department spokesman Jim Giusti, one of the observers authorized to watch the 10 a.m. demolition of the 450-foot-tall structure.

"The bottom went out, and it just went straight down," he said in an interview Tuesday from the scene. "From where we're standing, it just disappeared from the horizon."

Reporters were not allowed to observe the demolition, but video and still images were made available.

The removal of the $90 million tower completed in 1992 was part of the site's $1.6 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, most of which was earmarked for cleanup and environmental-management projects.

As the second-largest cooling tower to be demolished worldwide, the 345-foot-wide tower posed a unique challenge to American DND and Controlled Demolition Inc. -- the contractors hired to complete the task.

Engineers who spent months surveying the tower placed 3,860 separate charges -- fueled by 1,300 pounds of nitroglycerin-based explosive -- along the lower 250 feet of the structure. The implosion occurred on time and was a complete success, observers said.

"The cooling tower demolition project is unlike any other closure initiative taking place at the site," said Dewitt Beeler, a Savannah River Nuclear Solutions director. "It isn't every day that we deal with the demolition of a structure the size of the K cooling tower, and it was clear early in the process that we needed expert help."

Now that the tower has been brought to the ground, the rubble will be transported to an on-site landfill for permanent disposal.

K-reactor, across the Savannah River from Plant Vogtle, first went critical in 1954 and was one of the site's five original heavy water reactors created to make material for the nuclear weapons program.

It was shut down in 1988, along with L- and P-reactors, but was later earmarked for restart with a mission to produce tritium -- an essential ingredient in hydrogen bombs.

The cooling tower was built to help the reactor comply with environmental standards for water released into the Savannah River.

In February 1992, the Energy Department announced that the reactor would be used only as a reserve facility, to be tested and then shut down unless needed. After a successful test in 1992, K-Reactor was placed on "cold standby" before being shut down completely in 1996.

Comments (36) Add comment
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gnumbgnuts
0
Points
gnumbgnuts 05/25/10 - 11:41 am
0
0
Our tax dollars at work.

Our tax dollars at work.

jb1234
0
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jb1234 05/25/10 - 12:03 pm
0
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^^^ The 'Comments Section

^^^ The 'Comments Section Pessimists' at work doing what they do best: complaining about anything and everything.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/25/10 - 12:15 pm
0
0
A video of the demo would be

A video of the demo would be cool! See if you can come up with one AC.

gnumbgnuts
0
Points
gnumbgnuts 05/25/10 - 12:21 pm
0
0
Don't make me strip.

Don't make me strip.

GAterp
2
Points
GAterp 05/25/10 - 12:25 pm
0
0
Thanks President Reagan! I'm

Thanks President Reagan! I'm sure it was the K-reactor restart and the erection of this cooling tower that collapsed the former Soviet Union. So the $100 + million for building and demolishing this White Elephant was well spent.

SCEagle Eye
958
Points
SCEagle Eye 05/25/10 - 12:49 pm
0
0
The Strom Thurmond Memorial

The Strom Thurmond Memorial Cooling Tower is no more. What better tribute to wasteful spending by big government.

Sean Moores
1048
Points
Sean Moores 05/25/10 - 01:03 pm
0
0
Chillen, SRS didn't let us

Chillen, SRS didn't let us out to photograph the demolition, but they are supposed to supply video and photos. Stay tuned.

joengeorgia
0
Points
joengeorgia 05/25/10 - 01:16 pm
0
0
What a money sponge on the

What a money sponge on the taxpayers! This reminds me of the $500,000 naval fuels project that didn't work and the $500,000 waste tank processing facility that didn't work. Gee, what else can they come up with to make their paycheck?

apex24
0
Points
apex24 05/25/10 - 01:24 pm
0
0
100 million to build and

100 million to build and never used. What was the price to make it go "boom"??

RogueKnight
221
Points
RogueKnight 05/25/10 - 05:41 pm
0
0
I spent a fair amount of time

I spent a fair amount of time at the site during the tower's construction in 1991-92, being involved in the pipeline construction that connected K reactor to the cooling tower. To know that it was never used for its designed purpose is a real disappointment. What a waste of money, aside from the jobs that were created during its construction.

Connor Threlkeld
960
Points
Connor Threlkeld 05/25/10 - 05:50 pm
0
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Video is now available,

Video is now available, enjoy!

Junket831
0
Points
Junket831 05/25/10 - 06:36 pm
0
0
Excellent video AC!

Excellent video AC!

Connor Threlkeld
960
Points
Connor Threlkeld 05/25/10 - 06:47 pm
0
0
Thanks! We'd love to take

Thanks! We'd love to take credit, but SRNS provided the footage. Wish we had the budget to rent helicopters and shoot implosion video more often. That would be a sweet job.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 05/25/10 - 06:58 pm
0
0
Obama is going to dismantle
Unpublished

Obama is going to dismantle our nuclear bomb making facilities so the cooling tower won't be needed.
I'm gonna be missing those nuclear bombs once he trashes them in favor of "global diplomacy" I like that global diplomacy. Remember President Carter getting a peace prize? Remember the fanfare over the signing of the middle east peace agreements? They're still at each others throats today and even after 3 thousand years. Oh, and it worked real well with Iraq didn't it. And how about North Korea, they could care less about us bumping our gums over santions. Let's not forget Iran, "while Rome burned Nero Played". Sanctions just might finally work after they've stockpiled a few nukes in a bunker somewhere. Until then they're just milking the sanctions thing for all the time they can get out of it.
I guess soon they'll be making hoola hoops and play dough at the Savannah River Plant.

Nightwing
0
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Nightwing 05/25/10 - 07:10 pm
0
0
Talk about a "bridge to

Talk about a "bridge to nowhere"

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 05/25/10 - 07:11 pm
0
0
Cool video, thanks! Can't

Cool video, thanks! Can't think about the $ aspect, too disturbing.

KSL
143428
Points
KSL 05/25/10 - 09:22 pm
0
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Then don't think about Yucca

Then don't think about Yucca Mountain.

freespeach
4
Points
freespeach 05/25/10 - 09:28 pm
0
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Complete waste of taxpayer
Unpublished

Complete waste of taxpayer dollars. But, then again, it's SRS and the federal government.

kenworth
0
Points
kenworth 05/25/10 - 10:16 pm
0
0
52 million pnds wow thats

52 million pnds wow thats gonna be alot of dump truckin. too bad it was such a waist of money .

kenworth
0
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kenworth 05/25/10 - 10:20 pm
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52 million pounds thats alot

52 million pounds thats alot of dump trucking

kenworth
0
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kenworth 05/25/10 - 10:21 pm
0
0
oops posted that twice

oops posted that twice

copdad
9
Points
copdad 05/26/10 - 07:02 am
0
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I remember working in K-area

I remember working in K-area during restart. I believe the cooling tower was built to satisfy the left-wing tree hugging environmentalists not President Reagan defeating the commies. Oh,and by the way joengeorgia needs to add some more zeroes to the costs of naval fuels and the ITP processes that were built.

mooseye
266
Points
mooseye 05/26/10 - 07:11 am
0
0
Sorry, I don't get it! If

Sorry, I don't get it!
If the thing was never used, then it wasn't contaminated. Why did we spend ?4mil? to knock it down. Do they need the space? The site is 300 Square Miles! I don't see why it could not have just stood there as a monument to our past blunders.

motorheadaches
0
Points
motorheadaches 05/26/10 - 08:18 am
0
0
I too worked at K during the

I too worked at K during the last big refit for Bechtel. I remember all the pretty color coding, new technology; trades galore. I was proud of my work just as many of of my fellow craftsmen. We thought we we're making a difference. If the government knew K worked and we needed to place it on cold standby because we may need it for tritium someday, why knock down the cooling tower? Are they that desperate for work out there? Now K is useless for all practical purposes. All that time, all that money, all our skill... what a waste!

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 05/26/10 - 08:22 am
0
0
Simple, Mooseye, they needed
Unpublished

Simple, Mooseye, they needed the spot to begin construction on the NEW 900 million dollar UNUSED cooling tower.

GAterp
2
Points
GAterp 05/26/10 - 09:16 am
0
0
That's OK Kenworth, double

That's OK Kenworth, double postings are not a "waist" of time or effort. Keep up the excellent work. And the rest of you, do not despair for K-area is the new warehouse for nuclear materials. I sure hope that this blast did not effect the foundation of the former K-reactor facility nearby. And thank you President Obama for providing the funding to clean up this only 20 year old cooling tower. Right nice of you sir!

purmkinhed
27
Points
purmkinhed 05/26/10 - 09:20 am
0
0
fd1962, really...With all

fd1962, really...With all that land they have. 1000's of acres at hand. It just doesn't make since!

purmkinhed
27
Points
purmkinhed 05/26/10 - 09:25 am
0
0
Oh yeah and by the way, the

Oh yeah and by the way, the story doesn't provide any context about "why" the cooling tower was knocked down in the first place. The video is great for visuals but nobody is conducting any real reporting, as usual, at the AC.

mooseye
266
Points
mooseye 05/26/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
punkin, I think the comment

punkin, I think the comment section is far more interesting and informative as to public miindset than the AC articles anyway.

Painter
24
Points
Painter 05/26/10 - 10:18 am
0
0
What a complete waste of

What a complete waste of money. There was absolutely no reason to tear down a perfectly good cooling tower.

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