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Stimulus could add 3,000 SRS jobs

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A $1.615 billion windfall from President Obama's economic stimulus package will enable Savannah River Site to create as many as 3,000 jobs and accelerate environmental cleanup projects.

U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced $6 billion in appropriations Tuesday for nuclear materials sites in 12 states. SRS is second only to the Hanford Site in Washington in funding and jobs.

"Right now we feel this will create up to about 3,000 jobs, and that number will be better defined once we begin to mobilize the contracts for the work," said Jim Giusti, an Energy Department spokesman at SRS.

The majority of the new jobs, he said, will be with contractors chosen to complete specific projects funded with stimulus money. A Web site with information on how to pursue those jobs will be available soon, he said.

Cleanup and decommissioning projects to be funded by the stimulus had already been identified and planned and will simply be carried out sooner than expected.

"The whole part of the Recovery Act is that they needed shovel-ready projects," Mr. Giusti said. "You had to be able to see a work scope and pull it forward and get funding and execute it in the 30 months we have for this program."

Most new jobs would be for the duration of the program, which runs through 2011, he said. "Beyond that, we cannot speculate."

Though the cleanup projects might not be permanent, completing such tasks earlier could create opportunities for reinvestment and new missions sooner than anticipated.

One project under way involves creating an Energy Park to attract more permanent jobs to the area, said Rick Toole, the chairman of the SRS Community Reuse Organization. He said none of the money is targeted for the Energy Park, but he hopes it will help with "more lasting job creation."

Major pending projects to be accelerated with stimulus money include decommissioning two nuclear material production reactors.

P-reactor is shut down and deactivation work is under way, Mr. Giusti said. "That work will now be accelerated."

R-reactor will also be decommissioned. "The plan is to gut portions of it and concrete the bottom base of it in several layers and leave its outer structure intact," he said.

P and R are among five heavy water reactors that once produced material for the nation's nuclear arsenal. K-reactor has been turned into a plutonium storage facility, L-reactor is now used to store spent fuel and C-reactor is shut down and waiting its turn at decommissioning.

Other cleanup programs include shipping more than 4,500 cubic meters of waste out of South Carolina and reducing the site's industrial area by 40 percent, or 79,000 acres, by September 2011, Dr. Chu said in a news release Tuesday.

"These investments will put Americans to work while cleaning up contamination from the Cold War era," he said. "It reflects our commitment to future generations as well as to help local economies get moving again."

Current employment at SRS is about 11,000, which includes about 6,000 workers under the main contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

OTHER ALLOCATIONS

- Hanford Site, Wash., $1.635 billion

- Oak Ridge, Tenn., $755 million

- Office of River Protection, Wash., $326 million

- Idaho National Laboratory, $468 million

- Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M., $172 million

- Brookhaven and West Valley, N.Y., $148 million

- Miamisburg and Portsmouth, Ohio, $138 million

- Moab, Utah, $108 million

- Argonne National Laboratory, Ill., $99 million

- Paducah, Ky., $79 million

- Sites in California, $62 million

- Nevada Test Site, $44 million

- Headquarters and oversight, $70 million

- Various other programs, $69 million

Comments (21) Add comment
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karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 04/01/09 - 06:57 am
0
0
hmmm.... would these be

hmmm.... would these be "union" contractors only?

dhd1108
1
Points
dhd1108 04/01/09 - 07:21 am
0
0
we'll be back in the same

we'll be back in the same boat when the funding for these 3000 TEMPORARY jobs runs out. probably worse, really.

EMAGUY
6
Points
EMAGUY 04/01/09 - 07:41 am
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Karmakills123: I believe a

Karmakills123: I believe a significant portion of these jobs would be union, or union eligible jobs. If I remember correctly, the new workers in union eligible jobs don't have to join the union, but the government must still pay union dues, even if the worker doesn't join. What a deal for the union. Membership may not go up, but the coffers will get a boost.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 04/01/09 - 07:55 am
0
0
Who will foot the bill when

Who will foot the bill when these dollars run out, which as we all know an operation such as this will go through that money real fast. Temporary jobs are not what we need, we need to put Americans back to work manufacturing something. Take back some of those jobs that have been leaving the country for many years.

aninsider
75
Points
aninsider 04/01/09 - 08:00 am
0
0
Isn't this kind of like

Isn't this kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket?

SCEagle Eye
958
Points
SCEagle Eye 04/01/09 - 08:00 am
0
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3000 jobs now will mean fewer

3000 jobs now will mean fewer later, as DOE is using the stimulus money to try and speed up SRS clean up. In balance, there could be fewer jobs due to this. Watch out of the for the nefarious play that DOE is up to with this money - to use it to "leverage" a reprocessing/spent fuel dump at SRS, which would mean the nation's spent fuel dumped on South Carolina. Senator Ryberg supports this effort but his bill in support of reprocessing just lost in the SC senate, which is good from an enviornmental and budget perspective. See small article at:
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/734117.html

freespeech
0
Points
freespeech 04/01/09 - 08:33 am
0
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And who picks up the tab for

And who picks up the tab for years of medical bills for the cancer these poor souls will get from working at SRS?

forteachers
0
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forteachers 04/01/09 - 09:17 am
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While I am glad to here some

While I am glad to here some positive news about job availability, what about the thousand or so workers who have were laid off from SRS over the past several years? Have they checked to see if any of those workers that are qualifed for openings have found jobs?

What about Education? Why is there not enough funding there? Teachers work for next to nothing anyway considering what they have to put up with and now they are worried about having not having their contract next year.

jhvenier
0
Points
jhvenier 04/01/09 - 09:19 am
0
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You just cannot please

You just cannot please anyone...cancer? you dont even have a clue...I have been working on these types of projects for years, I have yet to see any increase. You likely get as much or even less than most people get from radioactive sources in natural surroundings. The 3000 jobs also include non-professional and non-technological jobs which are inclusive of local citizens. I am glad to see something spent to create jobs, technology and industry instead of giving it away to undesrving leaches on society or foreign countries...start to support money coming into your area instead of complaining about it al the time.

gnx
7
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gnx 04/01/09 - 10:27 am
0
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The problem is that it's not

The problem is that it's not creating jobs, it's creating 3000 temporary bandaids for the job situation. As soon as the project is over there will be yet another glut in unemployment and all those people will be right back in the same place they started in.

jhvenier
0
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jhvenier 04/01/09 - 11:24 am
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Not true, new plants need

Not true, new plants need permanent jobs. Whether permanent or temporary at this point anything would be nice.

buckfiddy
0
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buckfiddy 04/01/09 - 11:37 am
0
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I will be appying because i

I will be appying because i just got laid off

gnx
7
Points
gnx 04/01/09 - 11:50 am
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New plants may need permanent

New plants may need permanent jobs, but in this particular case it would be replacement jobs - not new jobs. There is a difference. Pete, I pray you will not be in that situation for long and that a position as good or better than your last comes along for you.

jhvenier
0
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jhvenier 04/01/09 - 12:03 pm
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It would not be replacement

It would not be replacement jobs?? how that conclusion is founded is beyond me. New jobs will be needed to support the on-going operations....I agree..Pete good luck. With all this unemployment and losing jobs, we need something positive.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 04/01/09 - 12:58 pm
0
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So sad, so many can't welcome

So sad, so many can't welcome jobs in a state that's second in the nation in unemployment. A two or three year job, is better than nothing now or later.I guess all the contractors should stop contracting and get permanent jobs.

Native007
4
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Native007 04/01/09 - 02:21 pm
0
0
A step in the right

A step in the right direction. There is a rule of thumb that "You cannot please 15% of people no matter what you do." I am happy to see this coming so close to home. Even if this is temporary it is cleaning up some of our old messes. That is wonderful that we can take steps to decomission these reactors. Maybe by then if the work is done the economy will have more jobs available. I am not an econimist so I am willing to admit when I do not know the answer to that!

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 04/01/09 - 02:42 pm
0
0
Read between the lines

Read between the lines folks... most of these jobs will be short term contracting jobs.. there will not be 3,000 permanent high paying jobs created at SRS. How many of these contractors will even be based in the Augusta area? probably not most of them, so how much of this money will even stay in the area?

jhvenier
0
Points
jhvenier 04/01/09 - 03:07 pm
0
0
A large amount of contractors

A large amount of contractors will at least remain in the area for 5 -10 years. contractors with long term jobs do move their families most of the time. The money spent to live for that 5 -10 years will be spent in the area. Be happy there is going to be progress with the economy.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 04/01/09 - 03:32 pm
0
0
The hiring doesn't begin till

The hiring doesn't begin till November, the jobs don't begin till after. (as reported last night on WAGT)"We need this Stimulus Package immediately or catastrophe will occur." Other than that, I agree with RCR's 1.58 post. Better than nothing and hopefully those people will gain skills to get permanent jobs after the stimulus money is gone. After all, the better the stimulus does, the quicker our children and grandchildren are off the hook for THAT portion of BO's spending. BTW, the House GOP submitted an alternative to Oblowallthemoneyintheworld's budget.

aninsider
75
Points
aninsider 04/01/09 - 03:36 pm
0
0
It would be nice to welcome

It would be nice to welcome the jobs RichmondCountyResident, but I learned a long time ago that if something's too good to be true, it's too good to be true. That's a lot of jobs depending on stimulus money that won't be around forever.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 04/02/09 - 08:20 am
0
0
(psssst sneakypete you have

(psssst sneakypete you have to pass a drug test)

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