Savannah River Site

When the Cold War began in the 1950s, the nation called on Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties to provide about 200,000 acres of farmland and forest. Nearly 1,500 families were displaced in the name of freedom and protection from Soviet Communism.

The federal government put more than 38,000 people to work by September 1952, toiling around the clock toward the production of plutonium and uranium needed for hydrogen and atomic bombs.

The first reactor churned out bomb material in 1953 and kept producing it for decades. But the Cold War came to an end in the early 1990s without even one missile carrying SRS material being fired.

In the late 1980s, production by the site's aging reactors slowed and eventually stopped as they were mothballed. The business of bombs at SRS turned to the labor of cleanup during the 1990s, and the work force went from about 25,000 to about 13,000.

Today's SRS advocates say the site must diversify to branch out into new missions.

The lab has a glut of hydrogen experience, which is being used at the Center for Hydrogen Research.

There are hopes that Aiken County could become a hub for hydrogen as the field expands, attracting various manufacturers to capitalize on the growing market.

Waste removal is a primary concern at the plant, as millions of gallons of waste and other Cold War byproducts are stored in underground tanks. Remediation efforts are some of the biggest ongoing operations at the facility.

Read more »

All articles about Savannah River Site

SRS leader transfers to New Mexico site

A top U.S. Department of Energy leader at Savannah River Site has been reassigned to a new position fffat the Los Alamos Field Office in New Mexico.
By Meg Mirshak | Monday, July 20, 2015

Surplus SRS materials sold

Surplus laboratory tools, fire engines, electrical turbines and other equipment from Savannah River Site are being sold for funds to support economic development activities in five counties.
By Meg Mirshak | Thursday, July 16, 2015

MOX contractor disputes Energy Department report

The latest report estimating costs for the troubled mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site discloses yet another dollar figure for the project and refutes U.S. Energy ...
By Meg Mirshak | Monday, July 13, 2015

MOX needs $1 billion yearly, leader says

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that Savannah River Site's mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility and other related processes need more than $1 billion annually to complete construction.
By Meg Mirshak | Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SRS emergency shortfalls identified

Significant shortfalls in emergency preparedness at Savannah River Site were uncovered during a comprehensive review of simulated drills intended to protect nuclear facility workers and the ...
By Meg Mirshak | Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boxcar used to bury SRS waste storage building

Steel material from a dismantled radioactive waste storage building at Savannah River Site has been stored in a salvaged railroad boxcar that will be buried underground.
By Meg Mirshak | Friday, May 29, 2015

Waste shipments await environmental document

The import of highly-radioactive nuclear waste from Germany to Savannah River Site has yet to make its next significant step necessary before crossing the Atlantic ocean.
By Meg Mirshak | Saturday, May 23, 2015

SRS expanding biomass power plant

A new boiler at Savannah River Site's biomass power-generating plant will help prevent a loss of steam and electricity production during extreme cold weather.
By Meg Mirshak | Monday, May 11, 2015

2 issues found in SRS waste tanks

High levels of mercury and a faulty valve were recently discovered in Savannah River Site's aging, highly-radioactive nuclear waste storage tanks.
By Meg Mirshak | Thursday, May 7, 2015

SRS granted extension for tank closure

Savannah River Site was granted an 8-month extension to close an underground high-level nuclear waste storage tank.
By Meg Mirshak | Friday, May 1, 2015

SRS contractor gets 2 year extension

The U.S. Energy Department extended the contract for Savannah River Remeditaion, which manages highly-radioactive iquid waste at Savannah River Site.
By Meg Mirshak | Wednesday, April 29, 2015

MOX costs on the rise

U.S. efforts to fulfill a nuclear nonproliferation agreement with Russia were challenged last week by a shocking new pricetag for the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site.
By Meg Mirshak | Saturday, April 25, 2015

SC Republicans dispute MOX estimate

Rep. Joe Wilson and Sens. Lind­sey Graham and Tim Scott say that an independent assessment prepared for Congress has questionable cost figures and that the Obama administration should commit ...
By Meg Mirshak | Thursday, April 23, 2015

MOX cost estimate swells to $47.5 billion

The cost estimate to finish building and operating the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site has swelled to $47.5 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security ...
By Meg Mirshak | Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Registration open for fishing challenge

Savannah River Site is accepting registrations for a fishing challenge for wounded veterans and mobility-impaired individuals, according to a news release.
By Meg Mirshak | Tuesday, April 14, 2015

National lab director seeks next generation of nuclear workers

COLUMBIA - An education pipeline must be in place to train new researchers to succeed those who will be aging out of the nuclear workforce, according to the director of the Savannah River National ...
By Sarita Chourey | Friday, April 10, 2015

SRS budget delaying tank closure

Savannah River Site's tightened budget will likely cause missed deadlines for cleanup of aging, highly-radioactive nuclear waste storage tanks.
By Meg Mirshak | Monday, March 30, 2015

Forum Monday on Savannah River Site budget

Department of Energy officials will discuss the fiscal 2016 budget for Savannah River Site at a community forum on Monday.
By Meg Mirshak | Friday, March 27, 2015

Group cast doubts on nuclear repository deadline

Officials doubt the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. will resume full operations in February 2018, four years after a fire and radiological release forced the closure of the ...
By Meg Mirshak | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SRS recycles 568 tons of materials

Savannah River Site, known for its massive task to clean up Cold War-era nuclear waste, is making strides to keep recyclable materials from sitting in a wasteland.
By Meg Mirshak | Thursday, March 19, 2015
Top headlines

Prayer rally held outside Planned Parenthood

With the U.S. Senate scheduled to vote Monday on a bill to strip Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding, more than 100 residents gathered Sunday for a prayer rally in front of the organization's ...
Search Augusta jobs