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.

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All articles about Savannah River Site

Review is mixed on MOX

The Department of Energy gave the consortium building the mixed-oxide fuel processing facility at Savannah River Site an overall grade of 49 percent in its most recent annual ...
By Walter C. Jones | Thursday, April 28, 2016

SRS celebrating new melter

The 65-ton Melter 2 has poured slightly more than 10.4 million pounds of glassified waste at the Defense Waste Processing Facility while its predecessor processed 5.2 million pounds during its ...
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Senate panel votes for MOX funding cuts

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water voted $270 million for construction of a mixed-oxide production facility, a process of stabilizing weapons-grade plutonium. The House ...
By Walter C. Jones | Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SRS contractor resumes full operations

The contractor managing the Savannah River Site is now operating at full speed six months after a procedures violation triggered a slowdown.
By Walter C. Jones | Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Putin opposed to scrapping MOX

Russian President Vladimir Putin objects to the Obama administration's plans to scrap the reprocessing of bomb-grade plutonium into fuel for electricity generation.
By Walter C. Jones | Friday, April 8, 2016

SRS citizens board recommends budget priorities

The Citizens Advisory Board for the Savannah River Site is waiting for a response from its letter outlining budget priorities for the coming year.
By Walter C. Jones | Wednesday, April 6, 2016

SRS contract up for bids next year

Companies will have about six months to prepare their bids for what could turn into 10 years of work if all options are exercised.
By Walter C. Jones | Friday, April 1, 2016

Group wants to join state lawsuit over mixed-oxide fuel project

COLUMBIA - An economic development group is seeking to be part of South Carolina's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy for the agency's failure to meet a Jan. 1 nuclear fuel deadline.
By Meg Kinnard | Friday, April 1, 2016

SRS cleanup misses targets

An electrical problem, an unexpected chemical reaction and machinery down for months are among the reasons the cleanup program at the Savannah River Site fell far below some production targets ...
By Walter C. Jones | Thursday, March 31, 2016

MOX should be scrapped, scientists say

According to Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Frank von Hippel of Princeton University, reprocessing bomb-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear-power reactors - a process known ...
By Walter C. Jones | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Breach triggers SRS concerns

Federal and state environmental officials expressed concern Tuesday that a minor incident could signal bigger problems at how their agencies oversee dozens of waste sites at the Savannah River Site.
By Walter C. Jones | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SRS contractor cuts cleanup costs with natural process

A contractor at Savannah River Site has managed to cut groundwater remediation costs at by about $11 million annually by using a naturally occurring process.
By Travis Highfield | Monday, March 28, 2016

SRS facility celebrates 20 years of service

The Defense Waste Processing facility poured its first glass canister April 29, 1996, a little more than a month after operations began.
By Travis Highfield | Saturday, March 26, 2016

USC Aiken to help with new SRS cleanup lab

The Department of Energy has chosen a consortium that includes the University of South Carolina Aiken to develop a proposal for a laboratory to help harness new technology for use in the cleanup ...
By James Folker | Friday, March 25, 2016

Savannah River National Lab chosen for robotics training program

The five-year cooperative agreement will train graduate students in specific disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics related to robotics.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Feds sue SRS manager

The U.S. government is suing the company that manages the Savannah River Site, saying it has overcharged the government more than $5 million since 2008.
Sunday, March 20, 2016

NNSA official says negotiations, legal issues remain should MOX close

National Nuclear Security Administration undersecretary Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz on Wednesday said despite plans to close SRS' mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility, current statutory permissions ...
By Travis Highfield | Thursday, March 17, 2016

Savannah River Remediation program aids veterans in transition

The Veterans Cooperative Program at Savannah River Remediation aims to pair college students with potential careers at SRS.
By Travis Highfield | Thursday, March 10, 2016

Swiss nuclear waste arrives at SRS

The National Nuclear Security Administration this month announced that Switzerland is now free of all separated plutonium, partly because of a shipment of about 20 kilograms that arrived at ...
By Travis Highfield | Thursday, March 10, 2016

Obama budget boost for SRS

President Obama's fiscal year 2017 budget should signal to area residents that Savannah River Site's importance hasn't gone unnoticed, officials said.
By Travis Highfield | Thursday, March 3, 2016
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