Savannah River Site

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The Savannah River Site viewed from the International Space Station.

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is a nuclear reservation in the United States in the state of South Carolina, located on land in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties adjacent to the Savannah River, 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The site was built during the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for deployment in nuclear weapons. It covers 310 square miles (800 km2) and employs more than 10,000 people.

It is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The management and operating contract is held by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC (SRNS), and the Liquid Waste Operations contract is held by Savannah River Remediation, which is a team of companies led by URS Corp.

A major focus is cleanup activities related to work done in the past for American nuclear buildup. Currently none of the reactors on-site are operating (see list of nuclear reactors), although two of the reactor buildings are being used to consolidate and store nuclear materials. SRS is also home to the Savannah River National Laboratory and the USA's only operating radiochemical separations facility. Its Tritium facilities are also the United States' only source of tritium, an essential component in nuclear weapons. The USA's only mixed oxide fuel (MOX) manufacturing plant is being constructed at SRS overseen by the National Nuclear Security Administration. When operational, the MOX facility will convert legacy weapons-grade plutonium into fuel suitable for commercial power reactors.[1]

Future plans for the site cover a wide range of options, including host to research reactors, a reactor park for power generation, and other possible uses. DOE and its corporate partners are watched by a combination of local, regional and national regulatory agencies and citizen groups. Security is provided by Wackenhut Services, Inc.


L Reactor Facility: L Area, Savannah River Site, September 16, 1982


Savannah River is home to the following nuclear reactors:[9]

Reactor nameStart-up dateShutdown date
R ReactorDecember 1953June 1964
P ReactorFebruary 1954August 1988
K ReactorOctober 1954July 1992
L ReactorJuly 1954June 1988
C ReactorMarch 1955June 1985

Contract changes[edit]

Management of the Savannah River Site was to be bid in 2006, but the Department of Energy extended the contract with the existing partners for 18 months to June 2008.

In 2006 DOE decided to split the WSRC contract into two new separate contracts, i.e. the M&O Contract and the Liquid Waste Contract to be awarded before June 2008. Responding to the DOE RFP, the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), LLC - now a Fluor partnership with Honeywell, and Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly part of Northrop Grumman) - submitted a proposal in June 2007 for the new M&O Contract.[10][11] A team led by URS and including many of the WSRC partners also submitted a proposal. On January 9, 2008 it was announced that SRNS LLC had won the new contract, with a 90-day transition period to start January 24, 2008. However, the transition was delayed by a protest filed with GAO by the URS team on January 22, 2008. The GAO denied the protest on April 25. DOE-SR then directed SRNS to start transition on May 2 and take over operation on August 1, 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Matthew Philips (24 April 2014). "A Botched Plan to Turn Nuclear Warheads Into Fuel". Businessweek (Bloomberg). Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Phillips, R. W.; Wiegel, J.; Berry, C. J.; Fliermans, C.; Peacock, A. D.; White, D. C.; Shimkets, L. J. (2002), "Kineococcus radiotolerans sp. Nov., a radiation-resistant, Gram-positive bacterium" (l), International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 52 (3): 933–938, doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02029-0, PMID 12054260 
  4. ^ Augusta Chronicle
  5. ^ Rob Pavey (June 10, 2009). "TVA might use MOX fuels from SRS". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Jo Becker and William J. Broad (April 10, 2011). "New Doubts About Turning Plutonium Into a Fuel". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ Matthew L. Wald (June 25, 2013). "U.S. Moves to Abandon Costly Reactor Fuel Plant". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 33°14′47″N 81°40′04″W / 33.24644°N 81.6679°W / 33.24644; -81.6679

External links[edit]