AIKEN, S.C. – In 22 short months, the Savannah River Site (SRS) has spent $1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to accelerate environmental cleanup of the remaining Cold War legacy, while supporting jobs, training and small businesses in our region. This funding milestone has resulted in 122 square miles of actual footprint reduction at SRS, which means the site is more than 50 percent of the way to achieving its goal of reducing the total footprint by 75 percent or 233 square miles.
“Allocating and managing $1 billion in Recovery Act spending has been a huge responsibility, and it’s one that SRS has treated with diligence and transparency for the good of the nation,” said Dr. David Moody, manager, U.S. DOE-Savannah River. “Advanced planning, regulatory and stakeholder support, talented contractors and a dedicated workforce are the keys to the success of this important and historic cleanup project.”
Program highlights so far include:
- The SRS legacy transuranic (TRU) waste program, managed by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), has processed more than 2,000 of its 5,000 cubic meters of legacy TRU waste. Twenty percent of the inventory has been shipped offsite to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., and more than 50 percent of the original inventory has been repackaged and remediated. This program accounts for $175 million of the $1 billion in Recovery Act payments SRS has made thus far.
- P and R Reactor, which for more than a half a century have represented SRS’s vital role in the nation’s defense, are 80 percent of the way toward completing in-situ decommissioning with Recovery Act payments of $52.7 million and $45.5 million, respectively.
- Savannah River Remediation LLC (SRR), the liquid waste contractor at SRS, has spent more than $123 million in Recovery Act funding to support 41 projects that are accelerating the cleaning and closing of the Site’s 49 remaining underground radioactive waste storage tanks. Significant infrastructure improvements have been made to waste processing facilities through the use of Recovery Act funding. Fifteen waste tanks are now in various phases of operational closure, the most ever in the history of SRS.
- SRR’s Recovery Act funding has also supported the use of technology to accelerate tank closure. Remotely operated, tracked robotic devices sample tank waste. Industry-proven, enhanced chemical cleaning infrastructure will cost effectively speed up the tank cleaning process. Waste sampling techniques that enhance worker safety, while also increasing information data on waste content, have benefited from the commitment of Recovery Act resources.
“These key projects and the subcontracts we’ve awarded bring SRS closer to a 75-percent footprint reduction, an achievement that will free land for possible reuse benefiting the local area,” said Garry Flowers, SRNS president and chief executive officer. “While we have reached this $1 billion milestone, we continue striving on the remaining projects that comprise the $1.6 billion Recovery Act projects at SRS.”
SRS received $1.6 billion in Recovery Act funds from the $6 billion that was invested in DOE EM’s cleanup program. All Recovery Act Projects at SRS will be completed by this September, with the exception of the Site’s legacy transuranic (TRU) waste program, which will ship the last of its 5,000-cubic meter inventory by December 2012, six years ahead of schedule.
Additional information on the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the Savannah River Site can be found at http://www.em.doe.gov or http://www.srs.gov. For more information about the SRS Recovery Act Project, visit www.srs.gov/recovery.