EM Official stands in the middle of a worksite and talks with 2 employees

EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Avery, left, tours the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative facility with DOE Savannah River Laboratory Office Director Tony Polk, center, during Avery’s recent visit to Aiken, South Carolina. The 60,000-square-foot facility is being built in partnership with Savannah River National Laboratory and the University of South Carolina-Aiken. It will provide a new laboratory, office and conference space suitable for advanced manufacturing research and development.

AIKEN, S.C.EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Avery joined an official with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to visit with community members and other stakeholders of the Savannah River Site (SRS) last week.

As part of their visit, Avery and NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Frank Rose met with the SRS Citizens Advisory Board to welcome the board’s incoming chair, Phyllis Britt, and vice-chair, Kandace Cave. They also thanked outgoing chair Gregg Murray and outgoing vice-chair Charles Hilton for their service, and discussed the upcoming transition of authority for SRS from EM to NNSA.

The board is a stakeholder group that provides DOE advice, information and recommendations on issues affecting the EM program at SRS.

3 men in suits pose for a picture, 2 holding large coins they were awarded

EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Avery, center, presents honorary coins to outgoing Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board Chair Gregg Murray, right, and Vice-Chair Charles Hilton for their service during Avery’s visit to Aiken, South Carolina, and Savannah River Site.

A group of 6 people post for a picture

EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Avery, center right, welcomes incoming Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board Vice-Chair Kandace Cave, far left, and Chair Phyllis Britt, second from left. Avery also thanked outgoing vice-chair Charles Hilton, second from right, and chair Gregg Murray, far right, for their service. Also pictured at center left is National Nuclear Security Administration Principal Deputy Administrator Frank Rose.

As part of the tour, Avery viewed progress at the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, a facility being built in partnership with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the University of South Carolina-Aiken. The facility will provide a new laboratory, office and conference space suitable for advanced manufacturing research and development. Crews placed the last piece of structural steel on the 60,000-square-foot facility in November, delivering an EM 2023 priority ahead of schedule.

Avery attended a Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization networking reception, titled, “An Evening with Department of Energy Leadership,” with guest speakers Jill Hruby, under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of NNSA, and Rose.

An EM leader speaks at the front of the room while people record and listen to him
EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeff Avery provides remarks at a Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization reception.

In his remarks, Avery highlighted the recent 30th anniversary milestone for the community reuse organization. The nonprofit group’s mission is to facilitate economic development opportunities associated with SRS technology, capabilities and missions, and to serve as an informed, unified community voice for the two-state region, which includes the counties of Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell in South Carolina and Columbia and Richmond in Georgia.

Avery also focused on SRS cleanup accomplishments of the past year. Those EM achievements include record production at the site’s Salt Waste Processing Facility, treating nearly 3.2 million gallons of salt waste in 2023 and more than 7 million gallons of salt waste in just over three years of operation. Avery also noted the completion of construction of Saltstone Disposal Unit 8; the first shipment of downblended plutonium for offsite disposal; and the start of acceptance of highly enriched uranium-235 from L Basin as part of the Accelerated Basin De-Inventory campaign.

-Contributor: Eleanor Prater