PHOENIX – Led by a video message from Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, leaders of the Savannah River Site (SRS) celebrated its 70th anniversary and its role as the featured site at the Waste Management Symposia.
At a special SRS anniversary panel during the conference, SRS Manager Mike Budney offered a history of the installation and a perspective on the site’s future. He was joined by leaders of the site’s major contractors, the manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Savannah River Field Office, and Rick Osbon, mayor of Aiken, South Carolina.
Other panels during the conference featured discussions of work performed by Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as well as talks on the site’s plans and achievements for treating liquid waste and managing nuclear materials.
In his message, Secretary Brouillette thanked past and current employees for their efforts. The site’s mission areas include environmental stewardship and the disposition of nuclear materials, and SRS plays a major role in the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Besides SRNL, SRS is also home to the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, which has been monitoring the environmental impacts at SRS since the onset of work at the site.
Budney emphasized that the entire site is dedicated to the safety of employees and the environment, and highlighted the site’s strong safety record.
Nicole Nelson-Jean, manager of the NNSA Savannah River Field Office, described the agency’s role at the site. She noted NNSA was celebrating its 20th anniversary as a formal entity but that the government nuclear security mission has been a part of SRS since the beginning of the site.
Stuart MacVean, president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), highlighted SRNS mission areas such as the national laboratory, the Mark 18 isotope program, and the growth of cyber missions.
Tom Foster, chief operating officer of Amentum’s nuclear and environment strategic business unit, gave an overview of the SRS liquid waste mission, including the site’s liquid waste tank farms. Eight of the 51 tanks have been closed so far. Foster highlighted the Salt Waste Processing Facility that is scheduled to come online soon and significantly increase waste treatment capabilities.
Osbon said the community has worked hand in hand with SRS for the site’s entire 70 years. He said about 45 percent of the SRS workforce lives in Aiken, and the community has a strong sense of patriotism and trust in the site for its safety success.