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Centerpiece of NNSA’s strategy to remove plutonium from South Carolina

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) is set to begin site preparation activities for the next phase of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition (SPD) Project at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina.

The SPD Project is the centerpiece of NNSA’s dilute and dispose strategy to fulfill the United States’ commitment to dispose of plutonium stored in South Carolina.  There are approximately 11.5 metric tons of surplus plutonium currently at SRS.

“NNSA is accelerating efforts to remove plutonium from South Carolina in keeping with our commitment to the state,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “This vital mission will ensure the material can never again be used for nuclear weapons.”

The $28 million scope of work for site preparation includes demolition work and security modifications in SRS’s K-Area.

The SPD Project requires the installation of three new gloveboxes, ventilation, fire protection, and other support equipment in K-Area to expand the existing dilute and dispose capability.  

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, with NNSA’s assistance, is currently successfully downblending surplus weapons-grade plutonium at SRS using the dilute and dispose method.