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Deactivation and Decommissioning

Born amid Cold War tensions, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) played a critical role in our country’s national security strategy for more than 40 years.

Due to changes in missions, however, many SRS facilities are no longer needed to produce or process nuclear materials. This situation poses both a challenge and an opportunity for SRS to decommission these facilities to eliminate their inherent risk as well as reduce the cost to maintain them in a safe condition.

Click to view full size version of SRS Facility Completions

Continuous risk reduction through decommissioning activities at the Savannah River Site.

Facilities range in size and complexity from large nuclear reactors to scores of small storage buildings. Many SRS facilities have underground structures such as basements, storage tanks and piping that require a large amount of excavation. Some even tower over one hundred feet high. Since these facilities are generally located within one of the Site’s nuclear industrial areas, they may be surrounded by other buildings that are occupied or are still being used; demolishing them can be extremely difficult.

With DOE’s focus on prompt cleanup and eliminating risks, SRS is concentrating on shrinking the footprint left from decades of operations. Shrinking the footprint also better positions the site for future missions. SRS workers successfully decommissioned 264 facilities during the past four years, reducing the facility footprint by nearly 2.5 million square feet. This work was accomplished while meeting extremely high safety standards. More than 750 additional major facilities are scheduled to be decommissioned over the next 24 years.

For more information on D&D activities at SRS, contact Dewitt Beeler, Site D&D.

 

 

Last updated: September 9, 2009

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