Thursday, January 24, 2008

SRS Shell Game

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is an aging nuclear facility on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River opposite Augusta, Georgia. Since 1989, the SRS has been managed by a quasi-public corporation called the "Washington Savannah River Corporation." By most accounts, the management has been effective and has maintained good public relations with local residents and even with most citizen environmentalists. When the contract for SRS management was put up for competitive bid, however, a new shell company called "Savannah River Nuclear Solutions" made a lower bid.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions was scheduled to take over management of the SRS this week. The change between shell companies has been put on hold, however, by a legal "protest" filed on behalf of the Washington Savannah River Corporation. In addition to the news story filed by Mary Ellen Cheatham of Georgia Public Broadcasting, a bulletin about the delay is posted on the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions webpage. Fine print under the company header also indicates that Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a "Fluor Daniel Corporation." I am certain that I will be posting more on this story as it develops.

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At 12:26 PM , Blogger HollyGL said...

Forgive my ignorance here, Don, but is it an active site? What I mean is, when I lived in Boulder, I always heard about management of the Rocky Flats clean up. The site was "inactive" and they were supposedly taking care of what remained of the nuclear materials.

That said, there sure seemed to be - and still seem to be - an unusual amount of very sick people even many miles from that site.

Maybe I should be rethinking my move to Charleston, SC. :)

At 12:47 PM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

Holly - SRS has been "inactive" for around twenty years except that they are using nuclear reactions to "cycle down" the most harmful nuclides. It is a research facility and that is why it was logical to have the same company run SRS and the Hanford facility in Washington state. The DOE has been making noise about a new weapons program there, however, and this takeover may be a serious move in that direction.

I think that Charleston would be pretty well out of range of any contamination. Of course, the SRS would probably be a good place to bomb or sabotage if you were a terrorist group or an irate foreign government.

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