Savannah River Site to Continue Tritium Work

The Savannah River Site in South Carolina is expected to continue supplying a material used to boost the yield of U.S. nuclear weapons, the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle reported yesterday (see GSN, Aug. 1).

The decision to continue tritium operations at the site was part of an Energy Department plan to streamline and modernize the country’s nuclear weapons complex (see GSN, Oct. 10).

"We already have what we're going to get, which is the tritium facilities," Energy Department spokesman Jim Giusti said.

"There won't be a lot of really visible differences, but we will see R&D; (research and development) now at Los Alamos moved to Savannah River National Laboratory," Giusti said. "It isn't something we think of as a major change in our work force. … We're not impacted much as opposed to other sites, which would have facilities going through major work force reductions."

Savannah River is also set to host the planned mixed-oxide fuel plant, which would convert weapon-grade plutonium to nuclear power plant fuel (see GSN, May 27).

"If the MOX program ever gets going … plutonium pits eventually would be brought and temporarily stored at SRS before being processed into MOX," said Tom Clements, a nuclear campaign coordinator for the environmental group Friends of the Earth (Rob Pavey, Augusta Chronicle, Nov. 9).

November 10, 2008
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The Savannah River Site in South Carolina is expected to continue supplying a material used to boost the yield of U.S. nuclear weapons, the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle reported yesterday (see GSN, Aug. 1).