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Savannah River Operations Office

Today, the Savannah River Site (SRS) is a key Department of Energy (DOE) industrial complex dedicated to environmental management and cleanup, nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, and nuclear materials disposition in support of the U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts.  The site also develops and deploys technologies to support the environmental cleanup and energy independence.   

The siteís center is approximately 23 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia, and 20 miles south of Aiken, South Carolina, the two closest population centers.  There are more than 1,000 facilities at the site concentrated in only 10 percent of the total land area.  

DOEís Savannah River Operations Office is responsible for oversight of the DOE's Environmental Management operations at SRS.  Two other DOE offices, the Savannah River Site Office and the Office of Site Engineering and Construction Management oversee the missions supporting the DOEís National Nuclear Security Administration at SRS 

SRS will be a key player in the nationís Energy Security. It will strive to achieve energy independence in its operations. It will leverage its talent and resources to be a major contributor to support the Departmentís efforts to develop solutions for achieving energy independence for the nation through reliable, clean, and affordable sources. 

Nuclear Security will be a driving force at SRS. Not only will the Defense and Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs on the Site conduct their missions in an exemplary manner, they will also explore opportunities to contribute to the nationís Energy Security efforts through shared facility use and alternative disposition methods for nuclear materials.  

SRS envisions an expanding role for Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in supporting Scientific Discovery and Innovation. The emphasis will be to leverage SRNL strengths to better support ongoing Site missions and increase future opportunities in order to further the interest of DOE and the nation in scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and improving quality of life.  

SRS will set the example for Environmental Responsibility.  SRS is a keystone in the Departmentís successful resolution to the environmental legacy of fifty years of nuclear weapons production. As the EM mission moves to completion, however, it will have a decreasing role in the Siteís future. Although EMís mission focus is in the areas of cleanup and closure, SRS is designated as an enduring Site available for long-term missions, including the long-term stewardship requirement of the residual waste remaining after cleanup. Without compromise, cleanup activities will accommodate future missions and assure the Site remains a viable national asset by focusing on protecting the environment, stewardship of natural resources, and eliminating or reducing all health, safety and environmental risks to an acceptable level.

Building on SRSí past achievements, SRS managers recognize if the Site is not moving forward, it becomes stagnant. To move forward, SRS will exemplify Management Excellence. This means constantly addressing and improving SRS business practices and approaches for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness. EM will accomplish its landlord responsibilities by joining with the NNSA Defense and Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs for a unified team effort, working together for solutions to the formidable challenges of the future. SRS must also ensure workforce planning and execution facilitates the new Site vision. This process will be instituted in a way that retains and grows the skills necessary for present and future Site missions, while seeking to mitigate negative economic and social impacts to individuals and the community.  

While various actions are described for accomplishment according to central concepts in the various themes, many are interrelated and support each other. For example, the collaboration of EM and NNSA capabilities will enable SRS to convert significant amounts of weapon grade nuclear material to reusable nuclear fuel. It is estimated the amount of weapons grade material converted at SRS from both highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium could generate enough electricity to power all South Carolina households for up to 20 years. This action supports Environmental Responsibility and Nuclear Security by providing a disposition path for the material; it also supports Energy Security by providing a significant energy source that helps reduce the nationís dependence on foreign oil supplies. In order for the project to unfold efficiently, Management Excellence will develop and adapt the performance metrics that transition SRS to the nationís premier Site for new missions.

 

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Last updated: June 2008