Okatie, South Carolina – November 19, 2015 – Staff and board members from Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) participated in a Mission-Related Tour of the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina on November 9.
Wastewater Operations Manager Earl Sheppard, who also serves as a member of the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board (CAB), organized the tour, which included a number of locations within the site. The CAB is charged with communicating with the surrounding communities impacted by SRS.
Beginning with an overview of the former nuclear production facility, the group learned about the decontamination and decommissioning activities related to the clean-up and closure of the areas of the site where operations have ceased (all reactor areas and one of the two separations facilities). Updates were provided on the Liquid Radioactive Waste Tank Closure Program and the operations of the Defense Waste Processing facility. Experts from the Area Completion Projects (ACP) department reported on the monitoring and clean-up of contamination in the environment. By treating or immobilizing the source of the contamination, the concept of ACP seeks to mitigate transport through soil and groundwater.
Other points on the tour included information on an electroshock boat that monitors fish for radiation; a summary of the phytoremediation program, which uses plants to decontaminate soils or water and a tour of the curation facility, which is archiving historical data and artifacts from the site.
“The relationship between SRS and BJWSA is significant, because we work together to protect our drinking water source, the Savannah River,” said General Manager Ed Saxon, a former employee of DuPont at the site. “We must ensure that SRS remains diligent in its cleanup efforts to mitigate their impacts on the environment.”
For more information, please visit www.bjwsa.org or call 987-9213.