In Science and Space: EM plans to decommission buildings at the Savannah River (SRS) site containing residual plutonium once used to power space missions after workers complete shutting down the facility.
Bert Crapse, program manager for the DOE-Savannah River Nuclear Materials Program, said: “This will help advance the Department of Energy’s mission to reduce the footprint of SRS and reduce risks to workers, the public and the environment.”
The former materials storage building, known as Building 235-F, is explosion-proof, windowless, and has been unused for over 25 years. Part of the two-story concrete building known as the Plutonium Fuel Forming Facility will be used to produce plutonium 238 oxide fuel balls and pellets to provide heat for long-term space missions such as Galileo, Ulysses and Cassini.
EM and site management and operations company Savannah River Nuclear Solutions worked with the South Carolina Department of Environmental Management and the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency finalizes plans for building decommissioning. They decided to grout the building process area and build a permanent pitched roof based on risks to workers, human health protection, environmental impact, and cost. A sloping roof prevents water from pooling on the currently flat roof.
“This closure will significantly reduce the cost of monitoring and maintaining Building 235-F while it remains safe,” Hasty said.