The Savannah River Site is offering a limited number of tours to the public again this year. The purpose of the tour is to allow members of the general public the opportunity to see just what they do at the facility.
Theresa Haas, Manager of Community Relations for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions says that there is a big desire of the public to see SRS first hand. ” We have not had general public tours since 9/11, 2001 up until this last year. The comments and the feedback that we received from the folks that did tour last year was overwhelmingly supportive.. and grateful for the opportunity to see what we do at the SRS.”
Site tours provide the opportunity for those interested in SRS to better understand the Department of Energy’s facilities and workers that changed the face of Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale Counties, nearby cities and helped win the Cold War. “We’re going to do 23 public tours in 2010. It will provide openings for about 1100 people – it’s about 50 people per tour,” says Haas.
The Department of Energy hosted fourteen public tours in 2009 to guage the interest of area residents regarding Site history. Survey results confirmed that the time was right to resume a limited number of public tours each year at SRS.
Haas says two areas that have been interesting to most people are two of the towns that were moved off site to build the SRS, Dunbarton as well as Ellenton, SC. “They’ll see at least one of those old homesites, ” Hass said as she described some of the tour. “They will see one of our old reactors that we used to produce nuclear materials. They’ll go by some of our waste tanks, and they’ll see some of our newer facilities like the mix-oxide fuel and fabrication facility.”
All tours are free of charge and seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants may register by visiting the SRS tour website at: http://www5.hanford.gov/SRSTours/
The Savannah River Site is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The management and operating contractor is Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.