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Savannah River Site
SITE DESCRIPTION - NNSA FY2005 Congressional Budget Request (633-637)

The SRS is a key U.S. DOE facility constructed in the early 1950s to produce basic materials used in nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium. DuPont managed the site until April 1989. Since that time, Westinghouse Savannah River Company (WSRC) Limited Liability Company (LLC) has been the operating contractor of SRS. The company is a consortium of four partner firms: Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Bechtel Savannah River Company, Inc., BNFL Savannah River Corporation, and BWXT Savannah River Company. Today, in addition to various environmental management activities, recycling and reloading tritium to keep the nation’s supply of nuclear weapons ready is a continuing site mission.

WSRC is the operating contractor and the current expiration date is September 30, 2006.


Directed Stockpile Work (DSW)
SRS meets the DSW requirements by processing tritium and inert reservoirs and associated components in support of Limited Life Component Exchange (LLCE), Life Extension Programs (LEPs), Shelf Life Tests, and Reservoir Surveillance Operations. Reservoirs and associated parts will be processed as necessary to support LLCE schedules per production directive requirements for the enduring stockpile. Reservoir-processing operations include receiving, proof testing, loading, fill stem pinch welding, finishing, assembly, inspection, and packaging for shipment. Returned reservoirs will be unloaded to support production needs and to meet Reservoir Age Management Program (RAMP) goals. Reusable unloaded reservoirs will be reclaimed and reprocessed for stockpile service; retired reservoirs will be welded closed to prepare them for disposal. Reservoirs returned from retired weapons systems will be unloaded, welded closed for disposal, or managed per shelf life testing requirements.

The LEP activities include costs for planning, pre-production, production, and evaluation associated with the refurbishment of the B61-7/11, W76-1, and W80-2/3. These activities involve weld and fixture development, loading and processing of prototypes, initial life storage, qualification, and first production units. Shelf Life Test activities also include environmental conditioning, function testing, precision unloading, hydraulic burst testing and destructive examination of tritium reservoirs, metallography reporting and data analysis. The Life Storage Program (LSP) conducts research to determine the effects of long-term tritium exposure on reservoir designs and materials to improve personnel protection and increase the safety of weapons components. SRS supports the LLCE mission by meeting monthly shipping requirements in the current version of the Production & Planning Directives. SRS will begin processing an additional component for the B61 LEP. Material testing for the W84 system begins in FY 2005.

Science Campaign
Science Campaign efforts at SRS include study of tritium storage materials, tritium effects on materials, and processes.

Engineering Campaign
The Engineering Campaign activities involve development of new surveillance techniques for gas transfer systems. In FY 2005, SRS will begin to develop and implement new surveillance technologies required for the Acorn reservoir systems and additional new requirements for the Terrazzo.

Readiness Campaign
The SRS role in support of the Tritium Readiness program is to design, construct, start-up, and operate a Tritium Extraction Facility (TEF). The TEF will provide the capability to receive and extract tritiumcontaining gases from tritium producing burnable absorber rods (TPBARs). This will provide sufficient tritium to support stockpile requirements. The TEF will be located adjacent to building 233-H in order to share common facilities. The TEF will be designed for a 40-year operating life. This activity also includes the Other Project Costs (OPCs) portion of TEF. In FY 2005, this will entail component system and integrated start-up testing, development of operating and maintenance procedures, and training of the operating staff. This will entail completion of Construction for the Tritium Process Building and the Remote Handling Building, plus subsystems within these buildings, continued development of the Facility Safety Analysis Report, and delivery of remaining engineered equipment. Additional start-up tests will be performed as systems are turned over from construction to start-up. Training of operating staff and procedure development efforts will continue.

At SRS, ADAPT activities are focused on tritium production and processing technologies and on the development of new reservoirs and the associated reservoir processing and inspection technologies. The goal of Enterprise Integration (EI) is to provide the infrastructure that makes information readily available and to provide the tools and business practices to fully utilize the information. Secure computer networking capabilities and inventory management tools are part of the EI effort at SRS. Two major items will be provided in FY 2005: 1) Initiation of development of hydride alloy manufacturing capabilities (about $2 m). To date, all work in this area has been at a university. The technology transfer to SRS will begin for completion of development work. 2) Initiation of SRS activities in the Integrated Design Engineering and Manufacturing MTE (about $1M). This will bring SRS in line with the rest of the complex in the world of models-based engineering and other agile manufacturing activities.

Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF)
RTBF work maintains the facilities and infrastructure in a state of readiness in support of mission operations including LLCE, LEPs, Shelf Life Test, and Reservoir Surveillance Operations. Operations of Facilities include facilities management and support activities that maintain the facilities and infrastructure in a state of readiness for mission operations. Preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance of process and infrastructure equipment/facilities is performed. Environmental, safety, and health activities are conducted to ensure the well being of SRS workers, the public, and the environment. Contracted costs of providing utilities to the Tritium Facility are included, as well as OPCs associated with RTBF line item projects. Capital Equipment and General Plant Projects that meet base maintenance and infrastructure needs are planned and executed to maintain the safety, utility, and capability of the process facilities.

Material Recycle and Recovery involves recovery and purification of tritium, deuterium, and helium-3 gases from reservoir recycle gas and facility effluent cleanup systems. Gas mixtures are enriched to support the LLCE mission. SRS maintains H1616, SR-101, and UC-609 shipping containers and Hydride Transport Vessels (HTVs), and provides operational, regulatory, and technical support of H1616s, SR-101s, UC-609s, HTVs, and Pressure Vessels (PVs).

The Capability for Advanced Loading Missions (CALM) project will modify existing SRS facilities to provide a process that will support the Acorn reservoir LEP. The project will provide added reservoir cleaning and loading capabilities and increased capacity to satisfy anticipated production requirements. It will modify an existing reservoir loading line to enable both cleaning and filling of Acorn reservoirs and provide additional unloading capabilities for Acorn reservoirs. The CALM design effort will start in FY 2005 with final design completing in FY 2006. Procurement, Construction, Start-up, and Qualification phases are forecast to be completed during FY 2005 through FY 2009.

Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program (FIRP)
For the Tritium Facility, the FIRP activity is supporting replacement of obsolete infrastructure, improving mission readiness, and the demolition and removal of excess facilities. Priority deferred maintenance projects are undertaken to reduce the backlog. The projects include elimination of a fire protection issue identified by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, electrical projects that permit the supply of reliable power to two mission essential production buildings, and roofing upgrades to three mission essential buildings, and the replacement of the air-handling unit supporting the inert reservoirloading facility.


Fissile Materials Disposition
Savannah River Site is selected for disposition of U.S. plutonium and, as such, provides design authority for PDCF and site coordination services for Mixed-Oxide Fuels (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (FFF) and Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF). SRS also supports design review of MOX FFF and integration of the two plutonium disposition facilities with other site support services (actual design of facilities is contracted to private sector firms). In addition, SRS provides down-blending services for off-specification highly enriched uranium (HEU). During the construction phases of MOX FFF and PDCF, SRS will be responsible for site integration and construction of site infrastructure including electric power, water & sewer, roads, communications, waste management, fire protection, security and related services.

The H Canyon is being used to down blend HEU fuel assemblies to Low Enriched Uranium for transfer to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for use in nuclear power plants. In addition, other forms of HEU are being transferred directly to TVA for conversion to reactor fuel. This is reducing the HEU inventory and the threat of HEU being used for weapons and reduces the long-term storage cost of HEU.

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