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
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
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 efforts at SRS include study of tritium storage materials,
tritium effects on materials, and processes.
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.
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
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.
DEFENSE NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION
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
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.